Tueday 1-3:50

Dr. Deborah Sanders

Office Rossey 538, 200-3153 office hours: TR 11-1, by appointment


     This course is an examination of the historical, psychological, cultural, and social forces that shape the identity and culture of the people of  African descent in the United States and elsewhere  within the African Diaspora.  The subject matter will be explored thematically, focusing upon Africa’s rich cultural history, contributions of African descendants in the Diaspora, the specific cultural contributions of African Americans and the challenges of identity associated with African descendants continual struggle against racism.  The scope of the course is vast, therefore it must be remembered that only a survey of issues concerning Black Identity and Culture can be addressed.  It is hoped that the course will encourage students to further their knowledge and  the study of this important subject.




1.     To provide students with an understanding of the societal forces that have shaped the identity and the

culture of African Americans in the United States.


2.    To present a panorama of information about the social, political, and cultural contributions of

       African and African Americans to world civilizations.


3.       To profile a number of important African and African Americans who have made significant

       contributions in the literary, art, music, dance, theater, and political fields.


4.       To enhance the students academic skills through oral reporting, reading and writing assignments.






Week 1:                Introduction: Notes



Week 2:                African American Studies: Trends, Developments, and Future Challenges


                                Reading Assignment:

              a.)   p. 5   “The Study of the Negro”

b.)     p. 24  “Black Studies, Multiculturalism, and the Future of America

Formation and Meeting of Groups


Week 3:                Africa and the Diaspora: The Ties That Bind


                                Reading Assignment:

p.45  African History and Western Civilization”

p. 83 “Reflections on Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves”

Video:  Caravans of Gold

Meeting of Groups


Week 4                  Africa and the Diapsora: The Ties That Bind


                                Reading Assignment:

a.)     p. 58 “ The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: Some Interpretations of their

       Significance in the Development of the United States and the Western World”

b.)     p. 97 “Symptoms of Liberty and Black Head Signposts: David Walker and Nat Turner”


Week 5                  Black Expressive Culture: Music and Literature


                                Reading Assignment:

a.)      p.156 “Africanisms in African American Music”

b.)     p. 236 “Black Arts Movement”

Video:  Jazz in America


Week 6                  Discovering the Meaning of Black Identity


                                Reading Assignment:

a.)     p. 280  “African Foundations for Black Psychology”

b.)     p. 293  “To Make Them Stand in Fear”

c.)     p. 298  “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”

Meeting of Groups


Week  7                 Library Research Session /Midterm Examination  (Take Home)



Week 8                  Spring Break




Week 9                  Racism, Resistance, and Radicalism


a.)      8p. 385 “Learning to Read and Growing in Knowledge”

b.)     p 435  “The Demand for Black Labor: Historical Noted on the Political Economy of Racism”

d.)    p.588  The Curse of the Black Middle Class Leadership: A Cultural Analysis”


Week 10               Research Session (This session will be devoted to the organization and presentation

3/25                        of  your Group Report)


Week 11               Group Report: African Americans in Art



Week 12               Group Report: African Americans in Literature



Week 13               Group Report: African Americans in Cinema



Week 14               Group Report: African American in Music



Week 15              

4/29                        Group Report: African American In Dance

                                Research Paper Due


Week 16               Discussion and Final Review



Week of May 13   Final Examination




1.       Text:  Floyd Hayes.  A Turbulent Voyage: Readings in African American Studies

2.       Group Report:  You will work with a group to produce a two hour report for the class on one of the broad topic areas listed above.  Your group will make decisions about what and how to present the topic.  The first step is to research the topic area and then decide the individual report for each group member.  Your group may decide to use a variety of techniques and material to produce your report.  Be creative and have fun.  (100 points)

3.       Research Paper:  You will submit a 10-15 page research paper on the topic area you have chosen for your group report.  Paper must include Title page, table of contents, sub-topics, bibliography.  (100 points)

4.       Mid-term Examination (100 points)

5.       Final Examination (100 points)

6.       Oral Report:  (50 points) Each student will report on one of the chapters assigned in the text. You will

a.)      summarize the key points , provide analysis

b.)     use the discussion questions in the chapter to guide your presentation. 

c.)      Do not read from the book directly.  Do not plagiarize your report.

7.    Class Participation (50 points)  You will be graded for contributions to class discussions


Paul Robeson

Katherine Dunham


WEB DuBois


Billie Holiday



Fats Waller