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Předmět, akademický rok 2018/2019
  
The African American Freedom Struggle in the United States Since 1933 - JMM692
Anglický název: The African American Freedom Struggle in the United States Since 1933
Zajišťuje: Katedra severoamerických studií (23-KAS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2018 do 2018
Semestr: letní
Body: 5
E-Kredity: 5
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:1/1 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: 20 / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: Robert Cook
Vyučující: Robert Cook
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Robert Cook (04.02.2019)
The course is a bloc-course and will be taught from Monday 15 April to Tuesday 23 April 2019. Professor Cook is visiting Charles University as part of ERASMUS + exchange from the University of Sussex.

This course examines the history of the ongoing black freedom struggle in the United States since the New Deal era of the 1933. Although its primary focus is on the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century, the course provides an overview of the African American experience in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and assesses the validity of the concept of a ‘long civil rights movement’ grounded in the industrial labour movement of the 1930s and 1940s as well as the racial controversies of the Second World War. One of our main goals is to understand the debates, disagreements, and downright fights that African Americans have had among themselves in the modern era. We will also assess arguments over the relationship of blacks to the U.S. government, over racial and class identities, and over diverse tactics and strategies for the advancement of the race. In addition, we will consider the impact and significance of different forms of leadership and organisation as well as the gendered dimensions of the black experience. The lectures will bring the story up to date by assessing the effectiveness of African American involvement in mainstream politics (culminating in the election of the nation’s first black president in 2008) and explain the rise of new forms of black activism in the modern era, culminating in the recent creation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Robert Cook (04.02.2019)

The course familiarises students with African American history and culture between 1933 and 2018, with particular emphasis on the debates among African Americans over the direction of the struggle, and on the question of black agency during the era of segregation. Students will develop a critical awareness of the central debates about African American leadership, political protest, and social change. The lectures will provide you with an understanding of the internal as well as external developments that shaped the African American experience and to enable you to locate these events in scholarly context. The course intends to sharpen your ability to critically read English-language academic texts and extend your skills in interpreting original, primary source material. You will also be able to improve your oral communication skills by participating in workshop sessions after the lectures.

Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Robert Cook (04.02.2019)

The module is assessed by:

 

1        Active participation and mandatory reading of the assigned texts available to students via the Moodle or the SIS university system (10%)

2        Research paper (10 pages in length) (40%)

3        Final written exam (50%)

 

RESEARCH PAPER

 How far do you agree with the view that the successes of the civil rights movement were the work of Martin Luther King?

 

GRADING

 

• 91% or more => A

• 81-90% => B

• 71-80% => C

• 61-70% => D

• 51-60% => E

• 0-50% => F

 

 

Essay writing tips

 

·   Keep your answer focused on the question.  Don’t feel tempted to write down everything you know (or have read) about the topic.  It might help to summarise your argument, or your answer to the question, in 2 or 3 sentences, and build your plan around that.

 

·   Try and make only one point per paragraph. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence introducing the main theme of that paragraph.

 

·   Build your argument in a logical, and progressive, fashion.

 

·   You need to reference your work adequately. This means providing footnotes for all facts, direct quotations and ideas taken from academic books or scholarly articles that you have read. Avoid using Wikipedia and other basic websites.

 

·   At the very least, show awareness of historiographical debate.  Although I want to know what you think about a particular topic, you need to show that you have looked at the arguments of other historians.  The best essays will engage with this scholarship (by evaluating various arguments, etc), in order to build a strong argument.

 

·   There is also scope for using primary sources in your essays.  You don’t have to use lots of these, but if you’ve come across a source that addresses a theme that you want to discuss, you should feel free to use it as evidence.  Doing this might give you space to be creative in developing your own ideas. 

 

There is no textbook for this course but you may wish to obtain a copy of or have access to Stephen Tuck, We Ain’t What We Ought To Be (2010), which is an excellent modern survey of African American history.

Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Robert Cook (04.02.2019)

Further Reading By Topic

 

 

 

THE 1930s: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE NEW DEAL

 

 

Anthony J. Badger, The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933–1940

 

Roger Biles, The South and the New Deal

 

Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South

 

Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming:  Blacks and Equality, 1890–2000, 133–59

 

Michael Goldfield, ‘Race and the CIO: The Possibilities for Racial Egalitarianism During the 1930s and 1940s,’ International Labor and Working-Class History 44 (1993), 1–32

 

Robin D.G. Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression

 

Jarod Roll, Spirit of Rebellion: Labor and Religion in the New Cotton South

 

Harvard Sitkoff, A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue

 

Lauren R. Sklaroff, Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the New Deal Era

 

Thomas Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

 

Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era

 

Patricia Sullivan, Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

 

Stephen Tuck, We Ain’t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama, chap. 6

 

Mark V. Tushnet, The NAACP’s Legal Strategy against Segregated Education, 1925–1950

 

Nancy Weiss, Farewell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDR

 

R.G. Wolters, Negroes and the Great Depression: The Problem of Economic Recovery

 

 

 

AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

 

Jervis Anderson, A. Philip Randolph: A Biographical Portrait

 

Beth Bates, ‘“Double V for Victory” Mobilizes Black Detroit, 1941–1946,’ in Jeanne Theoharris and Komozi Woodward, eds, Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940–1980

 

John M. Blum, V Was for Victory: Politics and Culture during World War II

 

Robert Cook, Sweet Land of Liberty? The African-American Struggle for Civil Rights

in the Twentieth Century, 71–82

 

Richard Dalfiume, Desegregation of the United States Armed Forces, 1939–1953

 

Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming:  Blacks and Equality, 1890–2000, 181–201

 

George Q. Flynn, ‘Selective Service and American Blacks During World War Two,’

Journal of Negro History 69 (1984), 14–25

 

Darlene Clark Hine, ‘Blacks and the Desegregation of the Democratic White

Primary, 1935–1944,’ Journal of Negro History 62 (1977), 43–59

 

Robin D.G. Kelley, ‘“We Are Not What We Seem”:  Rethinking Black Working-Class Opposition in the Jim Crow South,’ Journal of American History 80 (1993), 75–112

 

Daniel Kryder, Divided Arsenal: Race and the American State During World War II

 

Nicholas Lemann, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America

 

Phillip McGuire, ‘Desegregation of the Armed Forces: Black Leadership, Protest, and

World War Two’, Journal of Negro History 68 (1983), 147–58

 

Phillip McGuire, Taps for a Jim Crow Army: Letters from Black Soldiers in World

War II

 

John Modell, Marc Goulden and Sigurder Magnusson, ‘World War II in the Lives of Black Americans: Some Findings and an Interpretation,’ Journal of American History 76 (1989), 838−48

 

Magi Morehouse, Fighting in the Jim Crow Army: Black Men and Women Remember

World War II

 

David Reynolds, Rich Relations: The American Occupation of Britain, 1942–1945

 

Robert Shogan and Tom Craig, Detroit Race Riot

 

Patricia Sullivan, Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

 

Stephen Tuck, We Ain’t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama, chap. 7

 

Ronald Takaki, Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II

 

Neil A.Wynn, The Afro-American and the Second World War

 

 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS IN COLD WAR AMERICA

 

 

M. Chappell et al, ‘“Dress modestly, neatly … as if you were going to church:” Respectability, Class and Gender in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Early Civil Rights Movement,’ in Peter Ling and Sharon Monteith, eds, Gender in the Civil Rights Movement, pp. 69–100

 

Mary L. Dudziak, ‘Josephine Baker, Racial Protest, and the Cold War,’ Journal of American History 81 (1994)

 

Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy

 

Penny M. Von Eschen, ‘“Satchmo Blows Up the World,” Jazz, Race, and Empire during the Cold War,’ in Reinhold Wagnleitner and Elaine Tyler May, eds, ‘Here, There and Everywhere’: The Foreign Politics of American Culture, 163−78

 

Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming:  Blacks and Equality, 1890–2000, 203–34

 

David Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, chap. 1

 

David Garrow, ed., The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Made It

 

Robert Korstad and Nelson Lichtenstein, ‘Opportunities Found and Lost: Labor, Radicals, and the Early Civil Rights Movement,’ Journal of American History 75 (1988)

 

Martin Luther King, Stride Toward Freedom

 

Peter Ling, Martin Luther King, chap. 3

 

M.S. Meyer, ‘With Much Deliberation and Some Speed: Eisenhower and the Brown Decision,’ Journal of Southern History 52 (1986)

 

Aldon D. Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change, chap. 3

 

James Patterson, Brown vs Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubling Legacy (2001)

 

Brenda Gayle Plummer, Rising Wind: Black Americans and US Foreign Affairs 1935–1950

 

Harvard Sitkoff, ‘Harry Truman and the Election of 1948: The Coming of Age of Civil Rights in American Politics,’  Journal of Southern History 37 (1971)

 

Patricia Sullivan, Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement

 

Thomas J. Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

 

J. Mills Thornton III, ‘Challenge and Response in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955−1956,’ Alabama Review 33 (1980), 163−235 (SyD).

