Author:
Darius Young, Pamela Monroe
Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Assessment, Full Course, Homework/Assignment, Primary Source, Reading
Level:
Lower Primary
Tags:
Africa, African American History, Black History, Black Power, Civil Rights, HBCU, OER Commons Black History Month, Reconstruction, Slavery, U.S. History, african-american-history, black-history, black-power, civil-rights, hbcu, oer-commons-black-history-month, reconstruction, slavery
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Audio, eBook, Video

Education Standards

Introduction to African American History

Introduction to African American History

Overview

AMH 2091 is an introductory-level survey course that provides an overview of the major events and developments in African American history, from Africa to the present. At its core, the history of African Americans has been connected to attempts to gain freedom. Starting with the West African empires, the course traces African Americans’ quest for freedom through the Slave Trade, Slavery, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow Era, World War I, the Great Migration, the Great Depression, and World War II. It then examines key political, social, and cultural developments of the post-war period focusing on social movements such as the Long Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and Women’s Rights Movement. There will be an emphasis on learning the basic chronology and topics of African-American history, analyzing a range of primary and secondary sources, and practicing writing interpretive essays, using primary and secondary sources to support a clear argument.  Students can expect to dedicate 4 – 5 hours a week to writing.

 

Contact Information

Name of Institution: Florida A&M University

Name of Academic Department:  Department of History and Political Science

Course ID:  AMH 2091

Course Title:  The African American Experience (Online Course)

Course Section:  Section 501

Instructors Name: Darius J. Young, Ph.D. and Pamela Monroe

Instructor Title:  Associate Professor of History

Instructor Contact Information:  Darius.young@famu.edu and pamela.monroe@famu.edu

 

Course Description

AMH 2091 is an introductory-level survey course that provides an overview of the major events and developments in African American history, from Africa to the present. At its core, the history of African Americans has been connected to attempts to gain freedom. Starting with the West African empires, the course traces African Americans’ quest for freedom through the Slave Trade, Slavery, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow Era, World War I, the Great Migration, the Great Depression, and World War II. It then examines key political, social, and cultural developments of the post-war period focusing on social movements such as the Long Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and Women’s Rights Movement. There will be an emphasis on learning the basic chronology and topics of African-American history, analyzing a range of primary and secondary sources, and practicing writing interpretive essays, using primary and secondary sources to support a clear argument.  Students can expect to dedicate 4 – 5 hours a week to writing.

Course Pre-Requisites

None

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

 

  • Explain the basic chronology, facts, and periodization of African American history from slavery to present.
  • Identify how historical events have positively or negatively affected the African American experience.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write in an academically sound, definitive, and creative way.
  • Compare and Contrast various points of view as it pertains to race, religion, gender, politics, etc., throughout the African American experience.
  • Analyze and describe clearly and concisely the nature, scope, and thesis of an academic book/article.

Required Materials

Articles, primary sources, audio and video clips, and other material are posted on Canvas (students will not have to pay for any materials).

 

Learning Strategies

  • The goal of everyone in this online learning environment, instructors and learners alike, is to create a democratic and inclusive learning climate and community that allows for freedom of expression, critical reflection, enhanced listening, constructive dialogue, meaningful participation and enhanced understanding.
  • It is expected that you will actively participate in all class activities, online conversations and assignments.  Active participation includes raising thoughtful questions, making useful observations about the course content and process, engaging in critical reflection on your own and others' assumptions in a respectful manner, sharing ideas, providing useful feedback, and undertaking ongoing evaluation of different aspects of the course and your own learning.
  • Online courses offer flexibility for learners' schedules, but this does not make them easier than traditional face-to-face courses. You should expect to spend at least 10 to 12 hours per week on this course—the same amount you would typically spend in a classroom and at home doing assignments.
  • You are expected to complete the assigned readings prior to class and submit written assignments by midnight of the stated due date.

Role of the Instructors

The role of the instructor is to guide the progress of the course, participate in the discussion, provide feedback and evaluate assignments. The instructor will maintain regular office hours, as well as via email.

