CLASS ORIGINALLY ASSIGNED TO 319 COOPER STREET, ROOM 109
OFFICE: 429 COOPER STREET, ROOM 201
PHONE: (856) 225-6220
OFFICE HOURS: M,W 11:30 AM-1:00 PM PUBLIC PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS COURSE DESCRIPTION This is an introductory survey course on African-American history up to the Civil War. This course begins with the ancestral history of black people in Africa, and then proceeds to the rise of the Atlantic slave trade, European and Anglo-American racism (white supremacy), and New World slavery. The fundamental issue in this course is to address the question “where did racism (white supremacy) come from?” We will look at the role of cultural, religious, ideological, economic and disease factors (epidemiology and resistance to disease). We will also explore the impact of New World slavery on the gender roles and identities of black men and women, and on the slave family. We will also look at questions of resistance, the attempted slave revolts, and the slave narratives. We will discuss the relationship of racism to slavery and the relationship between racism and capitalism in the colonial and antebellum periods. In colonial America slavery emerged out of the terribly exploitative system of white indentured servitude, as colonial Virginia and Maryland moved from white-on-white brutality and exploitation to white-on-black brutality and super-exploitation. Students will learn how indentured servitude and slavery were similar, and how they were different. We will explore the contradiction of slavery in a free, democratic republic, where the rights of “all men” were denied to those defined as “not men.” Overall, we will see how black (African) people were abused, exploited and terrorized by a parasitic form of capitalism.
This course describes how black people in America, historically, have been persecuted, and it describes the efforts of African-Americans to resist white supremacy, persecution, and racial subordination. This course describes how white supremacy created an abusive relationship between European Americans (“white people”) and African Americans, and how black Americans have struggled to transform that relationship. This course describes how a system of racist capitalism historically has been predatory toward black people and has exploited them and fed off of their labor in much the way that a parasite feeds off of the blood of its host. Under the regime of slavery some white people used the labor of black people to grow rich, and the labor of black people created much of the wealth of white colonial and antebellum America. Thus racially stratified capitalism produced a parasitic relationship between Euro-Americans and Afro-Americans. The focus will be on the time period up to 1865. Overall we will seek to understand how the past leaves a legacy that continues to affect us to the present day, a legacy that we are still struggling to overcome.
The lectures will be supplemented with video material.
REQUIRED READINGS Darlene Clark Hine, African Americans: A Concise History, Volume I or African American Odyssey, Volume I . You may use either the 4th or 5th edition (Bookstore has 5th edition).
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Catherine Clinton, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
A handout on Slavery and the Law (class handout, forthcoming at appropriate time)
There will be articles in sakai and on electronic reserve as well. Ordinarily, to access sakai, type sakai.rutgers.edu and then enter your username and password. We will use sakai extensively.
ALSO RECOMMENDED Winthrop Jordan, The White Man’s Burden
David Northrup, The Atlantic Slave Trade (second edition)
Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia
Walter Johnson, Soul By Soul
Orlando Patterson, Rituals of Blood
Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study
Daniel Rasmussen, American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt
Thomas Holt, Children of Fire: A History of African Americans*
Robin Kelley and Earl Lewis, To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans*
Eugene Genovese, Roll Jordan Roll
John Blassingame, The Slave Community
Steven Weisenburger, Modern Medea
Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave
Henry Louis Gates (foreword), Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives
Simon Schama, Rough Crossings NORMS OF BEHAVIOR It cannot be assumed that all students understand the culture of a four year university. In our class we may have freshmen, and transfer students from community college, as well as juniors or seniors. Therefore it is necessary to spell out, in writing, what the behavioral norms and expectations are. For the record, attendance will be taken in this class. No more than four absences are expected. Coming to class is like a job. Being there is ninety percent of the job. After the fourth absence, you will lose points for class attendance, and excessive absences will harm your grade. Class attendance is ten percent of the course grade. After the fourth absence, additional absences will “count” against your grade. If you do not attend consistently you should not expect an A in this course.
