Dec 09, 2022  
2022-2023 College Catalog 
2022-2023 College Catalog
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AFA 120 - The African American Experience

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 Lecture Periods 0 lab periods

The study of African Americans in the United States. Includes historical survey of the experience of African American people in the United States from their origins in Africa to enslavement, emancipation and reconstruction through the 20th century to the second reconstruction, civil rights, and Black Power movements. Also includes key issues of Black families, Black feminism, and the economic and political development of the African American people into the 21st century, marked by the Presidency of Barack Obama, Black Lives Matter, and beyond.

Gen-Ed: Meets AGEC - SBS and C; Meets CTE - SBS and C.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the origins and major themes of African American Studies.
  2. Identify key periods, events, movements, and issues for African Americans from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  3. Describe the intersections of social constructions–such as race, class, gender, and sexuality-in the development of the discipline.
  4. Discuss the historical and sociological context of becoming African American.

  1. Introduction
    1. The Birth of African American Studies
    2. Major themes in AFAM Studies
    3. Founding theories and research methodologies
    4. Intersectionality as a Lens
  2. Becoming African American
    1. African Origins
    2. Slavery in the African Diaspora
    3. Exploration and Trade
    4. African Slave Trade
    5. Black People in Colonial North America
    6. African Americans and the shaping of the new nation
  3. Enslavement, the Quest for Freedom, and Resistance
    1. Economics and Expanding slavery
    2. Resistance, Rebellion, and Abolitionist Movements
    3. Resistance in the Diaspora
    4. Religion as a weapon of obedience
  4. Emancipation and Reconstruction
    1. Education
    2. Political Power
    3. Economic Development of African Americans
    4. Philosophy of Self-determination and resilience
  5. Opening the 20th Century
    1. Slavery by another name- Introducing Jim Crow
    2. Black Philosophies toward advancement
    3. First Black Arts Movement
    4. Black Expression and Culture
    5. Opposition to Black Self-Determination
    6. The Great Migration
  6. The Second Reconstruction, Civil Rights and Developing a Political Voice
    1. African Americans Fight for a recognized humanity
    2. The power of grassroots movements
    3. Developing a political ideology, identity, and Voice
    4. Classism in the African American Community
    5. African Americans and the War
  7. Black Power, Black Arts, Black Nationalism
    1. Shifting philosophies between generations
    2. Black Panther Party
    3. Expressive Arts continued: Music, Literature, Visual and Performing Arts
  8. Black Families
    1. Disruptive Economics and the Black Family
    2. Shifting Gender Roles and Views on Sexuality
    3. Structure of Black families
  9. Aren’t I a Woman? The rise of Black Women’s Studies
    1. Tropes of Black womanhood
    2. Sexual violence and Abuse of Black women
    3. Black Feminist Thought
    4. Exploring the intersections of oppression and Black women
    5. Queering Blackness
  10. Developing African American Communities, State Actors, and Reaganomics
    1. Death of the budding Black middle class
    2. The Addiction Epidemic
    3. Systemic Police Terrorism
    4. Re-segregation within social institutions
    5. The HIV/AIDS Epidemic and the Black community
  11. The 21st Century and Beyond
    1. From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter
    2. Generational effects of exclusionary practices
    3. The Great Recession
    4. Social Media as tools of storytelling 
    5. The Presidency of Barack Obama
    6. Resurgence of the Black Arts Movement
    7. Institutionalized Health Disparities and the advent of COVID-19
    8. Afrofuturism

Effective Term:
Spring 2021

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