Spring 2022

African American History from Reconstruction to the Present

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-241  |  History, as HIST-248

Formerly listed as: BLST-58  |  HIST-34  |  HIST-42


Elizabeth Herbin-Triant (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 248 [US/TR/TS; or may be included in AF concentration, but not AF for distribution in the History major], and BLST 241[US]) This course surveys African-American history from Emancipation through the Trump presidency, exploring topics such as Reconstruction, the age of Jim Crow, the Great Migration and Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements. Major questions to be addressed include the following: What visions for freedom did African Americans hold in the aftermath of slavery? How have black Americans fought to secure social, economic, and political rights? How has government both supported and subverted black people’s efforts to lay claim to citizenship? How have gender and capitalism shaped the lives and labors of black Americans? What have been the afterlives of slavery and segregation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, particularly in the areas of voting rights, housing, mass incarceration, policing, and health outcomes? Students will use both primary and secondary sources to investigate how—in the face of numerous challenges—African Americans created vibrant new cultures, accumulated property, built strong communities, and challenged the United States to live up to its founding ideals. Readings include foundational texts in modern African-American history, including writings by Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Michelle Obama, among others. Two meetings per week.Spring semester. Limited to 25 students. Professor Herbin-Triant.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to History and Black Studies majors, and then by class year with highest priority given to seniors.

Cost: $$106.00 ?

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
A Black Women's History of the United States Beacon Press Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross TBD
he Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II Beacon Press Douglas A. Blackmon TBD
Terror in the heart of freedom The University of North Carolina Press Hannah Rosén TBD


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2025