PREREQ: 3 COURSES IN SOCIOLOGY, INCLUDING SOC-UA.0001, SOC-UA.0002, OR SOC-UA.0003, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.
This course provides students with an opportunity to read, think, write, and talk about research and theories about African Americans' experiences in the U.S.—and to explore the ways in which Black folk here have been endangered, enraged, and engaged in societal transformation. While the course is in part designed to answer a specific set of questions about African Americans at various moments in U.S. history, it should also stimulate new questions for research, theory, and debate. The course addresses several core questions including why Africans came to be seen as perpetually enslave-able in a society that claimed to be a democratic republic; why economic and political progress for African Americans seems to have coincided with certain historical events (such as war); how African Americans found a way to resist over 300 years of racial oppression to demand rights collectively, how early patterns of economic, social, and political inequality have contributed to contemporary patterns of inequality in wealth and access to power and privilege; and finally, how racism—anti-black racism in particular—stifles working class whites' and other racial/ethnic minorities' ability to create policies and parties that could work in the interests of all working peoples and all people of color. This course is readings- and discussion-intensive and most appropriate for those in or past their second year of study at NYU.