U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Black Freedom Movement Course: Chronological

After thinking long and hard about the comments on last week’s post and reading parts of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement, I have developed a new Black Freedom Movement syllabus.

My primary concern is that this one has too much reading. If there are any suggestions for cutting material, I’d be glad to hear it. If you suggest adding something, please also suggest cutting something. I really appreciate your help!

Books

Davis, Angela. An Autobiography
Dudziak, Mary. Cold War Civil Rights
Hedgeman, Anna Arnold The Trumpet Sounds: A Memoir of Negro Leadership
Jones, Patrick. The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee,
Loury, Glenn. Race, Incarceration, and American Values
Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks
McGuire, Danielle L. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
Moody, Anne. Coming of Age in Mississippi
Week 1 –Introduction to the Topic and the Course
Wed August 29–Introduction
Fri August 30—Meanings of Freedom
*Anonymous, personal essays about experience of race due
Reading: Niagara Movement, Declaration of Principles

Week 2—1930s
Mon September 3—Labor Day NO CLASS
Wed Sept 5— The Great Depression
Reading: The Trumpet Sounds: A Memoir of Negro Leadership by Anna Arnold Hedgeman (first half)
Fri Sept 7— The Scottsboro Boys
Reading: The Trumpet Sounds: A Memoir of Negro Leadership by Anna Arnold Hedgeman (second half)
Week 3—1940s
Mon Sept 10—Double V campaign
Reading: Andrew E. Kersten, “African Americans and World War II”OAH Magazine of History, Vol. 16, No. 3, World War II Homefront (Spring, 2002), pp. 13-17 (JSTOR)
 Wed Sept 12—First March on Washington and A. Phillip Randolph
Reading: Anna Arnold Hedgeman, “The Role of the Negro Woman”Journal of Educational Sociology, Vol. 17, No. 8 (Apr., 1944), pp. 463-472 (JSTOR)
Fri Sept 14—The Road to Brown–film
Week 4—1950s, Sexualized violence and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Mon Sept 17: Emmett Till
Reading: Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Prologue, Chapters 1-2
Wed Sept 19: The Women of Montgomery and Rosa Parks’ Legacy
Reading: Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Prologue, Chapters 3-4
Fri Sept 21: A New Minister Steps Forward
Reading: Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Chapters 5-6
Week 5—1950s, Two leaders
Mon Sept 24: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the SCLC
                Students do research at the King archives (bring laptops to class)
Wed Sept 26: Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam
    Reading: Excerpts from Malcolm X Speaks
Fri Sept 28: Discussion
Week 6—1950s-60s, National Government’s Response and Cold War Civil Rights
Mon Oct 1: Eisenhower
                Reading:  Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights, Chapter 4
Wed Oct 3: Kennedy
                Reading:  Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights, Chapter 5
Fri Oct 5:Johnson
                Reading:  Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights, Chapter 6
    Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Prologue, Chapter 7
Week 7–1960s, Student Activism
Mon Oct 8: Greensboro, NC
Reading: Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi, Parts 1 and 2
Wed Oct 10: Ella Baker and the Development of SNCC
Reading: Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi, Part 3
Fri Oct 12: Freedom Summer
Reading: Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi, Part 4
Week 8— Media
Mon Oct 15— Role of Photography
Reading: Students research local newspapers, bring laptops to class
Wed Oct 17— Martin Luther King Jr. on Meet the Press
Fri Oct 19— Talk to Me movie
Week 9—1964 Democratic Convention Project
Reading: Student research
Mon Oct 22— in class debate
Wed Oct 24— in class debate
Fri Oct 26— in class debate
 **First draft of Papers Due on 1964 Democratic Convention Project
Week 10—The North
Mon Oct 29:  The Fight for Jobs
Reading: Patrick Jones, The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee, Introduction, Chapters 1-3
Wed Oct 31: Self-defense
Reading: Patrick Jones, The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee, Chapters 4-6
Fri Nov 2: Rioting in the aftermath of King’s assassination
Reading: Patrick Jones, The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee, Chapters 7-9 and conclusion
Week 11– Black Panthers
Mon Nov 5: SNNC and Black Power
Reading: Angela Davis, Autobiography, Parts 1 and 2
Wed Nov 7: California Black Panthers
Reading: Angela Davis, Autobiography, Parts 3 and 4
Fri Nov 9: FBI repression; Killing of Fred Hampton in Chicago
Reading: Angela Davis, Autobiography, Parts 5 and 6
Week 12– Black Student Protests and the beginning of Black Studies
Mon Nov 12: Black Student Protests at Columbia and elsewhere
Watching:  Stefan Bradley on Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s 
Wed Nov 14: archives
Fri Nov 16: discussion
Week 13—Civil Rights and Black Power in Memory
Mon Nov 19—Student research
**Second Draft of Research Papers due
           Reading: Online research into memorialization of the CRM; bring laptops to class
Wed Nov 21—Thanksgiving Break
Fri Nov 23—Thanksgiving Break
Week 14—Age of Mass Incarceration
Mon Nov 26: Discussion
Reading: Danielle L. McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street, Prologue, Chapter 7 and epilogue
Wed Nov 28: Discussion
                        Reading: Glenn Loury’s Race, Incarceration, and American Values Chapter I
Fri Nov 30: Discussion
                        Reading: Glenn Loury’s Race, Incarceration, and American Values Chapter II section by Loic Wacquant
Week 15—“Post-Racial America”
Mon Dec 3 Film: Precious Knowledge
Wed Dec 5 Film: Precious Knowledge
Fri Dec 7: Discussion
Reading: Barack Obama’s 2010 Speech on Race
Finals week—Take Home Final

2 Thoughts on this Post

  1. I find this chronological organization a bit deceptive. Within this framework, how can I do if I want to teach the civil rights from a cultural perspective, relying heavily on musical discourse? What about including The Art Of Protest: Culture And Activism From The Civil Rights Movement To The Streets Of Seattle?

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