Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2010 Lacey D. Dickinson. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Black Studies Program


If proclaiming oneself to be an agent of change—a valiant interruption in historical continuity, was such a powerful slogan, then why? What makes people believe in the possibility of progress in the first place, and why is it embraced as objective and positive? I began to wonder, much like innumerable others who have come before me, how the actions of individuals within communities and the "course of things" are to be distinguished from one another. How much of what we except as reality—our emotions, desires, decisions, personal and collective histories, is informed by something so trivial and apparent as time, and to what extent can time be manipulated by power to serve the peremptory objectives of the present? These questions, and more, will be answered in thesis via literature review and document exploration.


Enlightenment Epistemology, Constructing History, Black Progress