HIS 317L • Introduction to African American History
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
This course will provide an introduction to the major themes, issues, and debates in African American History and Culture from its African roots to the contemporary era. Through readings, lectures, film and music the topics we will address include: the African roots of American culture, the slave trade, colonial and antebellum slavery, free black communities, the process of emancipation, Jim Crow segregation and racial violence, the Great Migration, black cultural production, the modern black freedom struggle, hip-hop culture and the challenges faced by African-Americans in the current era. This course will rely heavily on primary sources and first hand accounts to highlight the impact of gender, class/status, and color in shaping the interior life of the African American community.
Students should leave the course with a foundation to better understand many of the discussions surrounding contemporary ideas about race in American society. Particular attention will be paid to helping students learn to think critically about historical issues as well as gain the skills necessary to evaluate the different and sometimes contradictory interpretations offered by historians.
Mid-Term Examination 25% Essay on a Primary Document (5-7 pages) 25% Final Examination (Cumulative) 50%