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

Spring 2005

HIS 389 • Age of Jim Crow

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37673 TH
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
UTC 1.142

Course Description

Throughout American history, from slavery to “freedom,” both legal and extra-legal means have been used to subjugate, subordinate and segregate people of African descent from mainstream “white” America. This course, a research seminar, focuses on the two worlds of race that existed during the era historically described as “The Age of Jim Crow,” primarily from the 1880s to the 1920s, but research topics can trace the origin and persistence of Jim Crow in various areas of American life. The course requirement and focus, then, is the conceptualization, development, and writing of a 20-25 page research paper, based on primary sources and literature specific to each student’s topic. Throughout the course, proceeding from each student’s distinct research paper topic, emphasis will be placed on the political, economic, social and cultural responses of African Americans to the racialized-based legal iniquities that confronted African Americans in all aspects of their lives in the Age of Jim Crow such as: What were the educational philosophies for Black America beyond that of BTW and Du Bois? Were there attempts in Africa and the West Indies to emulate their educational activities and philosophy? How did black colleges, both private and state, as well as public schools, differ in funding, curriculum, physical plants from that of white institutions? Were the forces that contributed to the rise of apartheid in South Africa and similar or different to those of the rise of Jim Crow? Why has black business in the era of Jim Crow been described as the “Golden Age of Black Business?” What was the occupational distribution of both rural and urban blacks in the Age of Jim Crow? What was the health status of Black Americans. In what ways did Black American women respond to Jim Crow? What were the causes and results of urban riots during this era as well as that of the violence of lynching? Was Southern black rural life really an “American Congo” during the Age of Jim Crow? Ultimately, how successful was Jim Crow in the subjugation, subordination, and segregation of people of African descent from mainstream “white” America? In 1900 Du Bois said: “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” Is this going to be the case for the twenty-first century? In its impact, has Jim Crow segued into institutional racism, racial profiling, and the new prison-industrial complex. What has been the continuing impact of global capitalism that began with the slave trade on the economic iniquities that continue to limit black economic and social advancement? Has the new immigration changed the face of Jim Crow? Is Jim Crow still with us? The course, then, is also important for students for all students in interested in African American Studies as well as those in the Schools of Education and Social Work and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, as well as Communications, Women’s Studies and Film in providing an opportunity to research primary source materials in the history of their fields as these relate to African Americans.


Gilmore, Glenda, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920. Hale, Grace Elizabeth. Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940,. Packard, Jerrold M. American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow, 2002. Patler, Nicholas, Jim Crow & the Wilson Administration: Protesting Federal Segregation in the Early Twentieth Century. Woodruff, Nan Elizabeth, American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta, 2003 Woodward, C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow. 3rd rev.ed., 1974.


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