AFR 350
Organizing Resistance: Black Activism, Then and Now Spring 2016
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
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Class Details

This Africana class will be an experiential learning class designed both to study and to do activism as a way of learning how to be effective organizers in the Black world today. Our study component will focus on important past organizations and movements–Fannie Lou Hamer and the organizing of the Mississippi Freedom Summer and “Freedom Democrats” challenge to the Democratic Party, The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, The National Welfare Rights Organization, The Poor People’s Budget, The Free Breakfast Program of the Black Panther Party–with an eye towards understanding how they actually organized and determining their successes and failure. The activism component of the class will include work in Pittsfield and/or Albany–with immigrant rights group, prison rights organizations, educational entities–and we will take a Spring break activism trip (for one of our two weeks off), either to Ferguson, Missouri, or to Florida to continue work on environmental justice already in place via Africana WS 25. We will also be exploring online activism, especially in relationship to the growing activism against police and other racist violence in Ferguson, Missouri, Sanford, Florida, Oakland, California and New York City. This Africana Studies course is an EDI course focusing on the experiences and expressions of the culturally diverse peoples of African descent in the United States, as well as the myriad ways in which they confront, negotiate, and at times challenge dominant U.S. hierarchies of race, culture, gender, and class.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3219
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two short 5-page papers; final portfolio and/or final paper; class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Africana Studies concentrators;
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Attributes: AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
JLST Interdepartmental Electives

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