Expectations and Participation

Class members will be doing all of their work for this course via Canvas. We will not meet at any scheduled time as a class.  Instead students will be required to logon Canvas during the allotted time for each discussion/assignment/exam.  Ongoing weekly activities include reading, writing, and participating in discussions.  Below are some frequently asked questions about participation in discussion boards and guidelines for writing discussion responses.  IF YOU MISS TWO WEEKS OR MORE OF CLASS DISCUSSIONS THE UNIVERSITY ATTENDANCE POLICY WILL BE APPLIED AND YOU WILL FAIL THE COURSE.

How is the course designed?

The course is divided into four separate units that organized thematically.  Each unit is comprised of modules. Each module will have a lecture, discussion questions, and other materials (videos, images, primary documents, etc.). The information/assignments in the modules will ultimately help you prepare for the exam, so please take it serious.  There will be three exams (one at the conclusion of each unit).  Please complete all work in the modules. 

How often should I log on to the Discussion Boards?

In order to avoid being overwhelmed by the number of discussion postings, students are expected to log on at least two times per week to respond to the discussion and read discussion posts. Each class member will be required to submit a substantive main response to the question and if necessary the professor may ask follow up questions. Also engage your classmates in discussion.

Class members must support their position when posting to the discussion.  Simply saying "hello" or "I agree" is not considered a substantive contribution.  This is your opportunity to prove to me that you read and understood the readings for the week.  I expect each student to fully answer each discussion question to the best of their ability.  You will be graded on your weekly class discussions.

The class week officially begins Monday at 12:01 AM and ends the following Saturday at midnight.  Class members should contribute their responses to the discussion questions by the date and time stipulated by the professor before midnight. After that time the discussion will be closed and graded.  Class members are expected to participate throughout the week, and to not wait until the last minute to contribute postings.  The instructor has the right to alter these times at his discretion.  It is important to check your email to stay up to date with the course

What is a post?
A post is a message in the Discussions area. It is simply your part of the conversation about a particular topic.

How long should my posts be?
It is recommended that you keep your posts focused and succinct. This makes your post easier for others to read and respond to. A good general rule for length is ½ to 1 page of writing (125 to 250 words) for a substantial post. Of course, in some discussions, it may be more appropriate to write a series of very short posts, rather than one or two longer ones. You may wish to compose your posts in a word processor then copy and paste them to a discussion throughout the week. The main idea here is that the discussion board should be a conversational academic discussion!  Your posts must utilize proper grammar and spelling – grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and abbreviations usually used for texting are not permited – and should demonstrate a clear grasp of the historical issues and materials.

What constitutes a good online discussion post?

Posts should be:

  • Substantial (relates to the course material)
  • Concise (one screen may be the ideal message length)
  • Provocative (encourages others to respond)
  • Timely (occurs in a reasonable time frame - when the topic is under

discussion)

  • Logical (supports point of view with reasons and evidence)
  • Grammatical (is well written).

Readings

Your readings consists of blogs, journal articles, book chapters, speeches, etc.  .

What is "netiquette"?
Netiquette refers to how you participate in online exchanges. Here are some examples of good netiquette:

  • Check the discussion frequently and respond appropriately and on topic.
  • Focus on one subject per message and use meaningful subject lines when beginning new messages.
  • Use appropriate sentence case and capitalize additional words only to highlight a point. Capitalizing otherwise is known as shouting.
  • Be professional and respectful in your online interaction.
  • Cite all quotes, references, and sources—this way everyone can have access to good information.
  • Ask permission before forwarding a class message to someone outside of the class.
  • It is fine to use humor, but use it carefully. The absence of face-to-face cues can cause humor to be misinterpreted as criticism or flaming (angry, antagonistic criticism). Emoticon symbols such as :-) or ;-) will let others know when you are being humorous.  See http://messenger.msn.com/Resource/Emoticons.aspx for emoticon examples.
  • The class discussion area is not an appropriate place for forwarding ads, chain letters, or other unrelated e-mail otherwise known as Spam.   Personal chit-chat should be reserved for the online Student Lounge.  Also, remember that, while access to the course site is restricted, all comments are public to the class members and instructor.

How will I take my exams?

Your exams will be administered online via Canvas. The instructor will decide the window of dates (generally 1 or 2 days) that you will have in order to complete your exams. You will also be given a limited amount of time to complete each exam.  You will not be permitted to login and begin an exam and then complete it at a later date.  Once you login to take your exam, you must complete it within the time limited.  (More info on the exam will be given by the instructor at the appropriate times).

