Ashay University Courses are taught by Mwalimu Melodye Micëre Van Putten and are facilitated by the Guide to Self-Knowledge workbook, especially crafted for the class. The $200 tuition fee includes four consecutive classes, the workbook, and class notes (unless otherwise noted).
Life Before Enslavement
As the title reveals, this course begins at the beginning, with Black life before enslavement. Curriculum topics include the African Foundation Timeline, African Philosophy and Cosmology, the African Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhay and Sacred Ethics from Ancient Kemet, Dagara, Dogon and Yoruba. Conducted yearly, class participants have consistently received the information with enthusiasm and appreciation as this comment reveals:
“Being under your tutelage continues to be an expansion of understanding, an opening of historical insight and uncovering the hidden truths about the ancestral lineage that lines up with my existence.”
Black Panther: Black Resistance
Utilizing the incredible film Black Panther, this course examines issues raised by the film to explore the history of Black Resistance globally, with an emphasis on Black Power Movements. The course visits the history of resistance and struggle for liberation in Africa (Ghana, South Africa, Republic of Congo, etc.), United States, Bermuda and Caribbean (Jamaica, Guyana) and their connections to one another. Dynamic and interactive, this course captured not only the excitment of Wakanda, but how we can work together to create the future we want and deserve today.
The Harlem Renaissance
This class will explore the ideas, writings and personalities of The Harlem Renaissance (1920-1935) when the intellectuals and artisans sought to prove the cultural and intellectual nobility of people of African descent with the intention of shifting attitudes favorable to equality. The resulting cultural productivity of the Harlem Renaissance was intense, focused, dramatic genius; it is still considered a phenomenal cultural flowering. Originally conducted September 2014, the class has prompted joyful responses, as this note illustrates:
“I really enjoyed class last evening. I am looking forward so much to reading the works of WEB DuBois, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and so many of the others. I am really excited to learn about my heritage and about the significant historical events which have impacted the lives of so many of my brothers and sisters – I feel honoured to be a part of this process. The workbook is fabulous – did I tell you!!! I read “Diamonds from the Rough” – guuuuurrrrrllllll – can’t wait to learn so much more…..”
The Freedom Fighters, Part 1 and 2
We know some of the names and we may even know some of the deeds, but what is often missing is the connection of important slices of liberation history. “The Freedom Fighters” connects and highlights a selected group of brave men and women of African descent who extended the path of liberation that we might see our connection to ourselves globally, including Kwame Nkrumah, Yaa Asantewaa, Marcus Garvey, Ivan Van Sertima, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, and Bermuda’s own Pauulu Kamarakafego/Roosevelt Brown and Lois Browne-Evans among others.
Kwanzaa: Philosophy, Values and Praxis
Course delves into the philosophy, universal values and practical application of Kwanzaa as a cultural observance and tool for community development and empowerment. As an expression of traditional African philosophy and cosmology, Kwanzaa seeks to focus on core values that all people utilize for success.
Rightings Arousing Conscious Empowerment – RACE: Poetry in the BLACK will examine the messages of the poetry, looking for insights, encouraging robust dialogue and perhaps, suggesting strategies for community implementation. The workbook will feature selected poems written to provoke deep thought, reflective moments, consciousness-pricking and a pathway towards Justice made reality. “Deep thought questions” follow the poetry for added contemplation. In other words, may these R.IGHTINGS A.ROUSE C.ONSCIOUS E.MPOWERMENT in you.
Two-hour workshop delves into the philosophy, universal values and practical application of Kwanzaa as a cultural observance and tool for community development and empowerment. As an expression of traditional African philosophy and cosmology, Kwanzaa seeks to focus on core values that all people utilize for success.
Ashay University’s Scholars’ Seminar Courses: Designed to delve more deeply into the writings and wisdom of important African centered scholars, this course is offered for seasoned students of Ashay University and has a reading requirement.
Scholars’ Seminar on Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.
Dispelling the myths and stereotypes, this course delves into the “real” MLK, utilizing his seminal text Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? to understand the plan of King. King’s philosophy of self-love, need for liberatory education, political power, obligation to activism is omitted in favor of a neutured MLK of dreams and non-violence. In his last book, MLK deftly lays out the historical condition, picking up where WEB DuBois leaves off and then provides n impotrtant blueprint for moving forward.
Scholars’ Seminar on Dr. William Edward Burghardt DuBois
Course explores the philosophy, influence, work and global activities of scholar-activist Dr. W.E.B DuBois. Born in the pivotal gap of history, between the end of U.S. slavery (1863) and the night before the March on Washington (1963), Dr. DuBois was a nurturer and builder of movements from the Harlem Renaissance to the Niagara Movement to Pan-Africanism. Summer reading requirement: Souls of Black Folk, Dr. DuBois’ seminal text, universally considered a classic. There are still mighty lessons to be gleaned by studying the preeminent scholar of the 20th century. The Souls of Black Folk is required reading for this course that will examine the prolific life of Dr. DuBois – his activism, scholarship, vision and dedication to the cause of eradicating the issues and challenges of race. Very timely, given the various circumstances of our world today.
Scholars’ Seminar on Dr. Carter G. Woodson
This course thoroughly examines Woodson’s seminal text The MisEducation of the Negro (required reading). Utilizing the Guide to Self-Knowledge workbook, we will also look at his compelling life story and extraordinary commitment he made in a life of service.
Scholars’ Seminar on Dr. Asa G. Hilliard, III will examine his writings and wisdom through the seminal text SBA: Reawakening of the African Mind (required reading). Through the Guide to Self-Knowledge workbook, we will also be introduced to The Maroon Within Us and African Power. This course was conducted in November of 2015 and will run again in 2017.
Continuing SBA: Intellectual Engagement
Building upon previous Scholars’ Seminar courses, class participants seek to apply the lessons of DuBois, Woodson and Hilliard, along with the scholarly work of Mwalimu via The African-Centered Foundation for Change and The Referents. Students design a class project for implementation as a contribution to the community. Past projects have included a public lecture and the mobile African Foundation Timeline mural.
Kephra: Becoming – Sisterhood/Rites of Passage for Women
Kephra is a guided journey toward pathways of new energy using specific tools clothed in the lessons of history and culture. The ultimate goal of Kephra is a Sisterhood community with an emphasis on practical application of our heritage to be the benefit of our community. We must begin to use the lessons of our historical experiences in combination with our spirituality, in order to create a new reality – empowered living – for ourselves and our children. If you are interested, please inquire for detailed information.