Spring 2024

African-American Political Thought

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-229  |  Political Science, as POSC-229


Jared Loggins (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 229 and BLST 229 [US]) This course surveys the historical and philosophical questions and answers made by African-Americans in response to white supremacy in the nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. Students in the course will explore the form and substance of political appeals on a wide range of themes including leadership, justice, freedom, equality, economic organization, power, and feminism. We will explore questions including: why was Frederick Douglass so adamant about reconstructing the principles of the founding? What were the philosophical arguments made in the nineteenth-century about freed Black persons leaving the United States? Why did unsettling patriarchy and white supremacy form the basis of Anna Julia Cooper’s political vision? What did it mean for African-Americans to form “a nation within a nation"? What were some socialist arguments for racial justice? What is the relationship between identity and political vision? How should we understand class formation in African-American political thought? What were some arguments for and against non-violent self-defense? This course is not just about the various responses by African-Americans to the logic and practice of white supremacy; it is also about the affirmative visions for human life and collective flourishing. Key figures in the course include Frederick Douglass, Martin Delaney, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Claudia Jones, Malcolm X, Ella Baker, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Spring semester.  Assistant Professor Loggins

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: This course is both discussion-based and reading intensive. High participation is a requirement and care will be taken to cultivate an environment in which students feel comfortable embarking on a shared journey of intellectual discovery. We will spend time in the course perfecting our ability to reason with each other by drawing on textual evidence to support our claims. There will be weekly reflection assignments as well as a final paper. Students will learn the skill of close-reading by engaging with key texts in 20th century African-American political thought.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2024