Late exams are entirely at the discretion of the professor. I am NOT obligated to allow a late exam. I will consider a late exam if there is a doctor's note documenting illness, accident or hospitalization; or an auto repair receipt documenting that "my car broke down"; or an obituary documenting that "my grandmother died again." Some students, without fail, get sick on the day of the exam, every exam, every semester; or suffer the loss of a family member (at every exam) or sustain some injury (at every exam). If you are enrolled in this class, we expect you to be here. If you are not going to attend, you should not be enrolled.*
PROLONGED ABSENCE Sometimes events occur that require prolonged absence from class. If, for example, you are in a car accident and are hospitalized and are going to be absent for weeks at a time, contact the Student Advising Office on the second floor of Armitage Hall (856-225-6043). That office will then send a notice to all of your professors, making them aware of your situation. The same procedure should be followed if any type of illness (such as mono or strep throat) or emergency occurs that will cause you to be absent for an extended period of time. In this class, if you are absent for weeks at a time without explanation, you will be referred to the Student Advising Office, and you will not be allowed to take exams* until the Student Advising Office provides a satisfactory explanation and documentation.
CONSPICUOUS, REPEATED CHATTING IS INTOLERABLE You should not be "chatting" while I am lecturing. During the lecture you are supposed to be taking notes and paying attention. If you need to chat during the lecture, please take your conversation outside. Conspicuous, repeated chatting is rude. Your classmates cannot hear the lecture if you are chatting and disturbing them. Chatting marks you as someone who has not been adequately socialized. Such behavior might be tolerated in high school. But all of you should know better by now. If not, be assured that it will not be tolerated here. People who "chat" will be asked to withdraw from the course and referred to the Advising Office.* Chatting will be regarded as negative participation for the purposes of class participation (which is ten percent of the course grade).* TOYS During class please turn down the volume of your cell phone. Urgent calls should be taken outside in the hallway. You should not be playing with your video games or Facebook or watching television on your smartphone during the lecture. If laptops and tablets are abused, they will be banned from the classroom. Being an excellent student requires FOCUS. It requires paying attention and tuning out distractions. If you cannot do that then you are not functioning at the level of an ADULT (as opposed to a teenager) and should not be at Rutgers. In that case, go work at a fast food restaurant for the rest of your life. Maybe you can pay attention to the French Fries.*
DISCUSSION MUST BE CIVIL The view that I take in this course, in general, is that there is not one view that is the one and only "correct" view. We are not Stalinists. Rather, there are multiple points of view competing in the marketplace of ideas; no one has a monopoly on "truth;" and "truth" is in the eye of the beholder. We can discuss our differing views, but our discussion should be polite and civil. That means that students do not engage in name-calling with one another, personal attacks, shouting, "talking over" people, interrupting, jeering, and other forms of combative speech. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.
EXAMS AND PAPERS There will be at least four exams, and the Final Exam (but more if I determine that more are needed). The Multiple Choice section of the Final Exam will be cumulative. All dates are tentative and subject to change. The exams (including the Final Exam) will count as 50% of the course grade. Class attendance will count as 10% of the course grade, and class participation will count for at least 10% (this will include a homework assignment or two). There will be two papers (book reports in which you respond to directed questions on Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman), which are to be eight to ten pages in length AND a writing assignment using ProQuest, a resource at the Library. All college students should know how to use ProQuest; it is a basic skill. I will also ask everyone to produce a short PowerPoint presentation. Together the papers will count for 20% of the grade. Together, the Pro-Quest and Powerpoint assignments and any reaction papers will count as 10%.
ProQuest and PowerPoint, Reaction Papers 10%
Participation 10% If you are here, you will know exactly when the exams will be given. If you are absent it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate. Every student should have a partner in the class (a teammate) so that you can get notes.
You should check your email before class for announcements in Sakai. EVENTUALLYmost of the reserve readings can be accessed through sakai; click on Library e-Reserves in the left hand column.
