African American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights
NEH 2013

Updated June 26, 2013; subject to revision

Monday, July 1

Introductory Session: Desegregating America’s Past
Faculty: Waldo Martin and Patricia Sullivan
Reading: “The Deforming Mirror of Truth,” from Nathan Huggins, Black Odyssey: The African American Ordeal in Slavery (introduction to the 1990 reissued edition)

The Legacy of Reconstruction
Faculty: Michael Vorenberg

Tuesday, July 2

Black Political Struggle in the Rural South: From Slavery to the Great Migration
Faculty: Steven Hahn
Reading: Steven Hahn, A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Introduction, chapters 1, 3-5, 7, 9, Epilogue) (entire book is recommended)

LUNCH TIME screening: Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind

Marcus Garvey and Black Protest in the World War I Era
Faculty: Stephen Hahn
Steven Hahn, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom, Chapter 3: Marcus Garvey, the UNIA and the Hidden Political History of African Americans

Wednesday, July 3

Meanings of Freedom and Citizenship: Southern Black Communities in the post-Reconstruction South
Faculty: Blair Kelley
Reading: Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Age of Plessey v. Ferguson

Thursday, Fourth of July: HOLIDAY

Friday, July 5

The NAACP, 1909-1934: The Du Bois Years
Patricia Sullivan
Reading: Sullivan, Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement, Chapters 1-5

FILM: The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords

Monday, July 8

The Depression/New Deal decade and the “Long Civil Rights Era”
Faculty: Waldo Martin and Patricia Sullivan
Patricia Sullivan: Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era, chapters 2, 3;
Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement, chapter 3: Harlem during the 1930s: The making of a Black Radical Activist and Intellectual;
Nikhl Pal Singh, Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy, Introduction: Civil Rights, Civic Myths

Black Lawyers: Soldiers in the Struggle
Faculty: Patricia Sullivan
Readings: Robert L. Carter, A Matter of Law; and TBA
Film: The Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush

Tuesday, July 9

Lincoln, Slavery and Emancipation
Faculty: Leon Litwack
Readings, W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

Film: Magic and Bird: Courtship of Rivals

Wednesday, July 10: Field Trip to W.E.B. Du Bois home site, Great Barrington

Thursday, July 11

The Black South during World War II
Faculty: Leon Litwack
Readings: Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow (Preface, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, Eplilogue)

The Age of Jim Crow
Faculty: Leon Litwack
Readings: Richard Dalfiume, "The Forgotten Years of the Negro Revolution," (1968)

6 p.m.
The Curious Case of Curt Flood

Friday, July 12:

Sports and the Color Line: The Films of Ezra Edelman
Discussion with Ezra Edelman

Monday, July 15

The Desegregation of the Armed Forces
Faculty: Gerald Early
Readings: Sherie Mershon and Steven Schlossman, Foxholes and Color Lines: Desegregating the U.S. Armed Forces, ch. 8-10;
William T. Bowers,, Black Soldiers/White Army: The 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea, ch. 4;
Lt. Col. Charles M. Bussey, Firefight at Yechon: Courage and Racism in the Korean War, ch. 5-7

Film and Hollywood’s Portrayal of Black Soldiers
Faculty: Gerald Early

Tuesday, July 16

African Americans in the Military: From World War II to Vietnam
Faculty: Kimberly Phillips, War! What is It Good For: Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from Jim Crow to Iraq, selected chapters

Panel discussion: Gerald Early, Kim Phillips

Wednesday, July 17

Black Women, Religion, and the Struggle for Justice
Faculty: Bettye-Collier Thomas
Reading, Betty Collier-Thomas, Jesus, Jobs and Justice: The History of African American Women and Religion, selected chapters


Session at John F. Kennedy Library
Introduction to "1963: The Struggle for Civil Rights" web site


Thursday, July 18

Brown v. Board of Education: A Black Cultural Product
Faculty: Waldo Martin, Patricia Sullivan
Readings: Waldo Martin, Brown v. Board: A Brief History with Document;
Sullivan, Lift Every Voice, Chapter 10


Film: "Boycott"
Docudrama of Montgomery Bus Boycott


7 PM:
Waldo Martin reads from: Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party

Friday, July 19

How the Movement Caught Up with the Music
Faculty: Peter Guralnick
Readings: Selections from: Peter Guralnick, Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom;

Peter Guralnick, Dream: Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke


Black Cultural Politics in Postwar America
Faculty: Waldo Martin
Readings: Waldo Martin, No Coward Soldiers: Black Cultural Politics and Postwar America


Monday, July 22


Black Youth and the Movement: from the 1930s to the 1960s
Faculty: Dorothy Burnham, Margaret Burnham, and Esther Cooper Jackson
Readings: Esther Cooper Jackson, ed., The Freedomways ReaderW.E.B. Du Bois, “Behold The Land." 6-11
Augusta Strong, "Southern Youth's Proud Heritage," 16-20
Waldo Martin, SNYC, SNCC, Black Student Activism and the Making of the Twentieth Century Black Freedom Struggle

Curriculum workshop: Oral history documentation of Black Life: From Jim Crow to Civil Rights
Faculty: Raymond Gavins

Film: Freedom Riders

Tuesday, July 23

The Era of Direct Action Protest: Gavins, Martin, Sullivan
Readings: Aldon Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, 1-76


Music and the Freedom Movement
Faculty: Maurice Jackson
Readings: Come Sunday

Steal Away: Spirituals, Folk Songs and Hymns

"Songs a Weapon in Rights Battle" - NYT

Wednesday, July 24

1963: Crossroads
Faculty: Maurice Jackson, Pat Sullivan

Readings: JFK Civil Rights Speech, June 11, 2013
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
MLK, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"


Reassessing Black Leadership in the 1950s and 1960s
Faculty: Waldo Martin, Raymond Gavins and Maurice Jackson
Readings: Jeanne Theoharis, The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks.
James Cone, Martin and Malcolm, 288-318

Thursday, July 25

The New Black Power History
Faculty: Peniel Joseph
Readings: Peniel Joseph, Waiting “til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America, Preface, Introduction, 1-95, 122-73, 205-240, 276-304

The Black Panther Party: Waldo Martin
Readings: Black against Empire: The History of the Black Panther Party, selected chapters


Friday, July 26

African American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights:
The Films of Stanley Nelson

Discussion with documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson

Taking it back to the classroom:

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