 

Stephen Tuck, We Ain’t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama, chap. 8

 

Clive Webb, ed., Massive Resistance: Southern Opposition to the Second Reconstruction

 

 

 

MARTIN LUTHER KING AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

 

 

Lerone Bennett, Jr, What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 19541963

 

Taylor Branch, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 19631965

 

Clayborne Carson, et al., eds, The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader

 

Clayborne Carson, ed., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr

 

Robert Cook, Sweet Land of Liberty? The African American Struggle for Civil

Rights in the Twentieth Century

 

Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming:  Blacks and Equality, 1890–2000, 234–93

 

Adam Fairclough, Martin Luther King

 

Adam Fairclough, To Redeem the Soul of America: The Southern Christian

Leadership Conference and Martin Luther King, Jr

 

David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr and the Southern

Christian Leadership Conference

 

Henry  Hampton and Steve Fayer, eds, Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the

Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s

 

Steven F. Lawson, Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America

Since 1941

 

David Levering Lewis, King: A Biography

 

Peter J. Ling, Martin Luther King, Jr

 

Gerald D. McKnight, The Last Crusade: Martin Luther King, Jr, the FBI, and the

Poor People’s Campaign

 

Manning Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black

America, 1945-1990

 

August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement, 19421968

 

Howell Raines, My Soul Is Rested: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in the

Deep South

 

Thomas Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

 

Stephen Tuck, We Ain’t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama, chap. 9

 

Brian Ward and Tony Badger, eds, The Making of Martin Luther King and the Civil

Rights Movement

 

Robert Weisbrot, Freedom Bound: A History of America’s Civil Rights Movement

 

John White, Black Leadership in America: From Booker T. Washington to Jesse

Jackson

 

Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 19541965

 

 

 

ELLA BAKER AND THE GRASSROOTS FREEDOM STRUGGLE

 

 

Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s

 

Clayborne Carson, et al., eds, The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader

 

Vicki L. Crawford, et al., eds, Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and

Torchbearers, 19411965

 

William H. Chafe, Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the

Black Struggle for Freedom

 

John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi

 

Charles Eagles, ‘Toward New Histories of the Civil Rights Era,’ Journal of Southern

History 66 (2000)

 

Henry  Hampton and Steve Fayer, eds, Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the

Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s

 

Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision

 

Armstead L. Robinson and Patricia Sullivan, eds, New Directions in Civil Rights

Studies

 

Doug McAdam, Freedom Summer

 

August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, CORE: A Study in the Civil Rights Movement,

19421968

 

Chana Kai Lee, For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer

 

MALCOLM X

 

 

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (‘Down at the Cross’)

 

George Breitman, ed., Malcolm X  Speaks

 

Clayborne Carson, ed., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr, Chap. 25

 

Kenneth B. Clark, King, Malcolm, Baldwin, Chap. 2

 

Michael Eric Dyson, Making Malcolm

 

Karl Evanzz, The Messenger: The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad

 

Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer, Voices of Freedom, Chap. 14

 

Peter Goldman, The Death and Life of Malcolm X

 

C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Muslims in America

 

Louis E. Lomax, The Negro Revolt, Chap. 13

 

Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

 

August Meier, et al., Black Protest Thought in the Twentieth Century

 

David Mervin, Malcolm X and the Moderation of Black Militancy

 

Bruce Perry, Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America

 

Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary

 

Malcolm X with Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

 

Joe Street, ‘Malcolm X, Smethwick, and the Influence of the African American Freedom Struggle on British Race Relations in the 1960s,’ Journal of Black Studies 38 (2008), 932–50

 

Robert E. Terrill, The Cambridge Companion to Malcolm X

 

 

 

BLACK POWER

 

 

Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of

Liberation

 

Clayborne Carson, ed., The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr, Chap. 29

 

Clayborne Carson, In Struggle

 

Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice

 

Kathleen Cleaver and George Katsiaficas, eds, Liberation, Imagination and the Black

Panther Party: A New Look at the Black Panthers and Their Legacy

 

Harold Cruse, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual

 

Tom Davies, Mainstreaming Black Power

 

Adam Fairclough, Better Day Coming:  Blacks and Equality, 1890–2000, 295–321

 

Joe R. Feagin and Harlan Hahn, Ghetto Revolts: The Politics of Violence in American

Cities

 

James Forman, The Making of Black Revolutionaries

 

Simon Hall, ‘On The Tail of the Panther: Black Power and the 1967 Convention of

the National Conference for New Politics,’ Journal of American Studies 37 (2003), 59–78.

