Section Information for Fall 2012This course takes as its subject of study a time in American history that the famous historian Rayford Logan termed the “nadir of American race relations.” The course focuses on the experiences and struggles of blacks in the United States as they formed organizations to fight against their consignment to an inferior citizenship status following the end of Reconstruction and the institution of Jim Crow segregation. Many of the primary leaders of this time period were journalists by profession and left an extensive record detailing their conceptualization of black repression and their strategies for gaining equal rights. The course will examine how blacks responded organizationally to race riots and lynching, police brutality, segregation, job exclusion, housing discrimination, and disfranchisement. This response was developed within the social context of the Great Migration of blacks out of the South and the immigration of Caribbean blacks who settled in Northern urban centers. The course will review the changing political and economic conditions that gave rise to various protest and civil rights organizations as well as the different ideologies of the leaders in these organizations and the class, color and intergenerational divisions that sometimes impeded a movement’s effectiveness. In addition the course will investigate the gender politics of the organizations and the gendered meanings of what it meant to be black and white in America.
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