Department of History


Spring 2018

Instructor: Professor Quintard Taylor
Office: Smith 316-A / Classroom Smith 107
Phone: (206) 543-5698
Email: qtaylor@u.washington.edu or quintardjr@comcast.net.
Office Hours: 2:30-3:30 TuTh
Faculty Website: http://www.quintardtaylor.com


The history of African Americans has been a paradox of incredible triumph in the face of tremendous human tragedy.This course will present a detailed examination of the black experience in America from 1900 to today to provide an understanding of the role African Americans have played in the history of the American nation and an assessment of why they were until the recent past, excluded from the promise of American democracy.We will analyze the various political, economic, social, and cultural methods African Americans have employed to survive in an overwhelmingly hostile environment and assess their prospects as they make the final frontal assault on the structure of racially discriminatory institutions.Is the battle against racism and discrimination over?Using a variety of historians and history sources, we shall try to answer that question during this quarter.

Required Textbook:

Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (1994) Recommended Purchase Through UW Bookstore

Additional Resource:



Your course grade is based on three exercises: a midterm exam, a final examination and a 10 to12 page research paper or your writing at least eight original entries for BlackPast.org.The midterm is scheduled for the end of the fifth week.Some students will be unable to take the midterm exam with the rest of the class.In that case I ask them to take a makeup exam scheduled for 5:00‑6:00 p.m. on the last Friday of instruction during the quarter.The room will be announced later.Since the makeup exam will be penalized 10 points on a 100 point exercise, all students should make every effort to take the exam at its scheduled time.

Those students who perform poorly on the midterm exam (69 or below) have the option of writing a book review or writing BlackPast.org entries to offset that grade.Should you choose to write the review, it can be handed in no later than the Friday of the ninth week of the term.The last of your entries are due the Wednesday of finals week.

My grading procedures are simple.Since each exam is worth up to 100 points I will average your numerical score.I will also assign a numerical score for your research paper, "C"=75, "C+"=78, etc.Your numerical scores will then be averaged to determine your course grade.Thus if your overall average is 76 your course grade will be the numerical equivalent of a "C" in the UW grading system.

I do not issue "incompletes" to students who by the end of the quarter have not taken an exam, handed in an assigned paper or otherwise met the course requirements.If you have not completed all of the course requirements by the end of exam week, and you have not, by that point, explained why, your grade will be lowered accordingly.


WEEK 1: African America at the Dawn of the 20th Century


Booker T. Washington, The Atlanta Exposition Address, (1895)

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 1

WEEK 2: The Rise of Militant Protest: The Niagara Movement and the NAACP


W.E.B. DuBois, Men of Niagara, (1906)

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 79-90

Film: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, Program 2, Fighting Back, 1896-1917

WEEKS 3-4: The Great Migration: Blacks in the Urban North


William Pickens, The Kind of Democracy the Negro Expects, (1919)

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapters 2, 5

WEEK 5: Prosperity and Depression


Marcus Garvey, Address to the Second UNIA Convention, (1921)

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 90-105


WEEK 6: World War II and the West Coast Migration

Executive Order 8802

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 6

WEEK 7: We Shall Overcome: 1946-1964


Roy Wilkins, The Clock Will Not Be Turned Back, (1957)

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham City Jail, (1963)

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 190-216

Film: Segregation, Northern-Style, 1964

WEEK 8: The Struggle Continues, The Black Power Era: 1965-1980


Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet, (1964)

Stokely Carmichael, Black Power, (1966)

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, pp. 216-233

Film: Black Power, White Backlash, 1966

WEEK 9: African America in A Conservative Era, 1981-2000


Lyndon B. Johnson, To Fulfill These Rights, (1965)

Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Rainbow Coalition, (1984)

William J. (Bill) Clinton, The Freedom to Die, (1993)

Film: Race: The Power of an Illusion--Episode One, The Difference Between Us

WEEK 10: The Barack Obama Era and the End of Race?


Bill Cosby, The Pound Cake Speech, (2004)

Senator Barack Obama, A More Perfect Union: A Speech on Race, (2008)

Herbert Ruffin, “Black Lives Matter: The Growth of a New Social Movement,”



Each student enrolled in HSTAA 322 will write a 10 to 12 page research paper (including footnotes) assessing some important question in the 20th Century history of African America or they will write eight entries for BlackPast.org.What follows are the research paper guidelines.

Avoid simply describing some episode in African American history such as the Great Migration or the Harlem Renaissance or the Rise of Black Power.Instead pose a research question and, given the resources at your disposal, answer that question.Thus your paper should ask why significant migration in the 1920s did not occur in the Pacific Northwest, how the 1960s campaign for civil rights differed in this region or why and how African American women have changed the political agenda for black America in the post 1970 era.

I will accept a paper based largely on secondary sources if your research is centered outside the Pacific Northwest.If you examine questions of particular relevance to our region, however, I would expect you to use primary sources as evidence to support your arguments.

Your paper should conform to Turabian's, A Manual for Writers (latest edition) and it should also include at least 10 sources.Please note Turabian's footnote style and follow it.Papers with improper footnotes will be marked down.


Please observe the following deadlines:

April 20, 5:00 p.m.: Please email me a brief paragraph announcing the research paper you are going to write and why you have chosen that topic.

May 4, 5:00 p.m.Email me a one page outline of your paper.The outline should include the central research question of your paper as well as a selected annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources to be used.

June 6, Noon:Your paper should be completed and emailed to me.I will not accept papers after that day and time unless we have previously agreed to that arrangement.


Suggested Topic Areas

  • Susie Revels Cayton and the Communist Party
  • The Garvey Movement in Portland (or Seattle)
  • The Rise and Fall of the Black Panther Party in Seattle
  • Jesse Jackson and the Politics of Race
  • The Reagan Revolution and Black America
  • Gentrification and the Changing Black Community of Seattle
  • African American Women and Affirmative Action in Washington State
  • The Black Soldier in Vietnam (or Korea, or World War II)
  • The Harlem Renaissance in the West
  • African American Leadership in the South African Anti-Apartheid Campaign
  • The Nation of Islam in the Pacific Northwest
  • The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi (or Alabama or Oregon)
  • The Rise of Black Neo-Conservatism



Those students who perform poorly on the midterm exam (69 or below) have the option of writing a book review to offset that grade. Your review should be a candid appraisal of the work.As with most book "reviews," you will describe the book's major thesis or argument.But I also request that you follow these guidelines in your assignment:

1. Assess whether you were convinced by the author's argument.

2. Discuss the most important new information you learned about the African American West from the book.

3. Describe how the book reinforced or challenged ideas about African American history that you have learned from the assigned readings, my lectures, and the discussions.

4. State whether you would recommend the book to others, and include specific reasons for your decision.

Your review should be approximately five typewritten pages, 1,500 words for those of you who use computers.I recommend that you devote the first three pages to a review of the book itself and the remaining two pages to respond to the four guidelines.Please number your pages.You may send reviews as email attachments.

The first page of each review should have information on the book which appears as follows:

Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994)

You may choose, although you are not limited to, the books that appear on the following reading list.If you choose a book not on the list make sure that it is primarily a history which covers some topic related to 20th Century African American history.Avoid books that are course assigned readings or are general African American history books (e.g. The Forging of a Black Community).Also not eligible are regularly assigned textbooks for any other course you have taken.

new nike air max 2019