 

Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer, Voices of Freedom, Chaps 15 and 16

 

Peniel E. Joseph, ‘Black Liberation Without Apology: Reconceptualizing the Black

Power Movement,’ Black Scholar 31 (Fall/Winter 2001), 2–19

 

Peniel E. Joseph, Waiting ’Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black

Power in America

 

Martin Luther King, Jr, ‘Black Power Defined’ in James W. Washington, ed., A Testament of Hope, 303–12

 

Richard H. King, Civil Rights and the Idea of Freedom, Chap. 6

 

Daniel Matlin, ‘“Lift Up Yr Self!” Reinterpreting Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Black Power, and the Uplift Tradition,’ Journal of American History 93 (2006), 91−116

 

August Meier, et al., Black Protest Thought in the Twentieth Century, Part 4        

 

Manning Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion, Chap. 5

 

Leonard N. Moore, Carl B. Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power

 

Huey P. Newton, Revolutionary Suicide

 

Bobby Seale, Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P.

Newton

 

Christopher B. Strain, Pure Fire: Self-Defense as Activism in the Civil Rights Era

 

Thomas Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

 

Stephen Tuck, We Ain’t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama, chap. 10

 

Timothy B. Tyson, Radio Free Dixie, Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power

                                              

William L. Van Deburg, New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965–1975

 

 

 

BLACK POLITICS AND BLACK LIFE IN THE POST-CIVIL RIGHTS ERA

 

 

Chuck D and Yusuf Jah, Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality

 

Michael Eric Dyson, Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black

 Culture

 

Peter Guralnick, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom

 

Mark Anthony Neal, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public

Culture

 

Ray Pratt, Rhythm and Resistance: The Political Uses of American Popular Music

 

Eithne Quinn, ‘“It’s a Doggy-Dogg World”: Black Cultural Politics, Gangsta Rap,

and the Post-Soul Man’ in Peter J. Ling and Sharon Monteith, eds, Gender

in the Civil Rights Movement, 187–214

 

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Race Music: Black Cultures from Behop to Hip-Hop

 

Tricia Rose, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America

 

Tricia Rose, ‘“Fear of a Black Planet”: Rap Music and Black Cultural Politics in the

1990s

 

Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and

Race Relations

 

Brian Ward and Jenny Walker, “‘Bringing the Races Closer’?: Black-Oriented Radio

in the South and the Civil Rights Movement’ in Richard King and Helen Taylor, eds, Dixie Debates: Perspectives on Contemporary Southern Cultures, 130–49

 

 

 

BARACK OBAMA AND THE IDEA OF A POST-RACIAL AMERICA

 

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

 

Molefi Kete Asanti, ‘Barack Obama and the Dilemma of Power: An Africological Observation,’ Journal of Black Studies 38 (2007)

 

Adam Fairclough,‘What Makes Jesse Run?’ Journal of American Studies 22 (1988)

 

Robert Cook, Sweet Land of Liberty: The African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in the Twentieth Century, 251–87

 

James Forman, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

 

Charles Henry, Culture and African-American Politics

 

David A. Hollinger, ‘Amalgamation and Hypodescent: The Question of Ethnoracial Mixture in the History of the United States,’ American Historical Review 108 (2003)

 

Manning Marable, Black American Politics: From the Washington Marches to Jesse Jackson

 

Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father

 

Marcus Pohlmann, Black Politics in Conservative America

 

Adolph L. Reed, Jr, The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro–American Politics

 

Barbara A. Reynolds, Jesse Jackson: America’s David

 

Robert C. Rowland and John M. Jones, ‘Recasting the American Dream and American Politics: Barack Obama’s Keynote Address to the 2004 Democratic Convention,’ Quarterly Journal of Speech 93 (2007)

