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AFAM 4055

Historical Survey of African American Thought

This course enables students to understand that the different social and historical contexts in which individuals function as well as their personal experiences influence their thought and the level of effectiveness of their interactions with their own communities as well as with the larger society and to recognize the similarities as well as the differences in the thought of the people under review.  Using primary source readings, lectures, and class discussions, students will examine representative works of selected African American social, cultural, and political thinkers--male and female--who functioned from the ninetenneth- into the twenty-first centuries. Lectures present the broader historical contexts in which these people lived. The course considers these individuals chronologically and focuses on approximately ten subjects, including but not limited to, Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Martin Luther King, Jr., Angela Davis, and Cornel West.  Students will demonstrate their critical and analytical skills in writing papers and essay examiniations.


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Study within African American cultural history provides a basis for understanding political, social, and economic relations throughout human history.