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Poslední úprava: Ing. Magda Pektorová (03.02.2016)
Struggle for Civil Rights begins with the late 19th century and includes leaders and opponents of the US struggle against racism from Frederick Douglass to contemporary issues of prison reform, court decisions, and police actions. In addition to DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, readings include African-American writers. Students write a reserch paper on a related topic of their choice.
Poslední úprava: Ing. Magda Pektorová (22.09.2016)
Syllabus: The Struggle for Civil Rights, 1877 to present.
American Studies, Charles University
Summer term, 2016
Dr. Norma J. Hervey
Consultation hours: Wednesday 10:30-12 or by appointment
Contact information: email@example.com Phone: 603-360-882
The Civil Rights movement usually is considered to begin with the U.S. Supreme Court decision, BROWN VS. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, in 1954. In reality, there was a free black community seeking rights for themselves and those enslaved dating from the colonial era. This course will begin with the era after the end of Reconstruction, 1877, the period which officially ended the Civil War with the withdrawal of Union troops from the South. The struggles which continued for more than a century, took place in all 50 states., and continues today. It is an unequal struggle as those who oppose full citizenship as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, retained control of the courts, the police, and had the support of most non-black citizens of the United States. Heroic acts were common as were atrocities which made the mid-20th century Civil Rights movement a necessity. As during the centuries of slavery, there were many people, classified as white, who joined in the struggle for rights of all citizens. Only a few of these people lost their lives, but this is not true for blacks, whose leaders and many ordinary people whose primarily non-violent actions addressed their willingness to risk their lives to gain their rights.
Readings for each week are available on Moodle or other online sites. You are expected to be prepared to discuss the readings and to contribute to interpretations of the events and the people. In order to gain from the readings and discussion, I will give you a few questions to consider as you read.
Attendance is essential if you are to grasp the complexities of this history. The final exam will focus on the readings, lectures, and discussions. In addition, you are to write an 8-10 page paper on the lives and contributions of individuals or on events that had a significant impact on Afro-Americans and their fellow citizens. As the struggle continues into the 21st century, your choice of a topic can include events and individuals of the late 20th and the 21st century. Topics might be biographical, or assessment of recent Supreme Court decisions important to African-Americans or federal and state laws, a contemporary African-American writer or a specific literary form, i.e., poetry or essays or novels, segregation in the military or schools or housing or employment or the numbers of African-Americans in prison, the courts and/or the police or social and economic problems.. If you find one book to be of special interest, you may write your paper on that title as long as you explain why it was selected.. There are many other possible topics. You will also present a brief oral summary of your research in class. You will choose your own topic but, to avoid duplication, each of you will need to turn in three topics or the book title of interest, the most desired labeled #1, etc. Topic ideas are due in class by the end of October; each of you will receive a specific topic, one of your choices, at the following class. Everyone will benefit if each of you select a topic or an individual NOT included in our syllabus. I will prepare a list of topics to aid you in exploring possibilities.
50 % attendance, completion of assigned readings bdfore class and participation in discussion.
ASSIGNMENTS. Note reading assignment are to be read for the date listed.
October 5: Overview of course. Brief history of slavery, Civil War, guerilla war.
October 12: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass P. 13-86. (Electronic copy)
October 19: 14th & 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (on line) Selections from Booker T. Washington. Up From Slavery. Chapters 5, 7, 8, 9,
October 26: Selections from W.E.B. DuBois. Souls of Black Folks. Chapters 3 and 6. (Electronic copy), Plessey v Ferguson (online)
November 2: Richard Wright, “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow.” African-American Poets: Claude McKay, “If we must Die.” Arna Bontemps, Southern Mansions.” Langston Hughes, “Afro-American Fragment,” and “As I Grew Older.” Richard Wright, “Between the World and Me.” Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Children of the Poor.” LeRoi Jones, “Preface to a 20 volume Suicide Note,” and “The Invention of Comics.” Each of you will also be given a poet and poem to present in class.
November 9: No class. Work on research paper. Hand in bibliography Nov. 15. All papers must be double spaced and numbered. Use footnotes and include your bibliography. Bold print will be appreciated. You can print on both sides to save paper!
November 16: Vincent Harding. “So Much History, So Much Future: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Second Coming of America.” Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
November 23: James Baldwin. The Fire Next Time p. 3-10, 53-105. Brown V Board of Education, 1954. (on line)
November 30: Malcolm X. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Chapter 1, “Nightmare,” and Chapter 19, “1965,” and “Message to the Grass Roots.”
December 7: Bayard Rustin, “From Protest to Politics,” and M.L. King, Jr., “I have a Dream.” Anthony Lewis, “The Shame of America,” New York Review of Books, Vol. LIX, Number 1 (January 12, 2012), p. 47-48.
December 14: Research papers due. Discussion and Presentations in class.
December 21: Continue presentations. Essays based on Michelle Alexander’s. The New Jim Crow or Creating a New Racial Order by Jennifer Hochschild, Vesla Weaver, and Traci Burch or Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates. I will assign chapters to each of you once I know how many students are in the class. After reading your assignment, you will write a two page essay about the reading, its significance, and your opinions. This will be in place of a final exam
January 11: Exam essays are due January 11. Each of you will BRIEFLY describe your assigned reading and we will discuss them at our last class for the term. Anyone who wants their essay returned can claim it in my office when the next term begins. I will return your research papers at this class.