Course Information

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Ivy Tech Community College

Southern Indiana/Regional Syllabus

Course Information

Course and Section Number:

HIST 210



Course Title:

African-American History

Contact Hours:

3 Hours Lecture


Demonstrated competency through appropriate assessment or earning a grade of “C” or better in ENGL 025 Introduction to College Writing II or ENGL 093 Introduction to College Writing and ENGL 032 Reading Strategies for College II or 083 Reading Strategies for College.

School: Liberal Arts and Sciences Program: Humanities

Catalog Description: Covers major themes of African-American history, its social and economic meaning; the struggle for freedom and social and political equality; contributions of African-Americans to cultural life in the United States and the world.
Required Text:

  • White, et. al. Freedom on Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents, Combined Volume, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

  • Other readings as assigned.

Major Course Learning Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course the student will be expected to:

  1. Identify the features of the history, politics, economics, and culture of African-Americans.

  2. Develop an understanding of the interconnected peoples who made America.

  3. Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of African-Americans on United States history, from Colonization to the modern era.

  4. Evaluate the domestic and global ramifications of the slave trade and the system of slavery in the United States as well as the significance of the American abolitionist movement and its transnational connections.

  5. Analyze the impact of African-American civil rights movements from an American and global perspective, including key concepts and people involved in Freedom Struggle.

  6. Demonstrate writing and research skills, including ability to develop a research question, review relevant literature, collect information and data from a variety of sources, and support an argument with evidence.

  7. Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity.

  8. Develop analytical and collaboration skills to analyze both historic and contemporary issues.

Course Content: Topical areas of study will include –Africa: Precontact Culture; Middle Passage; Colonial Experience and a New Nation; “Africanization” of the Americas; Slavery, Abolition, and the Quest for Freedom; Civil War and Emancipation; Reconstruction; Challenging Supremacy; Migrations; African Americans and the Great Depression; Black Culture and Society; World War II and Seeds of Civil Rights; Freedom Movement; Black Politics and White Backlash.
Teaching Methods: Lecture, Class Discussion, Reading Assignments
Grading and Evaluation:

Course grades are available for students by logging into the College’s online student system, Campus Connect, at the following address: Grades will not be distributed by mail. You may access grades to individual assignments via Blackboard:

Methods of Evaluation: Grading Scale:

Exams (3): 300 Points A=450-500

Primary Document Analysis (5): 50 Points B=400-449

Movie Critique: 100 Points C=350-399

Reflective Journal: 50 Points D=300-349

Total Points Possible: 500 F=299 and ↓

Primary Document Assignments:

Students will complete 5 primary document assignments throughout the course of the semester. This is a small group activity that will be performed in class. There are actually 7 opportunities to complete 5 assignments. No late assignments will be accepted.

Movie Critique and Journal:

Format for Papers/Projects: Papers and projects will be typed, double-spaced, in 12 pt. font, with 1-inch margins. Students will follow the MLA citation style. Correct spelling and grammar will factor into the grade. Additional guidelines will be provided in class and posted on Blackboard well in advance of the due dates.


There will be 3 exams throughout the semester. See the calendar for specific exam dates. Exams may consist of multiple-choice, true/false, identification, and argument based essay questions. However, make-up exams will be essay only. Links to practice quizzes over each chapter will be available in Blackboard in the corresponding Class Session folders. Practice quizzes are not worth any points, but they will help prepare students for the types of questions that will be asked on the exam. For information on make-up exams, see the section in the syllabus, “Make-ups/Late Submittals.”

Makeups/Late submittals:

Make-up exams are scheduled for the last day that class meets during the regularly scheduled class time and place. The date is provided on the syllabus calendar. You must notify me of your intent to make up the exam at least 1 week prior to the make-up exam date. Make-up exams will be essay only. Late papers and projects will be deducted 5 points a day for every day late, including weekend days.

Additional Assignment/Grading Information:

Extra Credit: If you have been to a historic site or museum related to African American History, feel free to post a picture with a description of the location and your experience there on the History Blog on Blackboard. Ten extra credit points can be earned for each location—with a 20 point extra credit max for the semester. I expect students to adhere to all Ivy Tech policies and standards regarding student conduct.  Please treat your classmates with respect and keep your posts professional. 


Attendance will be taken each class session. Students are expected to attend each class having read the assignment. Be prepared to discuss the main themes for the week. Exams include a great deal of material from my lectures and discussions, so it is extremely important that students attend class. It will be very difficult to pass the exam without coming to class regularly. However, if you are sick, please do not come to class and infect the rest of us, especially if you have a fever. Get the lecture outline from Blackboard and the notes from another classmate. You may also come see me during my office hours to discuss the material you missed.


We all come from different backgrounds and have differing opinions. Please respect your classmates and the classroom as a learning environment. Absolutely no private discussion while someone else is speaking; it disturbs the rest of the class.

Technology in Class: Laptops in class are acceptable so long as it is not distracting and it is being used to take notes on the lecture. Laptops are not permitted for any other purpose. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off when you are in class or placed on silent. Absolutely no texting is allowed during class! If you have unusual circumstances in which you require your cell phone to be on, please discuss it with me. Any use of cell phones and pagers during an exam is strictly prohibited. Any student who violates this policy will earn a 0 on the quiz or exam.

Final Withdrawal Date and Responsibility for Withdrawal

Course withdrawal may be done in person at the School Office, Advising Center, or Registrar’s Office. Your student ID is required for in-person withdrawals. Withdrawing by phone requires verification of your student identification number (“C” number). Email withdrawals are acceptable for Internet courses as long as the body of the email includes your student identification number (C#); semester enrolled in this course; and course title, course number, and CRN number located on your schedule or at the top of the course syllabus (Sample: English Composition, ENGL 111 01D, CRN 12345).

