AMS 370 • The Black Freedom Struggle-W
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Until fairly recently, historians have treated the civil rights movement and black power movement as two discrete movements with competing ideologies and tactics. More recently, revisionist scholars have redefined these movements as two strands of a long tradition of African American resistance, dating back to the forced arrival of enslaved Africans in North America. This course will explore the black freedom struggle from WWII to the present and consider activists and movements that defied the constructed boundaries between civil rights and black power. Rather than focusing on major events and popular figures, this class will focus on grassroots actions and lesser known figures and events. While the civil rights movement is typically considered largely a southern movement and black power largely a northern and western urban movement, we will explore the black freedom struggle as a national movement that is best understood by investigating its expressions at the local level. We will also investigate economic rights campaigns black activists throughout this era. By considering black grassroots activism in its various forms, we will construct a more inclusive national narrative of the black freedom struggle that highlights the effects of local people and local movements on communities throughout the nation.
Possible Texts Wesley C. Hogan, Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC's Dream for a New America Peniel E. Joseph (ed.), The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era Timothy J. Minchin, From Rights to Economics: the Ongoing Struggle for Black Equality in the U.S. South Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi Charles Payne, I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard (eds.), Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940-1980 Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard (eds.), Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America William Van De Burg, The Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965-1975