 

Ron Walters, ‘Barack Obama and the Politics of Blackness,’ Journal of Black Studies 38 (2007)

 

 

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Robert Cook (04.02.2019)

CLASSES 

Class 1: Introduction: The Black Freedom Struggle in the USA Before 1933  

 

Class 2: African Americans and the New Deal

 

Class 3: The Forgotten Revolution? Black Americans in the Second World War

 

Class 4: Civil Rights in Cold War America

 

Class 5: The Movement Takes Off: The Sit-Ins and Freedom Rides

 

Class 6: Martin Luther King and the Nonviolent Civil Rights Movement

 

Class 7: Ella Baker and the Grassroots Freedom Struggle

 

Class 8: Black Power and the End of the Civil Rights Movement

 

Class 9: Black Politics in the Post-Civil Rights Era and the Election of Barack Obama

 

Class 10: Do Black Lives Matter in Modern America?

Class Topics, QUESTIONS and Readings

 

 

CLASS 1: INTRODUCTION: THE BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLE IN THE USA BEFORE 1933

 

Summary

 

This class provides students with an introduction to the history of African Americans during the eras of Reconstruction and racial segregation. Reconstruction (1863-1877) was a remarkable period in American history, not least because it witnessed the election of black politicians to high political office within just a few years of emancipation. This class explores the tenacious efforts of black men and women to build strong community institutions across the South in the face of often ferocious white terrorism. While acknowledging the importance of the black family and the black church, it places the ongoing freedom struggle within its historical constraints, not the least of which was the deep and enduring prejudice of local whites. That prejudice found concrete form in the emergence of the Jim Crow South, a society marked by the legal segregation of the races and, for blacks, the ever-present threat of white violence. Although this system was oppressive, it was not wholly unchanging. Events such as the First World War, the so-called Great Migration of southern blacks to the urban North, and regional economic growth all influenced the lives of African Americans before the New Deal. So too did the ‘accommodationist’ strategy of Booker T. Washington, the most important southern black leader of this period.

 

Questions

 

How successfully did African Americans negotiate the transition from slavery to freedom?

 

Why did the freedpeople fail to secure equal rights and security after the Civil War?

 

Account for the creation of the system Jim Crow. How did the system change between 1890 and 1933?

 

 

 

CLASS 2: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE NEW DEAL

 

 

The New Deal of the 1930s was a watershed in American history because it witnessed major federal government intervention in the economy and society. Blacks, historically Republican in their orientation when they could vote, now switched to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Democratic party in ever increasing numbers. This week we will investigate not only whether their political switch brought them significant dividends but also the extent and consequences of enhanced interracial cooperation within the American labour movement.

 

 

 

Questions

 

Did the New Deal help or hinder African Americans?

 

How did blacks negotiate the Great Depression?

 

 

Reading

 

Harvard Sitkoff, ‘The Impact of the New Deal on Black Southerners,’ in James C. Cobb et al, eds, The New Deal and the South: Essays (1984), 117–134.  

 

 

Document

 

W.E.B. Du Bois, ‘Postscript,’ Crisis, May 1934 (Available via Google Books at https://www.google.com/search?q=du+bois%2C+segregation%2C+may+1934&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab)

 

 

 

CLASS 3: THE FORGOTTEN REVOLUTION? AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

 

Historian Richard Dalfiume has described World War II as the ‘forgotten years of the Negro revolution.’ During the conflict African Americans fought a war on two fronts. Although unprecedented numbers of black men and women served in the United States Army, African Americans continued to endure widespread discrimination and prejudice in civilian life. This class assesses how African Americans were asked to risk their lives to restore democracy overseas while being denied basic rights at home. This situation in turn heralded a new era of black political mobilisation, but the actual process of racial reform remained painfully slow.

 

 

Questions

 

What impact did Word War II have on African Americans?

 

To what extent, if any, did the war undermine Jim Crow?

 

 

Reading

 

Richard Dalfiume, ‘The “Forgotten Years” of the Negro Revolution,’ in Allen

Weinstein and Frank Otto Gatell, eds, The Segregation Era, 18631954: A Modern Reader, 235–47 (1970).

