Department of History

Winter 2016


Instructor: Professor Quintard Taylor

Office: Smith 316-A

Phone: (206) 543-5698

Email: qtaylor@u.washington.edu.

Office Hours: 10:00-11:00 MWF                                                                                                      

Faculty Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/






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 Textbooks:


Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine and Stanley Harrold, The African American Odyssey, Volume Two, (2009)


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


Thomas Sugrue, Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race (2009) [on electronic reserve]


Additional Resource:

BlackPast.org (www.blackpast.org)


Supplemental Readings:


I have placed on reserve in Odegaard Undergraduate Library additional readings which will help explain African America.  As the need arises I may add other articles to the reserve room holdings.  All readings other than those in purchased texts are on reserve.




Your course grade is based on three exercises: a midterm exam, a final examination and a 10-12 page research paper (see manual for details on the paper).  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 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.  Please read the page titled Optional Book Review Assignment in the manual before initiating your review.


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)


Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapters 14-15

Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community, Chapter 1


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

Rev. Francis J. Grimke, The Negro Will Never Acquiesce As Long As He Lives (1898) 


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

Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapter 16

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)


Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapter 17

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


WEEK 5: Prosperity and Depression

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


Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapters 18-19

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




WEEK 6: World War II and the West Coast Migration

Executive Order 8802

Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapter 20

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)


Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapter 21

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)


Hine, The African American Odyssey, Chapter 22

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)


Thomas Sugrue, "A More Perfect Union? The Burden of Race in Obama's America," (2009), Chapter 3 of Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race, pp. 92-137 (on e-reserve)

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