12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR
Section Information for Spring 2018
At the turn of the 20th century popular culture categorized African American women as desexualized Mammies or immoral Jezebels. These devastating depictions were also linked to the myth of black men as hypersexual rapists of white women whose image was infused with a heightened purity. This course examines the simultaneous struggles of black women to defend their name and fight all forms of race and sex proscriptions from the turn of the century period of Jim Crow segregation and disfranchisement through the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of the 1960s. The course investigates the nature of black women’s alliances by analyzing how productive alliances were formed as well as paying careful attention to the sexism they encountered from African American men jealous of leadership positions and the racism they encountered with white women who embraced race and class privilege. The history of the long struggle for civil rights in the US has traditionally been told through a gendered lens of male leadership. This course demonstrates that the activism of women was central to struggles to overturn segregation, end lynching, and secure political and civil rights. The course explores the effects of sexist and racist ideologies on their lives and activism, the changes in their economic and political status, the legal and social barriers they faced, the ways in which they were defined within families and within popular culture, and their influence in political and social movements.
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