Are black holes racist now too? Cornell's new race & the cosmos course

Now black holes in space are racist too? Cornell launches ‘race and the cosmos’ course to prove a connection between scientific terms and racial blackness’ using music by Outkast and Janelle Monae

  • Cornell is offering a new course titled Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos
  • The course ‘will introduce students to the fundamentals of astronomy through readings in Black Studies,’ according to its website 
  • It will use works like music by Outkast and Janelle Monae to prove the connection 
  • The term ‘black hole’ was first used to describe the light-swallowing space masses in 1967
  • Black holes were first predicted by Einstein in his Theory of General Relativity in 1916 

Cornell University has launched a new woke course called Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos, which seeks to prove a connection between the decades-old scientific term and racial bias.  

The course, Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos, claims it ‘will introduce students to the fundamentals of astronomy concepts through readings in Black Studies’ to go against ‘conventional wisdom’ that black holes are not racist. 

‘Conventional wisdom would have it that the “black” in black holes has nothing to do with race. Surely there can be no connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness. Can there? 

‘Contemporary Black Studies theorists, artists, fiction writers implicitly and explicitly posit just such a connection,’ the description reads. 

Taught by professors Nicholas Battaglia and Parisa Vaziri, the course – which would be part of the school’s $60,000-a-year tuition, claims that ‘artists and musicians’ – like Outkast and singer Janelle Monae – ‘conjure blackness through cosmological themes and images’. 

A description of Cornell’s new course, Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos, on its website. It says: ‘Conventional wisdom would have it that the “black” in black holes has nothing to do with race. Surely there can be no connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness. Can there?’

‘Works may  include works by theorists like Michelle Wright and Denise Ferreira da Silva, authors like Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson, music by Sun Ra, Outkast and Janelle Monáe. 

The course, Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos, claims it ‘will introduce students to the fundamentals of astronomy concepts through readings in Black Studies’ to go against ‘conventional wisdom’ that black holes are not racist.

‘Astronomy concepts will include the electromagnetic spectrum, stellar evolution, and general relativity,’ the course description reads. 

It is the latest in a series of increasingly liberal steps by Ivy League schools over the last 18 months. 

Now, some employers say they don’t want to even hire from the schools that have become so woke students of any other political belief other than the far-left can’t speak their mind for fear of retribution.   

Some critics said it was proof of the ‘intellectual wasteland the Ivy League has become.’ 

‘Black holes’ weren’t referred to as such until years after they were first identified by Einstein as part of his theory of general relativity in 1915.  


The course is being taught by Cornell professors Nicholas Battaglia and Parisa Vaziri

 It will use works like music by Outkast and Janelle Monae to prove the connection

The German astronomer Karl Schwarzschild expanded on Einstein’s research to define black holes more definitively. 

They refer to regions of space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape them.

Most pertinent to the term is that the theory applies to the gravity’s effect on light; light can’t escape the holes, which means there is a darkness or blackness attached to them.

That’s where the ‘black’ portion of the name came from.

In the early 20th Century, they were referred to as ‘black stars’ but the first black hole wasn’t actually seen until 1964 and the term ‘black hole’ wasn’t coined until 1967. 

It was first used by Dr. John A. Wheeler, an American scientist. 

He was speaking at a conference in New York when someone in the audience shouted out the name. 

He seized on it and continued to use it in his works. Wheeler died in 2008.

HOW LIGHT-SWALLOWING BLACK HOLES GOT THEIR NAME FROM AMERICAN SCIENTIST JOHN WHEELER IN 1967

Black holes were first predicted and explained by Albert Einstein in 1915 in his Theory of General Relativity. 

They were then expanded on by the German astronomer Karl Schwarzschild. 

Einstein didn’t describe them as black holes and he hadn’t seen one, but his theory was that there were portions of space where gravity is so strong, they swallow light.

He specified how stars could collapse into them and disappear, their brightness gone. 

Albert Einstein with scientists Hideki Yukawa and John Wheeler in 1965. Einstein first predicted and explained black holes in his Theory of General Relativity in 1916 and Wheeler gave them their name in 1967

Some say that it was a British scientist, John Mitchell, who predicted them before Einstein, in 1783.

In his work, he referred to a ‘dark star’ and how the speed of light and mass of a star would affect how bright it was. 

But the term ‘black hole’ wasn’t widely used to describe the phenomenon until 1967.  

American scientist John Wheeler coined the phrase ‘black hole’ in 1967 while teaching in New York 

Others say ‘black holes’ got their name from a Calcutta prison cell where British prisoners-of-war were held in 1756 by the troops of the Nawab of Bengal. 

Edgar Allen Poe also referred to dungeons as ‘black holes’, and some journalists used the phrase to write about the aftermath of horrendous fires long before Einstein’s theory was published in 1916. 

Dr. John A. Wheeler, a Princeton professor, is credited with coining the phrase in 1967 after a student yelled it out during one of his conferences in New York. 

He seized on it and continued to use it in his works. He died in 2008.  

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