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is defined as all acts of cheating, plagiarism, forgery, and falsification. 

 

The term "cheating" includes, but is not limited to:

  • using any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes or tests
  • using sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments
  • acquiring tests or other academic material before such material is revealed or distributed by the instructor
  • misrepresenting papers, reports, assignments or other materials as the product of a student's sole independent effort
  • failing to abide by the instructions of the proctor concerning test-taking procedures
  • influencing, or attempting to influence, any University employee in order to affect a student's grade or evaluation
  • any forgery, alteration, unauthorized possession, or misuse of University documents

The term "plagiarism" includes, but is not limited to:

  • the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full or clear acknowledgment
  • the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

Evaluation

Student’s final grade will be determined by the cumulative percentage he/she earns from the standards listed below.  The final evaluation will be based on:

Class Discussion = 10 points each

Reaction Paper Writing Portfolio = 75 points (25 points each)

Book Review = 100 points

First Exam = 100 points

Second Exam = 100 points

Third Exam = 100 points

Grading Scale

Your final grades will be based on the average from your total points earned divided by the total possible points for the semester. (your total possible points will be determined later in the semester after I have a clearer idea of how many discussions we actually cover – expect 12 – 14).  Grades will be based on the following standards:

A = 90% or higher

B = 80% – 89%

C = 70% - 79%

D = 60% - 69%

F = 59% or lower

Reaction Paper Guide

A reaction paper is different from an article summary.  Integrate your ideas and reactions to the articles you read.  But try to go beyond, “I liked it,” “It was interesting,” “or “It was boring.”  Make more perceptive and substantive comments that indicate how the readings enlarged your awareness and understanding of the historical matter being discussed.  Students will receive detailed comments on their essays and it is expected for the student to show improvement throughout the semester. The reviews should be 2 complete pages, 12 point font, and double-spaced. (NOTE:  Plagiarism will result in an automatic “F”

They should also follow a specific format:

Formatting:

  • Type your name in the upper left corner along with the class and section number.
  • Type the title of the article at the top of the page.  Center it. 
  • Use left-hand margins.
  • Use double spacing, a regular font and size, and normal margins.

Citations:

Footnotes or endnotes are not necessary.  After a quotation, just put the page number in parentheses.  Since you are quoting only from Go Sound the Trumpet, no other citation is needed.

    • Example: “I was now exceedingly miserable,” wrote Equiano, “and thought myself worse off than any of the rest of my companions.” (11) He felt alienated from his fellow captives.
  • Use quotations judiciously.  Quotations are effective, but overuse diminishes your authority. 

Style:

  • Avoid sentence fragments.
    • Example: “The man who enslaved Equiano.”
  • Avoid run-on sentences.
  • Avoid slang or informal language.
  • Avoid any sentence that does not sound correct when read aloud.
  • Avoid plagiarismPlagiarism is the use of another person’s words without using quotations and citing the source.  See syllabus section on academic dishonesty.  Plagiarizing essays will result in an “F” for the essay and the course.

 

Book Review Guide

Book Review

You will write a professional -quality review of W.E.B. DuBois’ Souls of Black Folks (The link to the Electronic Copy of the book is in Canvas). Reviews should describe clearly and concisely the nature, scope, and thesis of the book.  Indicate the author’s intended audience. (ex. Scholars, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, General Public) Do not simply summarize the book.  Evaluate the book according to the extent to which the author achieved his/her stated objectives, draw on relevant source material, and is well organized and well written.  Do not use titles, either professional or social in referring to the author.  Ask yourself questions as you are reviewing the book: What is the author’s argument? Does the author make this argument effectively? What were the primary and secondary sources used by the author?  Reviews should be 2-3 pages.  The reviews are due on date specified in the schedule.  Please consider these guidelines, paraphrased from Richard Marius, A Short Guide to Writing about History:

           