 

 

 

Document

 

A. Philip Randolph, ‘Call to Negro America to March on Washington for Jobs and Equal Participation in National Defense on July 1, 1941,’ Black Worker, May 1941

 

 

 

CLASS 4: CIVIL RIGHTS IN COLD WAR AMERICA

 

Summary

 

The Cold War had a mixed impact on African Americans. Initially, Soviet efforts to embarrass the United States by using the latter’s dismal race relations as a weapon of propaganda induced the federal government to take steps to put its house in order. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v Board of Education that segregated schools were unconstitutional represented the culmination of federal desegregation efforts in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The global struggle to contain communism, however, ultimately caused Americans to prioritise consensus over conflict – left-led unions that had done much to promote civil rights were cowed during the McCarthy era and southern segregationists strove to suppress civil rights activity by linking it to subversion. Black protest against the indignities of Jim Crow continued at the local level, however, yielded a major victory in 1956 when the buses of Montgomery, Alabama, were integrated after a year-long campaign led by a dynamic young preacher named Martin Luther King. Many white southerners responded angrily to what they saw as attempts by an oppressive federal government to change their way of life. As historian Michael Klarman suggests, their campaign of ‘massive resistance’ to preserve Jim Crow had important consequences for the developing civil rights movement.

 

 

Questions

 

In what respects did the Cold War assist African Americans?

 

In what respects did it obstruct their progress?

 

What impact did the Brown decision have on the black freedom struggle?

 

 

Reading

 

Michael Klarman, ‘How Brown Changed Race: The Backlash Thesis,’ Journal of American History 81 (1994)

 

 

Document

 

Zora Neale Hurston, letter to the Orlando Sentinel, 11 August 1955

 

 

 

CLASS 5: THE MOVEMENT TAKES OFF – THE SIT-INS AND FREEDOM RIDES OF 1960 AND 1961

 

Despite the Brown decision and the success of the Montgomery bus boycott, the civil rights movement stalled in the late 1950s. Massive resistance to court-ordered school desegregation in the South prompted the Eisenhower administration to tread carefully. Tokenism and gradualism characterised federal civil rights policy in the late 1950s and leading civil rights groups like the NAACP and the SCLC did little to accelerate the pace of change. In February 1960 four black students in North Carolina kickstarted the modern civil rights movement by protesting at a segregated lunch counter in downtown Greensboro. Their protest inspired a wave of student protests across the South, supplied eager new foot soldiers for the movement, and led directly to the creation of a vibrant new organisation, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC or ‘Snick’). This lecture explains the significance of the sit-ins and the well-publicised ‘freedom rides’ of 1961 which furnished Americans with visible proof of the violence underpinning Jim Crow.

 

 

Questions

 

Consider the view that the modern civil rights movement began with the student sit-ins of 1960

 

What impact did the ‘freedom rides’ have on the black freedom struggle?

 

 

Reading

 

Iwan Morgan, ‘The New Movement: The Student Sit-Ins in 1960,’ in Morgan and Philip Davies, eds, From Sit-Ins to SNCC: The Student Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (2013)

 

Document

 

Excerpts from interview with Franklin McCain (1977)

 

 

 

CLASS 6: MARTIN LUTHER KING AND NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION

 

When most people think of the modern civil rights movement they think immediately of Rev. Martin Luther King, the charismatic head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The SCLC engineered a number of high-profile campaigns including, most importantly, Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 and Selma, Alabama, in 1965. This class assesses the effectiveness of King’s strategy of non-violent direct action and demonstrates King’s greatness as a civil rights leader while also uncovering his very human flaws. It also makes it clear that the movement’s success cannot be attributed to King alone.

 

 

Questions

 

What made Martin Luther King such an effective civil rights leader?

 

How did the nonviolent civil rights movement destroy Jim Crow?

 

 

Reading

 

August Meier, ‘On the Role of Martin Luther King,’ in John Bracey, August Meier, and Elliott Rudwick, Conflict and Competition: Studies in the Recent Black Protest Movement, 84–92.

 

 

Document

 

Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘I Have a Dream,’ in James M. Washington, ed., The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr, 217–20.

