African American Studies Syllabus

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    African American Studies

    This semester-long social studies course is designed to further student knowledge of the African American experience taught from a different lens than typical survey history courses.  Students will be introduced to various thematic topics that focus on a non-traditional approach covering the journey of a slave from capture, to servitude, to emancipation, to struggles for understanding the complex meaning of freedom.  The course will also look at present-day issues, including controversial subjects that African Americans face as a legacy of slavery. At the same time, the course will emphasize that African American history is quintessentially American history. Students will be assessed on inquiry-based projects, discussions, self-reflection and interpretation.

    Unit Topics:

    I. Introduction and Preperation

    II. The Legacies of the Civil War

    III. The Construction of Race

    IV. Modern Challenges and Resiliency

    Course Theme:  

    A Story of Africans in America

    Lens:  Social, Political and Economic Issues

    Students will understand (how):

    • Historical documents are composed by individuals and groups with different points of view.
    • Identify and assess the author’s claims, reasoning and evidence using more than one source of information.
    • How principles and ideals are understood and applied in different historical contexts.
    • Nationalism can serve as a force for unification and/or division
    • Political symbols play an important role in patriotic activities and contemporary civic life.
    • Civil disobedience and patriotic activities can serve as agents of change.
    • What it means to be a citizen and the responsibilities & privileges that come with it
    • The Supreme Court plays an important role in interpreting and analyzing the Constitution and its Amendments.
    • Mass media influences public agendas and political life.
    • How to think critically about historical events, considering both facts and opinions from multiple perspectives
    • Understand cause and effect relationships within the context of continuity and change over time
Last Modified on April 18, 2017