Changes in Race Relations in the U.S From Antebellum to the Present

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While delivering the Inaugural Benediction for Barack Obama, in his closing Dr. Joseph Lowery echoed onto the masses the words -We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love. [...] Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter from crowd) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen." Within the framework of African American studies, this course will provide students with an historical overview of American race relations starting from the Antebellum Period (pre-Civil War) leading up to the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama. Students will encounter historical, sociological, literary and political science texts. You will, for example, learn about paramount U.S. Supreme Court cases, traumatic social events, and the Great Migration, all of which indelibly changed the face of race relations in the U.S. To complement our historical overview, this course will also deal with the terms race and racism, which in turn will help us address, at least on a theoretical level, ethnic and minority studies in general. In doing so, we will look at major themes in racism studies, namely objective realism and constructive realism, and how these ideas fit into the historical development of race relations within the U.S. context.

Aside from an electronic reader that will be provided via Moodle, students are required to purchase -The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois. It is super cheap on You can also download this book from Google Books as a pdf or ebook to your iPads. Remember that you will be required to have all texts in class. Seminar für Anglistik 5 KP In-class assignments and essay 7 KP In-class assignments and standard research paper. Universität Siegen WiSe 2011/12 M.A. Hulse Seth Thomas