HIS 389 • Black Pol Econ: Slavery/Race/Class/State
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
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.
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