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The Civil Rights Movement
History 498
Fall 2013

Professor: Steve Estes
Office: Stevenson 2070 D
Phone: 707.664.2424
Office Hours: T/Th 2:30-4:00 pm
Class Meets: Tuesdays 5:00-8:40 pm

Course Objectives:
This course is intended to give a broad overview of civil rights history and historiography and to encourage active documentation and participation in current struggles for social justice. The course focuses on the changes in race relations wrought by the civil rights movement of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s as well as the movement’s legacies that still influence American society today. We begin our examination of the modern civil rights movement with a comparison of several scholarly overviews that will ground us in the chronology of the struggle. The remainder of the course will be a thematic and loosely chronological journey through the various stages of the movement for racial equality. We will conclude with a look at race relations and activism today. Throughout the course, we will be working on the craft of research and the art of writing. By the end of the semester we will not only have a better understanding of what other scholars have said about the civil rights movement, we will also have contributed our own original efforts at chronicling the history of the struggle.

Texts:
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
Peniel Joseph, Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour
Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Daniel McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street
Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father
James T. Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education
Bruce Watson, Freedom Summer

Course Requirements:
Classroom Participation & Reading: As an advanced history seminar, meeting once a week on Tuesdays (5:00 pm - 8:40 pm), this course requires that students keep up with the reading and actively participate in class discussions. At the beginning of the term students will choose one week to read both the required and optional readings so that they can lead the discussion for half of the allotted class time. (20% of final grade) You must come to consult with me the week before you lead the discussion.

Papers: There are five book reviews in this class and one research paper. The reviews are simply one-page, single-spaced book reviews in the style of the American Historical Review or another professional historical journal. Half of you will be turning in book reviews each week in a random assignment at the beginning of the semester. The term paper, dealing with any aspect of the civil rights movement, is 20 pages in length, and it will be based on primary and secondary sources. Students will give a 5-7 minute presentation of their research at the end of the semester. (Book Reviews: 10% each for a total of 50% of final grade; Term Paper: 30% of final grade—including grades on rough drafts and on the research presentation at the end of the semester.)

Course Schedule

Week I: Introduction 8.20
Required Reading: None
Part 1: Student Introductions & Discussion of Reviews / Research Topics
Part 2: View & Discuss Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls

Week II: The Long and the Short of It: Movement Historiography 8.27
Required Reading: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past” Journal of American History (March 2005): 1233-1263; Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua and Clarence Lang, “The ‘Long Movement’ as Vampire: Temporal and Spatial Fallacies in Recent Black Freedom Studies” Journal of African American History (March 2007): 265-288.
Part 1: Discuss Jim Crow and the Beginnings of the Freedom Struggle
Part 2: View & Discuss Eyes on the Prize (Volume 1)

Week III: Beginning with Malcolm Little 9.3
Required Reading: Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Prologue- Ch. 8)
Part 1: Student-led Discussion and Reviews
Part 2: View & Discuss Malcolm X (Part 1)

Week IV: Beyond Malcolm X 9.10
Required Reading: Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Ch. 9-Epilogue)
Part 1: Student-led Discussion and Reviews
Part 2: Discussion Malcolm X (Part 2)

Week V: Civil Rights & the Courts 9.17
Required Reading: Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education (Chapters 1-5, 8-10) & Cass Sunstein, “Did Brown Matter?” The New Yorker May 3, 2004: 102-106. (On reserve)
Part 1: Student-Led Discussion & Reviews
Part 2: View & Discuss Eyes On the Prize (Volume 2)

Week VI: Civil Rights & Sex 9.24
Required Reading: McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street (Prologue, Chs. 1-5, 7, & Epilogue)
Part 1: Student-led Discussion and Reviews
Part 2: Debate (Interracial Marriage vs. Gay Marriage)

Week VII: Civil Rights & the Deep South 10.1
Required Reading: Watson, Freedom Summer
Part 1: Student-led Discussion and Reviews
Part 2: View and Discuss Eyes on the Prize (Volume 5)

Week VIII: Civil Rights & Politics 10.08
Required Writing: Research Proposal (1-page on thesis and sources)
Required Reading: Research your character for Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way. Learn how your character’s life and experiences shape his/her views of civil rights and national politics in 1964.
You should also read your classmates’ proposals.
Part 1: Read through of Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way
Part 2: Discussion of Play and Paper Proposals

Week IX: Black Power 10.15
Required Reading: Joseph, Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour (Pref, Intro, Chs. 6-11, Epilogue)
Part 1: Student-led Discussion & Reviews
Part 2: View Panther

Week X: Research Week 10.22
No Class

Week XI: Samurai or Snitch 10.29
Required Writing: Draft of research paper introduction (two pages)
Required Reading: Diane Fujino, Samurai among Panthers (Intro and Ch. 6); Seth Rosenfeld [articles] (On Reserve)
Part 1: Student-led Discussion & Reviews
Part 2: Primary Sources: Oral History and FBI Records

Week XII: Barry Obama and the “Post-Civil Rights Era” 11.05
Required Reading: Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father (Skip Chs. 12, 16, 17)
Part 1: Student-led Discussion & Reviews
Part 2: Video Clip: Obama, “A More Perfect Union” (2008)

Week XIII: Hip Hop History 11.12
Required Reading: Robin Kelly, “Kickin’ Reality, Kickin’ Ballistics: ‘Gangsta rap’ and Post-Industrial Los Angeles” in Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (New York: The Free Press, 1994) [On Reserve]; Derrick P. Alridge, “From Civil Rights to Hip Hop: Toward a Nexus of Ideals,” Journal of African American History (Summer 2005): 226-252.
Required Listening: Bring in audio clip and lyrics from a “political” hip hop song.
Part 1: Student-led Discussion & Reviews
Part 2: Audio Clips (“Political” Hip Hop)

Week XIV: Criminal Justice? 11.19
Required Reading: Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
Part 1: Student-led Discussion & Reviews
Part 2:

Week XV: The Imperfect Storm 11.26
Required Viewing: Spike Lee, When the Levees Broke (Part 1)
Part 1: View the film in class.
Part 2: Student-led Discussion & Reviews

Week XVI: Student Presentations 12.03
Required Writing: Research Paper Due
Student Presentations

Final Exam Complete Student Presentations 12.10 (5:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m.)
Complete Student Presentations