Color Me American: The Making of Race in 20th Century America

History 103D.002

Summer 2007
Instructor (text): 
2303 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2:30-5:30
Sang Chi

Despite our seemingly enlightened 21st century attitudes, race has
continued to be a troubling problem for American society. Yet, race in and of itself is not the problem so much as the values we attach to racial designations. Racial designations and the values we impart to them have continually shifted making it all the more difficult to understand race. In this course, we will explore a sampling of racial identities from the 20th century. This course is not an exhaustive examination on the topic. The breadth of racial identities in 20th century America makes that a near impossibility. Instead, we will use the texts as springboards to understanding how racial identities were formed in specific historical contexts. Yet, race has proved to be much more than just identity formation; it has touched and continues to touch almost every facet of our society. In fact, it has challenged our most dearly held beliefs concerning national identity, democracy, and freedom. Thus, our journey will span seemingly unconnected terrains including migration, law,
miscegenation, sports and recreation, intellectual history, cultural representations, and racism.