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AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

Course Numbers: HI/AAS 4363


Fall Term 2013
Mississippi State University

I.

Instructors Information
Course Meeting Times: Online Course
Fall 2013

II. Course Description:


This course focuses on the diverse experiences of African Americans beginning in West Africa
(1400s) and ending with contemporary events and ideological developments. Throughout this
course, the role of African American leaders, the struggle against oppression, and the evolution
of race relations receive considerable attention. Although covering an extensive period of time,
central themes will help connect the parts to the whole, revealing an overall picture of African
American culture and its importance to American social and political development.
By the end of the course, students should have a sound grasp of the social, cultural, and political
aspects of the African American experience beginning with Africa and be able to think critically
about significant historical issues regarding African American culture and history.

Academic Objectives:
a.) Gain basic knowledge of the time period and the life experiences of those involved
b.) Enhance critical thinking skills and its application towards dissecting and understanding
the significance and impact of historical issues relating to the African American
experience

III. Required Readings:


Students should purchase the required readings at the very start of the semester to avoid
difficulties resulting from availability issues. Any student who has trouble locating the material
must notify the instructor immediately. Lack of a book, however, does not equal a legitimate
excuse for incomplete work.
Darlene Clark Hine, et al., African Americans: A Concise History, 4th edition (Text):
ISBN: 10: 0-205-80627-9

Additional Readings:
**Supplementary readings are available for this course via the web links provided
or through the electronic database of the Mitchell Memorial Library. **

Course Requirements: Students are required to read all assignments with a critical eye and
complete all written work when listed. Students with disabilities, verified through Mississippi
State Universitys department of Student Support Services or its equivalent, should notify
the instructor immediately of any required accommodations.
Grades:
There will be a total of two major essay exams: a Midterm and a Final worth 100 points each,
10 journal submissions worth 10 points each (100 points total) and a 5-7 page analysis paper
(guidelines provided at the end of the syllabus) worth 100 points. GRADUATE STUDENTS
ARE REQUIRED TO WRITE A 10-12 PAGE ANALYTICAL PAPER COVERING THE
SAME ISSUES. Students have a total of 400 possible points over the semester.

Total Points earned:


360-400
320-359
280-319
240-279
239-0

Final Grade:
A
B
C
D
F

The grading scale used for this course reflects the standard A through F scale: 100-90= A;
89-80= B; 79-70= C; 69-60= D; 59 and below = F. To calculate your final grade I will add the
total number of points scored on all assignments and divide that number by the total number of
points possible. I will not percentage anything as everything is weighted the same.
Journal Entries Guidelines:
During the assigned week, each student will write a journal entry based on that weeks assigned
supplementary readings. Assigned readings may be accessed via the web through the links
provided or through the Librarys JSTOR database (when identified). It is the students
responsibility to access these materials in a timely fashion in order to complete each weeks
assignment. Failure to submit an entry Friday of each week will result in a ZERO for that weeks
entry. Make-up entries, without a documented excuse, will not be accepted. Each entry will be
graded based upon the analytical depth of the response and the students ability to develop a
detailed and critically formulated response to the questions posed. Weekly journal assignments
are located within the Learning Module tab along with that weeks PowerPoint slides and
scheduled supplementary readings and viewing assignments when listed.

Examination and Makeup Policy:


Each exam will consist of a single essay question. Review guides will be provided beforehand. If
you miss an exam or assignment because of a legitimate excuse (supported by documentation)
you must contact the instructor immediately to work out a makeup examination schedule. Absent
providing the instructor with a legitimate reason for missing an assignment or exam, the student
will earn a zero for the missed work.
Cheating:
Mississippi State University has an approved Honor Code that applies to all students. The code
states: As a Mississippi State University student I will conduct myself with honor and
integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who
do. Under no circumstance will cheating of any kind be tolerated. Cheating on any given work
will result in an automatic F followed by appropriate university actions, so refrain from engaging
in any unethical behavior as monitoring protocols are in place. For further information regarding
MSUs Honor Code system, please visit http://www.students.msstate.edu/honorcode/
Discussion of Topics:
Due to the nature of this course, student participation is paramount. As a result, the class is
structured to initiate student participation and to provide opportunities to engage in meaningful
dialog regarding specific historical circumstances and events related to African American
history. This course provides PowerPoint slides for each assigned chapter along with posed
questions designed to provoke thought and deepen student analysis of the presented readings.
You are required to THINK carefully about the materials covered and be prepared to offer
thoughtful analysis by way of journal submissions and the essay exams. In addition, you will be
provided links to primary documents and articles addressing certain topics at hand. You must
read all materials with the understanding that this course is designed to generate critical analysis
and thoughtful expressions. Thus, individuals who actively engage course readings and take
advantage of each viewing assignment will benefit the most.
IV. Class Schedule for Required Readings and Assignments: (Syllabus/Schedule subject to
changes at the discretion of the instructor.) The following outlines the completion dates for
each reading assignment so that students are prepared to participate and follow along with the
course.

