HIST 254

African American Voices: A Survey of African American History

This course explores the historical experiences of African Americans in the United States from the colonial period to the present. The class studies the diversity of experiences that have constituted African American life, exploring the lives of individual African Americans, while also looking at the development and evolution of African American communities, and the interactions of African Americans with other Americans. Because racism has played such a significant role in shaping African American lives, students also explore the construction of the concept of "race," the interrelationship of the political, cultural, social, and intellectual forces that have given meaning to that concept, and the ways African Americans have responded to it across time. The course texts include not only the writings of contemporary historians, but also the historical writings, speeches, and artistic productions of African Americans, with particular emphasis on autobiographies.