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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Fall 2007

HIS 389 • Black Pol Econ: Slavery/Race/Class/State

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41250 T
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
BUR 554

Course Description

African Americans have made significant contributions to this nation's history. Yet, if, as former President Calvin Coolidge said, The Business of America is Business," where is the African American contribution? Is there an African American business history? Why have historians ignored this aspect of the Black Experience in assessments of the Black Political Economy? In examining this neglected aspect of Black American history, this course focuses on race, class and the state within the context of laws and societal practices that have impacted on the economic life of African Americans. Topics include: 1) the impact of black bodies in the transatlantic slave trade and on slave-produced commodities both in the expansion of America s preindustrial economy and global capitalism; 2). how slave laws and black codes enacted from the 17th century on to the post-Civil War have attempted to suppress black American independent self-help economic activities; 3) the separate economies that developed in the rise of the 20th century black urban ghettoes; 4) the late post-Civil Rights era commodification of black culture and its impact on global capitalism; 5) how, historically, African American organizations, such as the antebellum National Negro Convention, Booker T. Washington s National Negro Business League, Marcus Garvey s Universal Negro Improvement Association, the Nation of Islam, the NAACP, the Urban League and the Black Church have attempted to advance the economic life of black Americans by promoting the development of black business.

Research paper topics will proceed from a historical assessment of any of the above within context of the Black Political Economy, using as a construct, race, class and state in an analysis of that topic.


Andrews, Marcellus, Political Economy of Hope and Fear, Capitalism and the Black Condition in America Berlin, Ira, Slaves, Without Masters; The Free Negro in the Antebellum South. Bundles, A'Leila, On Her Own Ground: the Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker Dawson, Michael, Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies Henderson, Alexa Benson, Atlanta Life Insurance Company: Guardians of Black Economic Dignity Harris-Lacewell , Melissa V., Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought Herman, Janet Sharp, Pursuit of a Dream Katznelson, Ira, When Affirmative Action Was White: Untold History Racial Inequality 20th Century America Johnson, John H. and Lerone Bennett, Succeeding Against the Odds Kelley, Norman, ed. R&B (Rhythm and Business): The Political Economy of Black Music Koger, Larry, Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860 Loewen, James, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism Kenzer, Robert C. Enterprising Southerners: Black Economic Success in North Carolina, 1865-1915 Marable, Manning, How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America, Updated Edition Massey, Douglas and Nancy Denton, American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass Rhoden, William, Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, Thomas, Lamont D. Paul Cuffee, Black Entrepreneur and Pan-Africanist Schweningner, Loren, Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915. Walker, Juliet E. K., FREE FRANK: A BLACK PIONEER ON THE ANTEBELLUM FRONTIER Walker, Juliet E. K. The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship Weems, Robert E. Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the 20th Century


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