Course Syllabus

...a cosmic apprenticeship

This information was originally provided by Jim Johnson here:  Sun Ra 171.  I once sent him an email about all the online material I found, but he never reached me. 

Sun Ra once taught a course in UC Berkeley's Afro-American Studies Department.  Purportedly, this was the required or recommended reading.  Almost of the audio material is available, but I have had difficulty finding the printed word.  Any assistance on providing digital versions would be welcome.  Help with Nothing Is and Heliocentric Worlds Volume 2, as well as any excerpts or complete texts of the books, plays and poetry below.

This is one of the sections I have the highest hopes for.  I would like to have some sort of discussion built around these texts, perhaps.  I have read many of these books multiple times, and some have even become standard reference material.  Please feel free to submit reviews, summaries, impressions.  Hopefully a place for more active discussion will be created.  I will also be putting together a more extensive set of links on secondary material that may aide in this research.

Sun Ra 171
Reference List 


  • John S. Wilson's Jazz Where it Came From, Where It's At 
  • Yoseph Ben Jochannan's Black Man of the Nile 
  • Stylus, 13:1 (Spring 1971)
  • Henry Dumas' Ark of Bones
  • Henry Dumas' Poetry for My People
  • LeRoi Jones & Larry Neal's Black Fire
  • Alexander Hislop's The Two Babylons
  • David Livingstone's Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa
  • Bill Looney's Radix
  • Theodore P Ford's God Wills the Negro
  • Archibald Rutledge's God's Children
  • Volney's Ruins of Empire
  • The Source Book of Man's Life and Death (ie, The Bible, "King James")
  • P.D. Ouspensky's A New Model of the Universe
  • Frederick Bodmer's The Loom of Language (excerpt)
  • Blackiesetymology

The site's addendum uses the liner notes of Space is the Place to identify other books used by Ra in his courses, including theosophical texts of Blavatsky, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, a 19th-century astrological journal Radix (different than that listed above), The Book of Oahspe, and texts on Rosicrucian history.