A. From Africa to the Americas: Race, Class, and the Meaning of Enslavement

Week # I: Week of August 19: In the Beginning: Africa (Read Hine, Chapter 1)
o

Viewing Assignments: the following links provide a history of some of ancient


Africas important cities as well as lectures regarding Africans travel to the New
World before Columbus and the enslavement period (the second and third links

are a part one and two tandem) while the final link is an example of an African
Prose Tale.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqB5LYNPes4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IywJ1DGuecY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1_4qPIAMe4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFnOCCq0y-w&src_vid=_Sv6mX5OdI&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_715401

Week # II: Week of August 26: The Slave, the New World and Colonial Slavery (Read
Hine, Chapters 2-3)
o **Supplementary Reading: Walter Rodney, African Societies were
Transformed by the Slave Trade
http://journeytohistory.com/History110/Readings%202/Transformation%2
0of%20the%20African%20Societies.pdf
o Viewing Assignment: Indentured Servitude:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5yNELfwCkQ

Week # III: Week of September 2: Slavery, Independence and the Revolutionary


Philosophy (Read Hine, Chapters 4-5)
o **Supplementary Reading: Lord Dunmore 1775 Proclamation:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2h42t.html

Week # IV: Week of September 9: King Cotton, Quasi Freedom, and the Meaning of
Resistance (Hine, Chapters 6-7)
o Viewing Assignment: Malcolm X talks about the Field Slave and the House
Slave
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znQe9nUKzvQ

Week # V: Week of September 16: Slave Rebellions and Aggressive Abolitionism (Read
Hine, Chapters 8-9)
o **Supplementary Readings: Read the Preamble and Articles 1 and 4 of the
Appeal at the following link:
http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/walkerhp.html
http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/abesdwa1t.html
http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/abesdwa2t.html
o Viewing Assignment: David Walker and Maria Stewart
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8zMplvfmyg&feature=relmfu

Week # VI: Week of September 23: Questions of Expansion, Division and the Making of
a Civil War (Read Hine, Chapters 10-11)
o **Supplementary Readings: Fugitive Slave Act 1850 and the Preliminary
Emancipation Proclamation 1862
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/fugitive.asp

(Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation pages 1-2)

http://memory.loc.gov/cgibin/ampage?collId=lprbscsm&fileName=scsm1016/lprbscsmscsm1016.db
&recNum=0&itemLink=h%3Fammem%2Fscsmbib%3A%40field%28DO
CID%2B%40lit%28scsm001016%29%29

http://memory.loc.gov/cgibin/ampage?collId=lprbscsm&fileName=scsm1016/lprbscsmscsm1016.db
&recNum=1&itemLink=h%3Fammem%2Fscsmbib%3A%40field%28DO
CID%2B%40lit%28scsm001016%29%29

o Viewing Assignments: The Fugitive Slave Law


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbuEDROTIic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eys8dPB_Ow (the personal
impact of the Fugitive Slave Act)

Week # VII: Week of September 30/October 1: Emancipation Reconstruction and


Redeeming the South (Read Hine, Chapter 12)
o **Supplementary Readings: Sharecroppers Contract
https://www.gilderlehrman.org/sites/default/files/inline-pdfs/t04522.11.pdf
http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/recon/contract.htm
http://www.freedmensbureau.com/georgia/contracts/georgiacontract.htm

B. Reconstruction, Struggle, and the Movements for Sociopolitical Equality

Week # VIII: Week of October 7: Reconstruction, its Collapse and the Effort to Attain
Peace (Read Hine, Chapter 13)
o **Supplementary Readings: J. Williams Harris, Etiquette, Lynching, and
Racial Boundaries in Southern History: A Mississippi Example, The American
Historical Review, Volume 100, Number 2 (April, 1995), pp. 387-410. (JSTOR)

Week # IX: Week of October 14: African American Self-Help, the Problem of the Color
Line and Imperialism (Read Hine, Chapter 14)
o **Supplementary Readings: Mississippis 1890 Constitution

http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/103/index.php?s=extra&id=
270 and
The Boycott Movement Against Jim Crow Streetcars in the
South, 1900-1906, The Journal of American History, Volume 55,
Issue 4 (March, 1969), 756-775. (JSTOR)

Week # X: Week of October 21: Challenges and Strategies to White Supremacy and
Second Class Citizenship (Read Hine, Chapters 15-16)
o ** Supplementary Reading: Booker T. Washingtons Atlanta Exposition Speech
and Marcus Garveys 1921 speech, If you Believe the Negro Has a Soul
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/39/
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5124/

Week # XI: Week of October 28: Black Migration, Agitation, the Great Depression and
the New Deal Era (Read Hine, Chapters 17-18)
o **Supplementary Reading: Claude McKays poem, If we Must Die,
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15250
o Viewing Assignments: Marcus Garvey Speech, and FDR Fireside Chats on
Banking Crisis, and Economic Plan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUctEAmeUak
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opWptUdlzcU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9CBpbuV3ok
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXY7TkrPPzI

Week XII: Week of November 4: Fighting for the Four Freedoms: World War II and the
American Dilemma (Read Hine, Chapter 20)
o Viewing Assignments: Adolph Hitlers speech and FDRs Fireside Chat on
War with Japan and FDRs Four Freedoms Speech
http://www.youtube.com/verify_controversy?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3De
GhdX1SI3KY%26bpctr%3D1363707308
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5LKtzpWNB8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnrZUHcpoNA

Week XIII: Week of November 11: The Civil Rights Movement, Black Power and the
Pivotal 1960s (Read Hine, Chapters 21-22)
o **Supplementary Reading : White clergymen urge local Negroes to withdraw
from demonstrations, and Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]
http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm/ref/collection/p4017coll2/id/746
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

o Viewing Assignments: Eyes on the Prize Freedom Rides, Birmingham 1963


(the 26 minute mark through the 43.11 minute mark), Malcolm X and the Black
Revolution, Fannie Lou Hamer, the Black Panther Party 10-point Plan and Nina
Simones Why (The King of Love is Dead)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYmfc-CNRuA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ7k4wMdV5g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7JnS5kEIg8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML3WaEsCB98
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPP0hiLuxdQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uy8cyVWU2A

Week XIV: Week of November 18: African Americans in the new Millennium (Read
Hine, Chapter 23)

Week XV: Week of November 25: 1980 to the Present (Read Hine, Chapter 24)
o Viewing Assignment: Willie Horton Political ad and Rodney King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io9KMSSEZ0Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW1ZDIXiuS4&list=PL395F8773849
391E3

Week XVI: Week of December 2: Final Exam Review


Research Paper Assignment: Due, November 8, 2013

Based upon the assigned readings and included video clips provided for this course, write an
paper that analyzes the African American experience in terms of social, political, economic and
educational struggles to obtain first-class citizenship and equal rights. Incorporate into your
analysis answers to the following: What ways did African Americans resist oppression? How
were the experiences of African Americans different based upon the region of the country they
resided? What was the meaning of civil rights struggle and was this a cohesive movement? Who
were considered leaders of the Civil Rights movement and what are your thoughts upon historys
selections? In what ways are the experiences of African Americans today similar to as well as
different from those experiences from 1865 to the present? This paper, though only 5-7 pages in
length, should be well-thought out and presented. You should use the readings, lecture slides and
supplementary materials to provide a critical analysis of the arguments you present but avoid
providing a basic summary of the readings and generalizations; be sure to bolster your position
with a liberal use of examples to support any conclusions made. Remember, the objective of
this paper is to talk about the African American experience and the ways in which that
experience, and the struggles that followed, changed the nature of this country and African
Americans positions within it. All papers must be typed double spaced, clearly written, and use
12 point font and Times New Roman Script. Grammatical errors and misspelled words will
hurt your overall grade. Be sure to look over your work and correct any mistakes before

submitting the final draft. All papers must be contain a coversheet with the Honor Pledge
printed and the students names clearly visible or it will not be accepted. Please feel free to
consult with the instructor anytime during the semester.
Plagiarism and Citation: In this course, you will be required to cite sources for any material
which you quoted or paraphrased in any written work or assignment. Please use either the
Chicago or Turabian style manuals for citations. Again, this course operates under an
established and enforced Honor Code system and all papers will be submitted to Turnitin
for review. Please feel free to contact the instructor if you have any questions.