  1. Always give the author’s purpose in writing the book.  This idea is often best addressed in the preface or introduction, which you should always read extra-carefully.
  2. Summarize the author’s evidence. Look through the notes section.
  3. Focus on the book, not its author.  Avoid such clichés as deeming the author “well-qualified”.
  4. The review should not entirely focus on style issues.  Avoid prolonged comments on the style of the book.  However, one can note whether a book is well-written or incoherent, and one can even quote a sentence to illustrate the author’s style.
  5. Show, don’t tell. Avoid such generalization as, “The book is very interesting,” or “The book is very boring.”  A good review will illustrate your opinions without using such banalities.
  6. Be courteous.  Passionate attacks reflect poorly upon the reviewer.  Professional scholarship demands a level of detachment and comportment.
  7. Quote judiciously.  The author’s prose may spice up your review, and it may deliver an idea more sharply than you can through paraphrasing.  But it is your job to analyze the book, and you shirk that duty if you include too many long quotations. 
  8. Do not feel compelled to say negative things about the book.  One should note important inaccuracies, disagreements over interpretations, problems with the evidence, major stylistic issues, and so on.  But avoid petty complaints about an insignificant detail or an isolated typographical error.
  9. Accept the book on its own terms.  You may wish that the author wrote a different book, but you must review whether the author has succeeded in accomplishing his or her goal.
  10. Place the book in historical context.  How does this book contribute to our understanding of African American history?

 

Module 1: Introduction

What is African American History?

  • Read: W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Read: Nikole Hannah Hones, “America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made it One”

Discussion “What is African American History?”

Module 2: Africa and Black Americans

Additional Materials:

Database 

The African American Experience- Ancient African Civilizations, 500-1500 (Links to an external site.) 

Gallow, Lauren. "Ancient African Civilizations, 500–1550." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/1. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020. 

The African American Experience-Africa and the Atlantic, 500-1550 (Links to an external site.) 

Gallow, Lauren. "Africa and the Atlantic World, 1441–1550." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/2. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020. 

Discussion: “West Africa” Due January 15, 2021

1st Reaction Paper for “America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made it One” is due

Module #3: Slave Trade/Middle Passage

Additional Materials:

Podcast 

Jamelle Bouie, and Rebecca Onion. “How Did the Atlantic Slave Trade End?” Slate Magazine, Slate, 2 June 2015, slate.com/podcasts/history-of-american-slavery/2015/06/history-of-american-slavery-episode-2-life-aboard-slave-ship-olaudah-equiano. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020  

Read: Joshua Rothman, “An Unspeakable Toll: Relentless Violence and the Middle Passage”

Discussion: “The Slave Trade”

Module 4: The Peculiar Institution

Additional Materials:

Douglass, Frederick. ""The Nature of Slavery." Extract from a Lecture on Slavery, at Rochester, December 1, 1850 (Links to an external site.)." My Bondage and My Freedom. Lit2Go Edition. 1855. Web. <https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/45/my-bondage-and-my-freedom/1512/the-nature-of-slavery-extract-from-a-lecture-on-slavery-at-rochester-december-1-1850/>. October 12, 2020. 

Database 

The African American Experience: Africans in Colonial North America, 1550-1760 

Policarpo, Fatima. "The English North American Colonies, 1619–1760." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/3 (Links to an external site.). Accessed 30 Oct. 2020. 

Gallow, Lauren. "The Spanish Colonies, 1560s–1760." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/4 (Links to an external site.). Accessed 30 Oct. 2020. 

Read: Michael Guasco, “The Fallacy of 1619: Rethinking the History of Africans in Early Americans”

Discussion: “Colonial Slavery”

Module 5: Cotton Kingdom

Additional Materials:

Video 

Lemmons, Kasi. “Harriet.” Perfect World Pictures, 29 Oct. 2019, digitalcampus.swankmp.net/famu365263/watch/C56B4EBDF566F255?referrer=direct. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020. 

Read: Tera Hunter – “The Long History of Child Snatching”

Discussion: “Cotton Kingdom”

Exam #1 Due

Module 6: Civil War

Additional Materials:

Databases 

The African American Experience 

Prelude To War, 1846-1861 (Links to an external site.) 

Thomas, Lauren. "Prelude to War, 1846–1861." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/12. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020.  

The Civil War, 1861-1865 (Links to an external site.) 

"The Civil War, 1861–1865." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/13. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020. 

Video 

Jarre, Kevin, et al. “Glory.” IMDb, 18 Jan. 1990, www.imdb.com/title/tt0097441/. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020. 

https://digitalcampus.swankmp.net/famu365263/watch/3BF7123DA6810373?referrer=direct (Links to an external site.) 

 

Podcast 

Black Soldiers in the American Civil War (Links to an external site.) 

