African American History, 1865-Present


This course examines the black experience in America from emancipation to the present.  We will study African Americans’ long struggle for freedom and equality, and learn about their contributions to and influence on America’s social, political, and economic development.  We will also study the history of race and racism, explore how its meaning and practice has changed over time, and how it shaped—and continues to shape—the lives of all persons in America.  Central to this course is the idea that African American history is American history, and that the American experience cannot be understood apart from the struggles and triumphs of African Americans.  Course topics include: emancipation and Reconstruction; the age of Jim Crow; the Great Migration and the New Negro; the civil rights and Black Power movements; mass incarceration; and struggles for justice and equality in the present.  In addition to readings from assigned books, students will analyze and interpret a variety of primary sources, including film, music, and visual art.  Class meetings will alternate between lectures and discussions.  Assignments will include a midterm, a final exam, two topical essays, and short responses to weekly readings.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts