After reviewing some of the suggestions for readings in post-1865 African-American history and looking through a few syllabi, I’ve come up with a tentative reading list and schedule. Thoughts and critiques are most welcome and desperately needed….
Week 1: Intro to class. Students write short essay on how they have experienced race. Discuss concept of race as construct, etc.
Weeks 2-3: Reconstruction and survey. Reading: Woodward’s The Strange Career of Jim Crow.
Week 4: Lynching. Reading: something from Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Students will also reflect on photos of lynching from Without Sanctuary.
Week 5: Turn-of-the-century strategy. Reading: DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk, combined with an essay by Booker T. Washington.
Weeks 6-7: Living in or Leaving the South. Reading: All God’s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw. Video: The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration
Weeks 8-9: The Civil Rights Movement in the South, in the North, and close to home. Readings: case-study essays on civil rights activism in three different locations (trying to give students connection) and a critical assessment of the movement.
Weeks 10-11: Black Power and the Black Panthers. Reading: Elaine Brown’s A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story.
Weeks 12-13: Black culture, black politics, black society: blacksploitation, R&B/Soul/Hip-Hop/Rap, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Rodney King. Readings: dunno yet. Essays, but I’m not sure what.
Weeks 14-15: Post-Racial America [italicized, loaded question mark]. Reading: Obama’s Dreams From My Father