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Instructor Class Description

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Lashawnda Pittman
AFRAM 260
Seattle Campus

African American Family

Explores the structures and functioning of various types of black families. Single-parent families, two-parent families, extended families, and consensual families are explored. Their consequences for male/female relationships are linked and critiqued. Offered: jointly with SOC 260.

Class description

The purpose of this course is to explore cultural processes as well as political, economic, and social structures and policies that have shaped, and continue to shape, the ways in which African American families have formed and functioned. We will examine the history, experiences, struggles and progress of African American families in the U.S. Beginning with pre-Colonial Africa and ending with current issues facing African American families, the course is organized chronologically, with an emphasis on the ways in which African American families have acted as agents in their own lives by developing adaptive strategies (e.g., political resistance, reliance on extended kinship networks, responding to sociological shifts, etc ) to ensure their survival. Through course lectures, required readings, discussions, and documentaries we will explore the impact of various social policies on the survival of African American families over time (e.g., Jim Crow, desegregation, welfare reform, etc ). Finally, we will investigate key concepts, theories, and factors contributing to our understanding of African American families in the U.S.

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: 01/22/2014