AFS 310 The Black Freedom Struggle


This course will explore the evolution of African American freedom struggles over the course of the twentieth century. It will survey the critical organizations, institutions, and figures of the Black freedom struggle and will examine the ideological diversity of a dynamic, often contentious struggle that encompassed ever-shifting combinations of uplift politics, black nationalism, liberalism, conservatism, and leftism. It will explore critical Black lives over the course of the semester, including Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Pauli Murray, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, the founders of Black Lives Matter, contemporary prison abolitionists, and others. The course will also introduce students to foundational debates and issues through the interdisciplinary lens of Africana Studies. Additionally, it will push students to ponder how the political, socioeconomic, and cultural endeavors of African Americans have and continue to alter conventional understandings of "freedom," "justice," "democracy," and "equity" within and beyond the United States.