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Instructor Class Description

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Quintard Taylor
HSTAA 313
Seattle Campus

African Americans in the American West

Explores pre-1848 Spanish-speaking black settlers, slavery, post-civil war migration, buffalo soldiers. 19th and 20th century black urban settlers, World War II migration, the civil rights movement in the West, the interaction of African Americans with other people of color. Particular focus on Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

Class description

African American history in the American West represents a paradox for historians. Most scholars who study the African American experience limit their focus to the Old South and the cities of the East and Midwest, only occasionally describing Los Angeles as an example of national trends in black history. Scholars of the American West usually focus on Native Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans if they discuss people of color at all in the region. Yet black history in the West is as old, complex, and compelling as Western or African American history. This course describes pre-1848 Spanish-speaking black settlers, slavery, post-civil war migration, buffalo soldiers, 19th and 20th Century black urban settlers, World War II migration, the civil rights movement in the West, the interaction of African Americans with other people of color. Particular focus on Seattle and Pacific Northwest. The course will present the diverse array of women and men who helped shape the history of the region, of black America, and of the entire nation. This is a writing course (W)

Student learning goals

To make students aware of the complexity of African American history by examining the growth and development of that population in a region of the nation (our own) not often associated with African American people.

To help students develop analytical and critical thinking skills as they apply to the study of history.

To help students understand the growing ethnic and regional diversity in the region.

To make students aware of the ways in which western history both reflects and is in opposition to the history of the rest of the nation.

To help students better understand the history and culture of the region in which they live.

General method of instruction

Daily lectures with some in class discussion

Recommended preparation

Survey courses in African American history, U.S. history, U.S. Western history are recommended but not required. Recommended background readings include Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hinge and Stanley Harrold, The African Amererican Odyssey, and John Hope Franklin and Alfred A. Moss, Jr., From Slavery to Freedom a History of African Americans.

Class assignments and grading

The major assignment outside the classroom will be a research paper.

Each student's course grade is based on three exercises: a midterm examination, a final examination and a book review scheduled for completion by the end of the seventh week of the term. Students also have the option of writing a 10 page research paper. Pacific Northwest history topics are encouraged. These papers, however, must be supported by research in primary sources. The completed paper should be handed in by Wednesday of final exam week.


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.
Taylor Faculty Website
Last Update by Quintard Taylor
Date: 10/15/2013