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African American History and Culture (HI2B7): Timetable


Topic and Activity


From African to African American: Black life and culture under slavery

To what extent black culture became "African American" rather than African – looking at music, food, storytelling, clothing, leisure time etc


Freedom! The Civil War and Reconstruction

How African Americans defined freedom – political activity, society & community, family, and labour


Responding to Segregation: Conciliation, Agitation, Migration, or Separation?

How African Americans responded to white violence and suppression – focusing on approaches of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Marcus Garvey, and the Great Migration


Centres of Culture before WW2: Harlem and Chicago

The Harlem and Chicago Renaissances; the New Negro, intellectual and literary life in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s (Alain Locke, Nella Larsen, James Baldwin & Richard Wright)


The Civil Rights Movement in the South

How the struggle for civil rights became a mass movement after WW2, from Brown to the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, with an emphasis on grassroots movements & women as well as traditional leadership


Reading Week (no lecture or seminar)


Black Power, Black Culture, and the Black Arts Movement

The development of Black Power, the Black Panther Party, and other radical thinkers (e.g. Angela Davis, Amiri Baraka), both as protest movements and as cultural phenomena


The Hip Hop Generation

Challenges faced by young African Americans post-segregation, including the war on drugs, debates over affirmative action, and their responses (especially, but not limited to, the development of hip hop culture)


Black Lives Matter

Intersectional protest movements in the 21st century in relation to the tension between the perceived progress marked by the election of Barack Obama in 2008 and the rise of afro-pessimism (Ta-Nehisi Coates)


Group Presentations

(on group project)