Online at: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

 

 

 

CLASS 7: ELLA BAKER AND THE GRASSROOTS FREEDOM STRUGGLE

 

At the same time that national leaders like King were leading public campaigns to challenge segregation which attracted the glare of national publicity, other civil rights activists were taking a very different approach to the question of leadership in the fight for racial equality. In the Deep South the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) attempted to politically educate and organise rural southern blacks and stop the disfranchisement of African Americans in the region. Inspired by the teachings of veteran civil rights organizer Ella Baker, SNCC articulated the principles of ‘participatory democracy’: an egalitarian, grass-roots organisational philosophy that emphasised the potential and capacity of ordinary African Americans, women as well as men, to lead the struggle for racial equality. Participatory democracy was the watchword of SNCC during the Mississippi ‘freedom summer’ of 1964, one of the most interesting and consequential of all civil rights campaigns.

 

 

Questions

 

How did Ella Baker assist the civil rights movement?

 

What does a grassroots perspective add to our understanding of the civil rights movement?

 

How effective was the Mississippi movement and what were its consequences?

 

 

 

Reading

 

Robert Cook, Sweet Land of Liberty? The African-American Struggle for Civil Rights in the Twentieth Century (1998), 150–75.

 

 

Document

 

Ella Baker, ‘Bigger Than a Hamburger,’ http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bakerbigger.html

 

 

 

CLASS 8: BLACK POWER AND THE END OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

 

 

The Black Power movement of the late 1960s shocked white Americans. Diverse in its origins and its manifestations, it appealed to some conservatives as well as radicals. This week we will explore the many definitions of Black Power and assess its profound impact, cultural as well political, on the wider freedom struggle. We will also consider the nationalist ideas of Malcolm X and assess his influence on a younger generation of African American radicals who were at the forefront of the Black Power movement of the late 1960s. The Black Panthers will feature significantly in our deliberations and we will ask hard questions about the wisdom of the group’s media-conscious sensationalising of America’s ‘race problem.’

 

 

Questions

 

Who was Malcolm X and what was his contribution to the black freedom struggle?

 

What was Black Power?

 

Did Black Power help or hinder African Americans?

 

 

Reading

 

Rhonda Williams, Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (2014), 127–64.

 

‘What We Want, What We Believe,’ Black Panther Party Platform and Program, October 1966

 

 

 

 

 

CLASS 9: BLACK POLITICS AFTER 1965 AND THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA

 

 

Despite frustrations caused by the failure of the civil rights movement to deliver full equality, black politicians won some significant victories in the late twentieth century, particularly in large cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles where African Americans constituted a substantial percentage of the voting population. This class compares and contrasts the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama (both Chicago organisers in their time). It probes (and questions) the ability of coalition politics – at the local and national levels – to deliver economic progress for ordinary blacks and assesses the significance and mixed results of Obama’s remarkable victory in the 2008 US presidential election.

 

 

Questions

 

Did mainstream political activity after 1970 assist African Americans? If so, how? If not, why not?

 

Why did Barack Obama succeed in 2008 when Jesse Jackson had failed in the 1980s?

 

Was Obama the president that African Americans expected him to be?

 

 

Reading

 

J. Phillip Thompson, III, Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities, and the Call for Deep Democracy, 39–74.

 

Wail Qasim, ‘Yes, Barack Obama was the first black president – but he didn't improve the lives of black Americans,’ Independent, 12 November 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/barack-obama-donald-trump-us-presidency-black-lives-matter-hurricane-katrina-a7413416.html

 

 

 

CLASS 10: DO BLACK LIVES MATTER IN MODERN AMERICA?

 

Half a century after the landmark civil and voting rights legislation of the 1960s African Americans remain at the foot of the ladder in almost every socio-economic category of American life. This class will consider and question the argument of some on the American Right that the election of Obama confirmed that America had become a ‘post-racial’ state in which the nation’s history of racial discrimination, and the legacies of that discrimination, had at last been overcome. It will also evaluate African American responses to the demonstrable persistence of racial oppression in the United States, evidenced most clearly by the mass incarceration of black men. We will conclude by examining the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement and assess the prospects for the ongoing freedom struggle.

 

 

Questions

 

How and how effectively did American conservatives undermine the black freedom struggle in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries?

 

Why are so many blacks incarcerated in the United States today?

 

How does the BLM movement compare with the civil rights movement?

 

 

Reading

 

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul (2016), 179–205.

 

 

Optional Listening

 

Radio Interview with Michelle Alexander: ‘Legal Scholar: Jim Crow Still Exists In America: National Public Radio, NPR.org, (17 January 2012), https://www.npr.org/2012/01/16/145175694/legal-scholar-jim-crow-still-exists-in-america?t=1531312776916

 

 
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