Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr.
Scott and Dorothy Bullitt
Professor of American History
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African American History | African American History in the West (Now available at www.blackpast.org)  

History 322:
20th Century African American History

Syllabus and Course Assignments

Download Course Syllabus (word document)

Spring, 2008
Office Hours: MWF 10:00-11:00
Teaching Assistant: Casey Nichols caseydn@u.washington.edu



The history of African Americans has been a paradox of incredible triumph in the face of tremendous human tragedy. This course will present a detailed examination of the black experience in America from 1900 to today to provide an understanding of the role African Americans have played in the history of the American nation and an assessment of why they were until the recent past, excluded from the promise of American democracy. We will continue our analysis of the various political, economic, social, and cultural methods African Americans have employed to survive in an overwhelmingly hostile environment and assess their prospects as they make the final frontal assault on the structure of racially discriminatory institutions. Is the battle against racism and discrimination over? Using a variety of historians and history sources, we shall try to answer that question during this quarter.
Required Textbooks:

Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine and Stanley Harrold, The African American Odyssey (Volume Two)

Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era

Quintard Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina: Readings in African American History (Volume Two)

Additional Resource:
BlackPast.org (www.blackpast.org)

Supplemental Readings:
I have placed on reserve in Odegaard Undergraduate Library additional readings which will help explain African America. As the need arises I may add other articles to the reserve room holdings. All readings other than those in purchased texts are on reserve.

Your course grade is based on three exercises: a midterm exam, a final examination and a 10-12 page research paper (see manual for details on the paper). The midterm is scheduled for the end of the fifth week. Some students will be unable to take the midterm exam with the rest of the class. In that case I ask them to take a makeup exam scheduled for 5:00 6:00 p.m. on the last Friday of instruction during the quarter. The room will be announced later. Since the makeup exam will be penalized 10 points on a 100 point exercise, all students should make every effort to take the exam at its scheduled time.

Those students who perform poorly on the midterm exam (69 or below) have the option of writing a book review to offset that grade. Should you choose to write the review, it can be handed in no later than the Friday of the ninth week of the term. Please read the page titled Optional Book Review Assignment in the manual before initiating your review.

My grading procedures are simple. Since each exam is worth up to 100 points I will average your numerical score. I will also assign a numerical score for your research paper, "C"=75, "C+"=78, etc. Your numerical scores will then be averaged to determine your course grade. Thus if your overall average is 76 your course grade will be the numerical equivalent of a "C" in the UW grading system.

I do not issue "incompletes" to students who by the end of the quarter have not taken an exam, handed in an assigned paper or otherwise met the course requirements. If you have not completed all of the course requirements by the end of exam week, and you have not, by that point, explained why, your grade will be lowered accordingly.

Books on Reserve:
Beth Bailey and David Farber, The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii (New York: The Free Press, 1992)
Robert Gooding-Williams, ed., Reading Rodney King, Reading Urban Uprising (New York: Routledge, 1993)


Week 1: African America at the Dawn of the 20th Century
Hine, Chapters 14-15
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 1
Michael C. Robinson and Frank N. Schubert, "David Fagen: An Afro-American Rebel in the Philippines, 1899-1901," Pacific Historical Review 44:1 (February 1975)

Week 2: The Rise of Militant Protest: The Niagara Movement and the NAACP
Hine, Chapter 16
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapter 1
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 79-90
Film: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, Program 2, Fighting Back, 1896-1917

Weeks 3-4: The Great Migration: Blacks in the Urban North
Hine, Chapter 17
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapter 2
James R. Grossman, "Blowing the Trumpet: The Chicago Defender and Black Migration During World War I," Illinois Historical Journal 78:2 (1985):82-96
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapters 2, 5

Week 5: Prosperity and Depression
Hine, Chapters 18-19
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 90-105
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapter 3
Film: Look for Me in the Whirlwind, Marcus Garvey.


Week 6: World War II and the West Coast Migration
Hine, Chapter 20
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapter 4
Bailey and Farber, The First Strange Place, Chapter 4
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 6

Week 7: We Shall Overcome: 1946-1964
Hine, Chapter 21
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapter 5
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 190-216
Film: Segregation, Northern-Style, 1964

Week 8: The Struggle Continues, The Black Power Era: 1965-1980
Hine, Chapter 22
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapter 6
Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 216-233

Weeks 9-10: African America in the A Conservative Era, 1981-2000
Hine, Chapter 23
Taylor, From Timbuktu to Katrina, Chapters 7-8
Sumi K. Cho, "Korean Americans vs. African Americans: Conflict and Construction," in Robert Gooding-Williams, ed., Reading Rodney King, Reading Urban Uprising, pp. 196-211
Film: Race: The Power of an Illusion