In conjunction with Black History Month, the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) is organizing a contest called “Roots before Branches.” Through this contest, we intend to engage the OSU student population in a discussion about the relevance of Black Studies in the age of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are particularly interested in how students understand the phrase “roots before branches” and how it applies to our current realities.
Contest Rules and Regulations
Send a Word or PDF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 13th with the title “Roots before Branches submission.”
Write, in at least 300 words, what the motto “roots before branches” means to you. Choose one of the three options below. Use the questions as your guide when providing the answer.
A winner and a runner-up will be announced two weeks after the contest deadline. The two winning submissions will be announced on the AAAS website, facebook, and twitter accounts. The contest winners will also receive $100 and $50 gift cards and an opportunity to feature their accomplishments on their CVs or resumes.
Here are the three choices. Please choose one:
1. Explain what "roots before branches" means to you. What do you think this slogan represents? How does it apply to African American and African studies? What is its significance in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement? How does it connect with the global African diaspora? Do you think the slogan is meaningful? Why or why not?
2. Critique "roots before branches." What are some of the problems with such a statement? How can it hinder the goal of African American and African studies? In what way can it be harmful to the Black Lives Matter movement? How does it divide the global African diaspora? How else is the slogan problematic?
3. Propose and explain a different slogan than “roots before branches.” How can this slogan be meaningful for African American and African studies? How can it be useful to the Black Lives Matter movement? How does this new slogan connect with the global African diaspora? In what other ways is it significant?