African American Studies


African American Studies is a minor for students who wish to gain greater knowledge of the history and culture of African Americans in the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and includes courses in history, literature, political science, sociology, and the arts, among others. Students with any major may complete an African American Studies minor by fulfilling the necessary requirements.

  • HST1600 Intro to African American Studies
  • ENG2520 African American Literature
  • HST3440 African American History to 1877:From Slavery to Freedom

Elective courses (9). Students will take three courses from the following list. Please note that other courses might be substituted for those listed with the permission of the program advisor.

  • HST3441 African American History Since 1877: Reconstruction to Present
  • HST3413 American Radical Tradition
  • POL2630 Civil Liberties
  • SOC3243 Race and Racism
  • MUS1020 Jazz, Its Evolution and Impact

Course Descriptions

The course will introduce students to the key texts, concepts, and debates in the interdisciplinary field of African American Studies.

This course surveys highlights of African American literature. Writers include Douglass, Washington, DuBois, Hurston, Toomer, Bontemps, Hughes, Walker, Wilson, and Morrison.

The course will examine the African American experience from 1400 to 1877. Topics will include African Slavery, the rise of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Slavery and racism in Colonial America, the American Revolution and Slavery, Antebellum Slavery in the South, Abolitionist and Antislavery movements in the North, the Civil War & Emancipation, and Reconstruction. Emphasis will be placed on the African and African-American experience and the contributions of African-Americans to the growth of democracy. Readings will consist of the recent secondary scholarship and primary sources.

The course will examine the African American experience from 1877 to the present. Topics will include Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Great Migration and World War One, the New Negro, Great Depression and New Deal, World War Two and the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, the Post-Civil Rights Era and the Obama era. PREREQUISITE: Any 1000-2000 level history course or permission of the instructor.

This course will examine the nature and significance of the American radical tradition from the American Revolution to the present-day. Among the radical philosophies and movements to be covered will be the American Revolution; abolitism; utopian experiments; womens rights; the labor movement; populism; socialism and communism; civil rights; Black power; feminism; the New Left; environmentalism; the gay and lesbian movement; and the global justice movement. Examination of the American radical tradition suggests that radicalism has been a persistent and significant feature of American history.

effectiveness of the legal system in protecting and promoting individual rights are examined and discussed via a reading of constitutional case law. Special attention is given to rights of the accused, freedom of speech and religion.

This course is an intensive study of selected ethnic and racial groups and subcultures in their structural and cultural aspects. Students will study how these affect their lifestyles in relation to dominant groups within the social system. Both classical and contemporary models of minority-dominant relations will be considered for their relevance toward an adequate understanding of contemporary social systems.

This course traces the course of jazz from the African’s musical heritage to the New World through work songs, spirituals, and blues; the birth of jazz in New Orleans and its dissemination to St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, and New York.

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