HIS 317L • Intro to African-Amer History
This course surveys African American experiences from their origins in pre-colonial West and Central Africa to the present. While the courses examine African Americans' relationship to the dominant culture, they also explore the internal dynamics of African American communities, particularly gender and class relations. Topics covered in the first half include: the social structures and cultures of West and Central Africa; the Atlantic slave trade; the development of slavery and the origins of "race" in the Americas; the formation of African American cultures; gender relations within the slave community; the experiences of free blacks; antebellum black political and social movements; and the role of slavery and expansion in the United States Civil War. During the second half of the course, we will explore the following topics: race relations in the post-emancipation southern U.S.; migration and urbanization; black political thought and cultural production; gender relations and class formation within the African American community; black social movements in the mid- to late-twentieth century; and African Americans in the post-Civil Rights era.
Grading Policy Two short (3-5 pages) papers: 20% each Midterm essay exam: 25% Final essay exam: 25% Class participation: 10% (including in-class quizzes and discussion) Texts (This list is tentative and may change slightly) Equiano, The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings Holt and Barkley Brown, eds., Major Problems in African-American History vol. 1: From Slavery to Freedom, 1619-1877 Royster, ed., Southern Horrors and Other Writings Lawson and Payne, Debating the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968 Course packet