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Course Information

Instructor Info:Amy Jordan
Office Extension x5644
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 4
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 4

This course will explore the organizing efforts of African-Americans during the twentieth century. We will examine activism in both rural and urban sites and in cross-class, middle-class and working-class organizations. The readings will provide critical perspectives on how class, educational status, and gender shape the formation, goals, leadership styles and strategies of various movements. Some of the movements include the lobbying and writing of Ida B. Wells, the cross-regional efforts of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the post-WWII radical union movement in Detroit and the local 1199 hospital workers union movement in New York. By extending our exploration over the course of the twentieth century, we will trace the development of various organizing traditions and consider their long-term impact on African-American political activism and community life. A perspective that consistently engages the ways in which African Americans respond and locate themselves within larger global transformations will provide an important frame for our discussions.

Additional Info:

Required Texts: Available at Hampshire College Bookstore

 Beth Tomkins Bates, Pullman Porters and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black America, 1925-1945, University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

Michael Honey, Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle, University of California Press, 1999.

Tera Hunter, ‘To Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’ Lives and Labors After the Civil War, Harvard University Press, 1997.

Robin Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Paul Ortiz, Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920, University of California Press, 2005.