UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Department of History
Office: 316-A Smith Hall
Office Hours: 3:30-5:00 Tuesday
COLLOQUIUM IN HISTORY: HIST 498 B
BLACK CONSERVATIVES: From the Age of Booker T. Washington to Era of Donald J. Trump
Being a black conservative is perhaps not considered as bizarre as being a transvestite, but it is certainly considered more strange than being a vegetarian or a bird watcher—Thomas Sowell, 1980
This undergraduate colloquium will critically examine the history of black conservative thought in African American history since 1895. We will focus on well-known and little known thinkers and leaders of this small but influential movement. Arguments about conservative ideas in black America have been intense and because those who claim to be conservative have been such a small minority of black thinkers and leaders, it is easy to dismiss them as irrelevant. This course will explore the question of their relevancy with the hope that every colloquium participant will draw her or his on conclusion about the importance of these ideas to the larger and ongoing debates about economic progress and racial justice for African America.
Selecting important and yet available texts for a colloquium is always a daunting task. I have tried, within the limits of our institutional and personal resources, to include the most representative primary sources and on occasion I've added analytical articles to help place the debates in their proper historical context.
There are no longer any textbooks as such for purchase or on reserve in the library for this course. All readings will be available online. Many of the readings including all of the speeches are directly available through the website, BlackPast.org. Unless otherwise indicated, each text that appears on the weekly reading schedule should be read in its entirety.
Each colloquium participant will write a 15-page paper assessing one of these key debates in African American history. Your paper should draw on primary and secondary sources but should reflect the development of your own interpretation of the issue you have chosen.
You should observe the following deadlines for your paper:
Fourth Colloquium Meeting (April 18): A Preliminary title and one-page prospectus of your paper.
Sixth Colloquium Meeting (May 4): A four-page selected annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources to be used in your paper.
Wednesday of Final Exam Week, June 7 (noon): Your Paper is due in my office.
PARTICIPATION IN COLLOQUIUM:
Each colloquium participant is expected to complete and be prepared to discuss all of each week's assigned reading. Each student will be expected to chair at least one seminar meeting. One's responsibilities as chair include leading the discussion of the week's readings. The student chairing the seminar will be expected to have completed all of the assigned readings, as I expect all of the other participants as well, but she or he, if necessary, should review related readings beyond the colloquium assignment.
Your grade will be based upon three components: the quality of your participation in weekly discussions (20%), your performance as chair of your particular session (30%), and the quality of your research paper, (50%)
SUPPLEMENTAL TEXTBOOK FOR BACKGROUND READING
(available for purchase online):
Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold, eds., The African American Odyssey, Vol. 2: Since 1865 (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2010)
TEXTBOOKS FOR THE COURSE
(all are available for purchase online)
George E. Curry, ed., The Affirmative Action Debate (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1996
Jeffrey B. Leak, ed., Rac[e]ing to the Right: Selected Essays of George Schuyler (Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 2001)
John McWhorter, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America (New York: Harper Perennial, 2000)
George S. Schuyler, Black and Conservative: The Autobiography of George S. Schuyler (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House Publishers, 1966)
Shelby Steele, The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990)
March 28: Introduction: Discussion and Determination of Weekly Assignments
April 4: No Class Meeting
April 11: The Era of Booker T. Washington
Hine, "The African American Odyssey," Chapter 16
April 18: Black Nationalism and Black Conservatism: The 1920s
Hine, "The African American Odyssey," Chapter 17
Schuyler, Black and Conservative, Chapter 9
April 25: Anti-Communism: The 1930s and 1940s
Hine, "The African American Odyssey,” Chapters 18-19
Schuyler, Black and Conservative, Chapters 10, 12, 17
May 2: The Conservative Response to the Civil Rights Movement
Hine, "The African American Odyssey," Chapter 21
May 9: The New Political and Economic Conservatives
Hine, "The African American Odyssey," Chapter 23
May 16: The New Social and Cultural Conservatives
Hine, "The African American Odyssey,” Chapter 24
May 23: No Class Meeting, Prepare Research Papers
May 30: Presentation of Paper Topics
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PROFILES OF INDIVIDUALS ON BLACKPAST.ORG WHO ARE FEATURED ON THIS SYLLABUS