Withdrawing from a course may delay progression toward program completion and may impact your financial aid. If you must withdraw, consult with your academic advisor and with a financial aid advisor, if applicable.
***The last day to drop with a 100% refund is XXXX. The last day to withdraw from this course is XXXX.
Academic Honesty Statement:

The College is committed to academic integrity in all its practices. The faculty value intellectual integrity and a high standard of academic conduct. Activities that violate academic integrity undermine the quality and diminish the value of educational achievement.

Cheating on papers, tests or other academic works is a violation of College rules. No student shall engage in behavior that, in the judgment of the instructor of the class, may be construed as cheating. This may include, but is not limited to, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty such as the acquisition without permission of tests or other academic materials and/or distribution of these materials and other academic work. This includes students who aid and abet as well as those who attempt such behavior.
How to Access the Ivy Tech Community College Library:

The Ivy Tech Library is available to students’ on- and off-campus, offering full text journals and books and other resources essential for course assignments. Go to and choose the link for your campus.

ADA Statement:

Ivy Tech Community College seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with documented disabilities. If you need an accommodation because of a documented disability, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services.

If you will require assistance during an emergency evacuation, notify your instructor immediately. Look for evacuation procedures posted in your classrooms.


Students shall adhere to the laws governing the use of copyrighted materials. They must ensure that their activities comply with fair use and in no way infringe on the copyright or other proprietary rights of others and that the materials used and developed at Ivy Tech Community College contain nothing unlawful, unethical, or libelous, and do not constitute any violation of any right of privacy.

Right of Revision:

NOTE: This syllabus and the information contained within it are subject to change without notice.

Assignments and Tentative Course Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to African American History and Africa

  • Read Textbook Ch. 1

Week 2: The Slave Trade and Colonial Slavery

  • Read Textbook Ch. 2

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • Olaudah Equiano Describes the Middle Passage:

    • “Having Tasted the Sweets of Freedom:”

    • Virginia Slave Society:

    • Slave Life on a Georgia Rice Plantation:

Week 3: African Americans and the American Revolution

  • Read Textbook Ch. 3

  • Primary Documents

    • Slaves Petition for Freedom:

Week 4: Slavery and the Old South

  • Read Textbook Ch. 4 & 5

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • Two Slaveholders Debate Methods of Slave Management:

    • “Run Old Jeremiah,” Ring Shout:

    • New Orleans Slave Market:

    • Nat Turner “Confesses:”

Week 5: Free Blacks and Abolitionism

  • Read Textbook Ch. 6

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • Sojourner Truth, “Aint I a Woman?”

    • Henry Bibb Writes to His Former Master:

    • John Parker, Conductor on the Underground Railroad:

    • Levi Coffin Describes the Underground Railroad in Indiana:

Week 6: Review and Exam 1

Week 7: The Civil War

  • Read Textbook Ch. 7

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • “My Children are Just Tied Down Here:”

    • Unequal Pay for Black Soldiers:

    • Susie King Taylor Assists First South Carolina Volunteers:

    • Teaching Former Slaves in South Carolina:

    • “A Jubilee of Freedom,” Free Slaves March in South Carolina:

Week 8: Reconstruction

  • Read Textbook Ch. 8

  • Movie Critique Rough Draft Due!

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • “There Was Never Any Pay-day for the Negroes:”

    • Sharecropping after the Civil War:

    • “The First Vote:”

    • Hiram Revels:

    • “Reading, Riting, and Role Models:”

Week 9: White Supremacy and Resistance to Jim Crow

  • Read Textbook Ch. 9

  • Primary Documents: (Read at least 2)

    • Burned Into Memory:

    • A Georgia Sharecropper's Story of Forced Labor:

    • “Drug Him Through the Street:”

    • Trials of the Trail—African American Cowboy:

    • A Black Lawyer Argues Against Disenfranchisement:

    • Jim Crow Laws Affecting Interstate Travelers:

Week 10: Early 20th Century Black Activism and the 1920s

  • Read Textbook Ch. 10

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 3)

    • “Sadie’s Servant Room Blues:”

    • “We Are Literally Slaves” A Black Nanny Record:

    • Booker T. Washington, “Atlanta Compromise” Speech:; Recording--

    • W.E.B. DuBois Critiques Booker T. Washington:

    • Black Migrants Write Home:

    • Chicago Race Riot:

    • Marcus Garvey Song:

    • Marcus Garvey Speech:

Week 11: Review and Exam 2

Week 12: The Great Depression and WWII

  • Read Textbook Ch. 11

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • Black Americans Write to FDR:

    • Langston Hughes, “Ballad of Roosevelt:”

    • “It’s a long John,” Work Song:

    • “I Saw the Walking Dead,” A Black Soldier Remembers WWII:

Week 13: The Civil Rights Movement

  • Read Textbook Ch. 12

  • Movie Critique Due

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 2)

    • “The Ordeal of Bobby Cain” on School Integration:

    • “What I Tell My Child About Color:”

    • “The Negro in the North:”

    • Fannie Lou Hamer on Voter Intimidation:

    • Police Intimidation of Black Voters:

Week 14: Black Nationalism and Black Power

  • Read Textbook Ch. 13

  • Primary Documents (Read at least 3)

    • Black Panther Party Platform:

    • “The Only Good Pig is a Dead Pig:”

    • “We Must Destroy the Capitalist System That Enslaves Us:”

    • Malcolm X on Police Brutality Against the Nation of Islam:

Week 15: Contemporary African Americans

  • Read Textbook Ch. 14-15

  • Journal Due!

Week 17: Review and Exam 3

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