PLAGIARISM The papers are not collaborative exercises. Each person should do his or her own independent, individual work. At my discretion, papers will be submitted with BOTH a paper hard copy and you will upload it to sakai, where it will be filtered through TURNITIN, which detects Internet copy-and-paste plagiarism. If you copy and paste someone else’s work and do not cite the source this is plagiarism. It might be as small as a sentence or two, but if you do not use quotation marks and cite the source it is still plagiarism. “I didn’t know” and “I forgot” are not acceptable excuses. If two or more people turn in papers that are entirely or substantially identical, this suggests cheating or collusion. The person who shared the file or notes with the person who turned in someone else’s work as his or her own is equally guilty of violating the Code of Academic Integrity. The consequences can be severe.* The Code of Academic Integrity can be found at http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/integrity.shtml#I WEBSITE Also, I will make an effort to place lectures on a website. You can access the website at crab.rutgers.edu/~glasker. (sometimes it works better if you do not type the www, just start with crab). The ~ symbol is to the left of the number 1, using the shift key. Typing in crab.rutgers.edu should take you directly to the index page. Scroll down to FALL 2001. Click on Afro-American History. A window will open showing the course description. Scroll down to the VERY BOTTOM; links are there giving the titles of lectures that you can print out. Check before each class. If the website becomes a disincentive to students coming to class, the site will be "de-linked." ("when you abuse it, you lose it").
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED All of the rights, privileges and immunities of the tenured faculty are reserved. I AM the syllabus. THE GRADING SCALE In general, an average of 00-59 = F Failing
60-69 = D Poor
70-74 = C Satisfactory (average)
75-79 = C+ A bit more than Satisfactory
80-84 = B Good
85-89 = B+ Very Good
90-92 = A- Low A, Excellent
93-100 = A Outstanding,
Most faculty persons would agree that a 95 is a solid A. A grade of 93 might be an A to many professors (including this one), but not necessarily all professors. The "zone" between 90 and 92 is the most discretionary, and debated. Some faculty members would consider a 92 to be a B+. In my view the range of 90-92 should probably be considered an A minus (A-), except that at Rutgers we do not have a grade of A minus [which means a low A as opposed to a middle A or a high A], and therefore faculty members have to decide whether to treat the A- "zone" as either an A or a B+.
IN THE INTEREST OF FULL DISCLOSURE
Some students feel that Dr. Glasker is very “opinionated,” or very liberal. If you do not wish to be exposed to a professor who is “opinionated” then perhaps you should take some other course. As the old adage says, “If you can’t stand the heat then get * out of the kitchen.”
This course satisfies the requirement for a course in American Diversity. This particular course deals with the experience of black or African American people, including discussion of the historical experience of black people from the point of view of black people. It examines the African diaspora. It also examines the role of race and racism (white supremacy) in the experience of black people, and both the persecution that black people endured and their resistance to oppression. Furthermore, the course examines African American gender relations; culture (music, literature, art, dance, folklore, foodways); and the contributions black people have made to American society.
The focus of this course is knowledge and comprehension about African American history from African origins to the Civil War; and the acquisition of skills.
1.Students will gain a comprehensive knowledge of the major events of African American history and major figures (persons) involved, including knowledge of slavery and the effort to abolish it.
2.As in all history courses, students will learn how to use primary sources.
3.Students will learn how to read secondary sources in a critical manner.
4.Students will learn how to cite sources properly.
5.Students will learn to write to the expectations of the discipline of history.
6.Students will learn how to construct an historical argument (issues of interpretation and cause and effect)
7.Students will learn how to evaluate the integrity, reliability and usefulness of disparate sources.
8.Students will learn how to write a paper that involves elements of research.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
Identify relevant historic events and people
Use historical data as evidence
Use historical evidence to explain and interpret cause and effect
Locate Egypt and Africa on a map
Identify and discuss Narmer’s Palette
Identify and discuss the significance of the Nok terra cotta sculptures
List and identify three written African languages from ancient civilizations
Identify and discuss the significance of Mansa Musa
Identify and discuss the significance of Rex Melli in the Catalan atlas of 1375
Explain the significance of the Sankore mosque and university in medieval Timbuktu
Explain the trans-Saharan trade of medieval Africa