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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Instructor Sees Good year For UA’s First black studies Course

    A Black instructor at the University of Arizona, teaching an Afro-American literature class is suddenly interrupted and accused of being a “”black bigot.””

    Ron Welburn, a Black Graduate student from Philadelphia in the English Department might be caught in just such a situation next year when he opens a three-unit class in Afro-American literature.

    THE TALL, handsome, Black intellectual has a deep-rooted love for jazz and is himself a musician. Welburn says his love for music was the origin of background preparation that now has put him in a position to teach Afro-American literature, course number 181 a.

    WELBURN SAID the class has already been approved as far as he knows and there should be nothing to stand in the way of the class being conducted in the fall.

    “”All that is required is that the class go through legal channels,”” he said.

    Some of the literature to be used in the course includes: “”Crisis of A Negro Intellectual,”” by Harold Cruse; “”Negro Novel In America,”” by Robert Bone; and “”American Negro Poetry,”” by Anna Bontenps.

    Welburn said that much of the course will be devoted to poetry and listed Phillip Wheatley, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Jupiter Hammon among the poets that will be studies.

    WELBURN completed his undergraduate studies at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, where he received bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and English. This is his first year at the University of Arizona where he plans to receive his Masters degree in English in June 1970.

    The 25-year-old self styled graduate student wears his hair in what might be considered a semi-Afro and says he accepted blackness many years ago and wore his hair long before the Afro craze caught on in this country. He does not belong to any of the black militant or non-militant movements, even though he considers them “”necessary”” and “”good”” in many respects.

    Welburn, who had a band for three years and played alto tenor saxophone at Lincoln university considers himself a “”creative artist”” rather than an activist.

    teaching takes a backseat to music in Welburn’s life; he considers his background in jazz as important as his educational background in shaping his life.

    STUDENTS AROUND the university of Arizona have mixed emotions about the upcoming Afro-American literature class.

    OF THE 10 white students questioned, the views were similar to those expressed by black students. Six of the 10 expressed real interest in the class and the remainder seemed to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the class.

    Welburn in an optimistic state, expects a very good first year for the class, however, he will not be here after June 1970. Welburn says he does not feel that he could remain in Tucson even if he is offered a permanent job by the University, because of the atmosphere.

    Of Tucson he had this to say: “”I like the terrain and the people, but I miss the music and life of Philadelphia too much to stay.”” He plans to return to the East and teach.

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