HIST 304
Africa and the United States: From the Atlantic Slave Trade to Black Panther Spring 2020
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
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Class Details

This course examines the history of Africa since the eighteenth century by exploring the connections between the African continent and United States. By taking a Pan-African and international approach, the class will highlight how the histories of both places have been deeply intertwined. The course is organized around four themes. The first is the impact of African enslavement on both continents and the way African social practices were carried across the ocean and transformed by slavery and abolition. We will then turn to the “back to Africa” movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explore why different groups of African-Americans sought to return to the continent of their origin, and what impact this had on those living in Africa. The third theme is the deepening involvement of American missionaries, the US government and non-governmental organizations in Africa, which accelerated in the twentieth century. The final section explores the important links between Black freedom movements in the United States and anti-colonial and anti-apartheid movements in Africa. The course will conclude with a consideration of the current state of Africa-US connections in light of the recent blockbuster film, Black Panther. Against this backdrop, students will engage in new research over the course of the semester on the history of Williams’ historical links with Africa.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 3262
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: discussion participation, map quiz, two short papers (~4 pages), and a final research paper (6-8 pages)
Prerequisites: none, open to all students; some background in African history will be useful
Enrollment Preferences: History majors, Africana Studies concentrators, American Studies majors; seniors, juniors, sophomores; or first-year students with some background in African history
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: This course focuses on the effects of racism and colonialism on different peoples of African descent and key episodes when Black solidarity was forged across great physical distance between the United States and Africa, as well as episodes where it was compromised (by forms of difference based on place of birth, language, religion, and class.) Through class readings, discussion, and the final group project, the course will help students assess what foundations have allowed for trans-Atlantic col
Attributes: HIST Group A Electives - Africa
HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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