Barksdale may quit as AAm leader

by Scott Anthony | 5/12/93 10:00pm

The executive board of the Afro-American Society, the College's black students' organization, will hold a special meeting tonight to discuss the future of AAm President-elect Amiri Barksdale '96 who has said he might resign.

The AAm usually holds general meetings on Thursdays but cancelled this week's meeting.

Barksdale was elected Winter term to lead the AAm this summer and next year. He first announced his intention to resign during an AAm executive board meeting on Sunday, but said he will wait until after tonight's meeting to make an official decision.

He said he would resign to avoid political conflicts inside of the AAm and because he thought another student could serve the society better as president.

"It seems like there a lot of politics in the AAm and you get tired of it," Barksdale said. "There are a lot of games I don't want to play."

AAm member Grace Chionuma '96 said the politics Barksdale referred to are personal conflicts between executive board members.

"Just like with any president, you have to deal with people making up the executive committee," she said. "At times these relationships can be strained."

Will Griffin '94, the editor of Black Praxis, a black student journal, attacked Barksdale for picking up copies of The Dartmouth Review, the off-campus conservative weekly, in a letter to the editor of The Dartmouth last Wednesday.

Griffin stated that Barksdale "imagines himself to be the messiah of the black community, here to save our 'brainwashed,' 'blinded' and 'indoctrinated' souls."

Griffin, who supported Barksdale in the AAm's winter election, said he no longer supported Barksdale because he did not fulfill promises he made during the campaign.

Griffin said Barksdale had pledged to support the growth of Cutter-Shabazz Hall, the Afro-American student affinity house, to increase funding for the AAm and to increase recruitment of black students.

Both Griffin and Barksdale said the letter had nothing to do with Barksdale's possible resignation.

"Basically, he's not getting too much support from too many people," Griffin said.

Chionuma said she does not see "any widespread tension, just conflicts between individuals."

Shakari Cameron '96, AAm Vice President-elect said she thought Barksdale might resign because of the pressures of leadership coupled with his being a freshman.

"It's hard to deal with the pressures," she said.

If he were to resign, Barksdale said he would remain active in the AAm. "My personal feeling is that I could get more accomplished in the general body of the AAm or outside of the office of President," he said.