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Instructor Class Description

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Lashawnda Pittman
AFRAM 101
Seattle Campus

Introduction to African American Studies

History, culture, religion, institutions, politics, economics, arts, and psychology of peoples of African descent as developed from experience in both the old and new worlds. Multidisciplinary analysis of social life from a Black perspective as illustrated in selected historical and contemporary writings.

Class description

This introductory, interdisciplinary course will examine 20th and 21st century developments in the history, experiences, struggles, and progress of African Americans. We will explore cultural processes as well as political, economic, and social structures, policies, and movements that have shaped, and are shaped by, the lives of African Americans. Beginning with slavery and ending with current issues in Black America, the course is organized chronologically, with an emphasis on the ways in which African Americans have acted as agents in their own lives by developing black social thought, responding to sociological shifts within Black communities, and creating distinct cultural forms. Through course lectures, required readings, and discussions, we will explore a wide spectrum of black political actors, intellectuals, institutions, and cultural agents. Finally, we will investigate how resistance in various forms has been used by African Americans as a strategy for change to combat racism, to challenge the country to fully embrace its democratic ideals in a multicultural society, and to promote the cultural integrity of the black community.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mary E. Palms
Date: 01/30/2014