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

Moodle site: Course


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.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to students with a demonstrated interest in Black Studies and History. Afterwards, the instructor will prioritize students at the beginning of their college careers.


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2022, Fall 2022