Johnson Center 240A
Section Information for Spring 2017
The course examines the underlying causes of the increased violence and oppression African Americans faced post-Reconstruction and the organizational responses of blacks to the drastic curtailment of their basic rights. During this period of Jim Crow ascendancy, African American life was circumscribed by race riots and lynching, police brutality, segregation, job exclusion, housing discrimination, unequal educational opportunities and disfranchisement. Race and gender ideology figured prominently in white justification for violence and the restrictions meted out against blacks. In addition to examining the changing political and economic conditions that gave rise to various protest and civil rights organizations and movements, the course analyzes the different personalities and ideologies of leaders in these organizations, explores the class, color, race, and intergenerational divisions that sometimes impeded a movement’s effectiveness, and investigates the gender politics of the organizations and the gendered meanings of what it meant to be black and white in America. The organizations that form part of this course’s study include the Tuskegee Machine, the Afro-American Council, the Niagara Movement, the National Association of Colored Women, the NAACP, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the Father Divine Peace Mission, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the People’s Committee, and the March on Washington Movement.
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