HIST 4910-01 Great Debates in African-American History: Research Seminar

African American History Debate 2

Dr. Saheed Adejumobi

We examine crucial debates in African American history in the aftermath of the era of Reconstruction (1865-1877).  Was the Reconstruction a success?  Why the glut of narratives of the proverbial Race Men at the dawn of African Americans’ entry into the American body politic and not enough interrogation of the equally vital Race Women?  Do we measure progress via the advancement of individual agency and subjectivity or community advancement?  Is it through the embrace of European modern cultures or the emphasis and development of African civilizations and contributions to the idea of American exceptionalism, or the mastery of the lessons from world history and civilizations?  What are the best measures towards the achievement of Racial Uplift in a very hostile environment rife with violence, psychological terror and antimodernist and anti-humanist attitudes towards people of African descent?  These debates continue to impact not just the African American and Black community but the entire nation and increasingly the rest of the world, especially, the Black World. Through these debates we will not only learn much about the major figures and questions of the time, we will also grapple with questions of race, justice, equity, fairness and cultural activism, including jazz modernism, that impact each of us as individuals-and all of us as a nation. 

This research seminar is linked to HIST 3460-01: Great Debates in African American History. HIST 3460 is not a prerequisite for this course.

After several weeks of shared readings and discussion, students will work on their own research projects.