Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr.
Scott and Dorothy Bullitt
Professor of American History
 
 
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Colloquium in History: HIST 498 A
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WEST
Syllabus and Course Assignments

Download Course Syllabus (Word Document)

INTRODUCTION:
This undergraduate colloquium will critically examine the five centuries of African American history in the American West. Most of the course will examine readings that address the emerging historiography of the field as well as the most important texts that explore that history. The last weeks of the seminar will focus on the crafting of individual papers with sessions devoted to critiquing drafts. The goal of this seminar is twofold. First by critically examining major texts in the field we hope to significantly enhance each student’s knowledge of African American history in the region. Secondly, the research papers generated through the seminar should expand that knowledge base for future students of African American history in the West.

SEMINAR READINGS:
Selecting important and yet available books and articles for a colloquium is always a daunting task. I have tried, within the limits of our institu¬tional and personal resources, to include the best of the methodologically and theoretically critical works now extant in the history of western urban people of color. All of the assigned articles are on electronic reserve through Suzzallo Library. The books are on standard reserve. I would encourage you to purchase used copies to reduce the library demand. Unless otherwise indicated, each book or article that appears on the weekly reading schedule should be read in its entirety.

RESEARCH PAPER:
Each colloquium participant will write a 15-page paper assessing some impor¬tant figure or episode in the history of African Americans in the West. Your paper should draw on primary and secondary sources but should reflect the development of your own interpretation of the issues and events addressed in your topic.

You should observe the following dead¬lines for your paper:

Fourth Colloquium Meeting: A Preliminary title and one-page prospectus of your pap¬er.

Sixth Colloquium Meeting: A four page selected annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources to be used in your paper.

Wednesday of Final Exam Week (noon): Your Paper is due in my office.

PARTICIPATION IN COLLOQUIUM:
Each colloquium participant is expected to complete and be prepared to discuss all of each week's assigned reading. Each student will be expected to chair at least one seminar meeting. One's responsibilities as chair include leading the discussion of the week's readings. The student chairing the seminar will be expected to have completed all of the assigned readings, as I expect all of the other partici¬pants as well, but she or he, if necessary, should review related readings beyond the colloquium assignment.

GRADING
Your grade will be based upon three components: the quality of your partici¬pation in weekly discussions (20%), your performance as chair of your particular session (30%), and the quality of your research paper, (50%)

Required Textbooks (Purchase):

Quintard Taylor and Shirley Ann Wilson, Moore, eds., African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003)

Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994)

Required Textbooks (on library reserve):

Delilah L. Beasley, Negro Trail Blazers of California, (Oakland: Oakland Tribute, 1919)

Scott Ellsworth, Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982)

Douglas Flamming, Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005)

Nell Irvin Painter, Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Recon¬struc¬tion, (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1976)

W. Sherman Savage, Blacks in The West (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976

Robert O. Self, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003)

Josh Sides, L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003)

Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West (New York: W.W. Norton, 1998)

READING ASSIGNMENTS

Week 1: Introduction: Discussion and Determination of Weekly Assignments

Week 2: Historiography
Lawrence B. de Graaf, “Recognition, Racism and Reflections on the Writing of Western Black History,” Pacific Historical Review 44:1 (February 1975)
Elsa Barkley Brown, “Introduction” to Delilah L. Beasley, Negro Trail Blazers of California
W. Sherman Savage, Blacks in the West, Chapters 1, 5, 6

Week 3: Slavery and Freedom in the West
Dedra S. McDonald, “To Be Black and Female in the Spanish Southwest: Toward a History of African Women on New Spain’s Northern Frontier Jack " in Moore and Taylor, eds., African American Women Confront the West, pp. 31-52
Paul Lack, “Slavery and the Texas Revolution,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 89:2 (October 1985):181-202
Barbara Y. Welke, “Rights of Passage: Gendered-Rights Consciousness and the Quest for Freedom, San Francisco, California, 1850-1870” in Moore and Taylor, eds., African American Women Confront the West, pp. 73-93.

Week 4: To the Frontier
Nell Irvin Painter, Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Recon¬struc¬tion, Chapters 12, 15.
Quintard Taylor, In Search of the Racial Frontier, Chapter 5

Week 5: The Black Urban West
Scott Ellsworth, Death in a Promised Land, Chapters 1-3
Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapters 1, 4
Douglas Flamming, Bound for Freedom, Chapters 1-2

Week 6: World War II
Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 6
Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, “’Women Made the Community’: African American Migrant Women and the Cultural Transformation of the San Francisco East Bay Area,” in Moore and Taylor, eds., African American Women Confront the West, pp. 251-275.
Stuart McElderry, "Building a West Coast Ghetto: African American Housing in Portland, 1910-1960, Pacific Northwest Quarterly 92:3 (Summer 2001):137-148

Week 7: Civil Rights/Black Power
Linda Williams Reese, “Clara Luper and the Civil Rights Movement in Oklahoma City, 1958-1964,” in Moore and Taylor, eds., African American Women Confront the West, pp. 328-343
Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 7
Robert O. Self, American Babylon, Chapters 6-8
Josh Sides, L.A. City Limits, Chapters 5-6

Weeks 8-10: No Class Meeting, Prepare Research Papers

Week 11: Presentation of Paper Topics