Handley-Cousins, Sarah. “Black Soldiers in the American Civil War.” DIGPodCast, 28 Aug. 2016, digpodcast.org/2016/08/28/black-soldiers-in-the-american-civil-war/. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020. 

Read: Karen Cook Bell, “Black Women, Agency, and the Civil War

Read: Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, “Beyond Monuments: African Americans Contesting Civil War Memory”

Discussion: “Civil War”

2nd Reaction Paper for Tera Hunter, “The Long History of Child Snatching” is Due

Module 7: Reconstruction

Additional Materials:

Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit Audio Recording 

 

Video 

The African Americans Into the Fire: 1861-1896 (PBS accessed through Kanopy) 

 

Database 

The African American Experience 

Thornburg, Mika. "Reconstruction, 1865–1877." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2021, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/14. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021. 

African Americans and Reconstruction: Hope and Struggle, 1865-1883 (NewsBank/Readex database) 

Read: Jessica Marie Johnson, “Yet Lives and Fights”: Riots, Resistance, and Reconstruction”

Discussion: “Reconstruction”

Module 8: Jim Crow

Video 

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow(PBS accessed through Kanopy) 

Rosewood (1997) John Singleton 

Events surrounding the massacre of a black community by a white mob in 1923 Florida. Jon Voight, Ving Rhames, Esther Rolle. John Singleton directed. 

Database 

African Americans and Jim Crow: Repression and Protest, 1883-1922 (NewsBank/Readex database) 

The African American Experience: Rise of Jim Crow, 1877-1895 

LaBrie, Emily. "Rebuilding the South, 1877–1905." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/15. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020. 

Policarpo, Fatima. "Westward Ho!, 1878–1890." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/16. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020. 

Web Resources 

“What Was Jim Crow - Jim Crow Museum - Ferris State University.” ferris.edu, 2012, www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020. 

Read: Darius Young, “Lynching and the Rise of Black Activism in Memphis”

Discussion: “Jim Crow”

Module 9: HBCUs and the Black Middle Class

Watch: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Discussion:  “HBCUs and the Black Middle Class” Due March 5, 2021

Book Review of W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk

Module 10: Civil Rights

Additonal Material:

Video 

Hughes’ Dream Harlem (courtesy Kanopy) 

Read: Jeanne Theoharis: “A Life History of Being Rebellious: The Radicalism of Rosa Parks”

Discussion: “Civil Rights Movement”

Module 11: Black Power

Additional Material:

Streaming Video 

“The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 | Black Power Movement | Independent Lens.” Independent Lens, 2012, www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/black-power-mixtape-1967-1975. Accessed 13 Oct. 2020. 

https://digitalcampus.swankmp.net/famu365263/watch/E09C34F4D12FA34A?referrer=direct (Links to an external site.) 

Ebook 

Black Power Afterlives : The Enduring Significance of the Black Panther Party, edited by Diane Fujino, and Matef Harmachis, Haymarket Books, 2020. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.famuproxy.fcla.edu/lib/famu/detail.action?docID=6118908 (Links to an external site.).  (multiple copies available)   

  

Articles  

May be accessed via library database: The African American Experience 

Gallow, Lauren. "Civil Rights Reignites, 1965-1968." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/30. Accessed 13 Oct. 2020. 

Robertson, Naomi. "Black Panther Party." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/1401026?cid=41&sid=1401026. Accessed 13 Oct. 2020. 

Knight, Gladys L. "Malcolm X." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2020, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/1406915?cid=41&sid=1406915. Accessed 13 Oct. 2020 

Podcast 

Palk, William. “#47 A More Complete Story of Black Power with Dr Ashley D Farmer - High School History Recap.” Buzzsprout, 20 July 2020, highschoolhistoryrecap.buzzsprout.com/944875/4616072-47-a-more-complete-story-of-black-power-with-dr-ashley-d-farmer. Accessed 13 Oct. 2020.  

Read: Joy James, “Airbrushing Revolution for the Sake of Abolition”

Read: Hasan Kwame Jeffries, “Black Lives Matter: A Legacy of Black Power Protest”

Discussion: “Black Power”

Module 12: Black Lives Matter

Read: Black Lives Matter on Campus – Universities Must Rethink Reliance on Campus Policing and Prison Labor

Watch: Ana Duvernay, 13th