Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History

History C139C

Fall 2016
106 Stanley
Day & Time: 
TuThe 330-5

Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History presents a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race and ethnicity as well as region) view of America's struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present. Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a singular, unitary Civil Rights Movement as is typically portrayed in standard textbook accounts and the collective memory, but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. These movements, moreover, did not follow a tidy chronological-geographic trajectory from South to North to West, nor were their participants merely black and white. Instead, from their inception, America's civil rights movements unfolded both beyond the South and beyond black and white. "Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History" endeavors to equip students with a greater appreciation for the complexity of America's civil rights and social movements history, a complexity that neither a black / white nor nonwhite / white framework adequately captures. Put another way, "Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History" will examine how the problem of the color line which W.E.B. DuBois deemed to be in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century might better be viewed as a problem of color lines. If America's demographics are increasingly beyond black and white, if "the classic American dilemma has now become many dilemmas of race and ethnicity," as President Clinton put it in the late 1990s, if color lines now loom as the problem of the 21st century, then a course on America's civil rights and social movements past may very well offer a glimpse into America's civil rights and social movements present and future.

Course Books

Double Victory by Takaki, Ronald Back Bay Books. ISBN: 9-780316-831567 Required
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne Beacon. ISBN: 978-0-8070-5783-4 Required
Black, Brown, Yellow and Left by Laura Pulido California. ISBN: 978-0520245204 Required
Jim and Jap Crow by Matthew Briones Princeton. ISBN: 978-0691161938 Required
America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan University of Washington. ISBN: 978-0295993539 Required
The Color of America Has Changed by Mark Brilliant Oxford. ISBN: 978-0199927593 Required