Cultural Critic. African American Studies Scholar. Author. Educator.

Introduction to
African American Studies

Hello and welcome to Introduction to African American Studies.  I am Kim L. Dulaney, the guide for the course.  This course is completely online. 

Introduction to African American Studies explores the history and development of African American Studies (Black Studies) as a discipline. The course will introduce students to major organizations, events, movements, figures, issues, and terms (language) related to the discipline as it surveys multiple fields of study from a Black perspective.  In accordance with my particular teaching philosophy, the class is structured as a learning community, where everyone contributes to the building and exploration of knowledge.  I will function as the facilitator, or guide, but you are expected to contribute.

Rules for the course: RESPECT

         ~ yourself

         ~ each other

         ~ folks right to their opinion

         ~ your intellect (your understanding & experiences matter)  

         ~ the focus of the class (African perspective: core & average)

         ~ the ancestors

         ~ the “Intro” level of understanding (take us deep, but do so caringly, as if you want us to join you)


Each week there will be a Start Here posting that provides a basic info for the course for the week. 

We appreciate you and are glad you have brought your brilliance and unique gifts to share with us. Let’s get started!

Week 5 Civil Rights
Start Here: 
Quick note:  You all know this is not my complete course posted here.  You haven't had a quiz, test, lecture, real homework, etc.  However, if you view all the videos and read any posted articles, you should gain knowledge that helps you to better understand the periods/themes.  Easy.  :-)

Civil Rights

Eyes on the Prize – Awakenings 1954-1956

The Movement - 1963


King and Johnson Conversation


Eyes on the Prize Power: 1966-1968


Bobby Seale – Black Panther Party’s 10 Point Program

Week 4 Migration
Start Here: 
1st - Watch video about Marcus Garvey.  Remember Garvey's prominence in Harlem was during the same era as the Harlem Renaissance.  Imagine that!
Marcus Garvey – Look for Me in the Whirlwind

2nd - Black Communities Destroyed by White Neighbors

3rd - Pick a topic, or two, or them all :-).  Research it/them. Be sure to try to understand the main idea for your selected topic and how it related to, or impacted Blacks in America, particularly during the early 20th century.

Red Summer of 1919, East St. Louis riot of 1920
A. Phillip Randolph and Pullman Porters
Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws
Arthur Schomburg and The Negro Digs Up His Past
Mason Dixon Line
W.E.B. Dubois
Booker T. Washington
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Oscar Micheaux
President Roosevelt's New Deal and his "Black Cabinet"
UNIA (give specifics about the organization, its goals, and its accomplishments)
Mary McLeod Bethune
NACW and Mary Church Terrell
Annie T. Malone and Madame CJ Walker
The Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Urban League
13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution
Black inventors: Elijah J. McCoy, Jan Matzeliger, Granville Woods,  Walter M. Hard, and Lewis Latimer
Atlanta's Exposition Speech - "Atlanta Compromise"
The Crisis (microfiche of this newspaper is available at Woodson Library on 95th at Halsted and may be available in CSU's Library database).
Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood in the early 1900's
Sharecropping and the Convict Lease system
1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riot and the Rosewood Massacre or 1923
Paul Robeson
Workers Progress Administration
The Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till
Freedmen's Bureau
See you next week! 
Week 3 Slavery
Start Here: 

View the linked videos provided: Note that prior to being taken into slavery, Africans existed in civilized societies.  In fact, KMT, pronounced Kemet, later named Egypt, was considered the most significant place for higher learning in the world.  Greeks, such as Aristotle, studied in Africa.  KMT was where medicine, the first surgeries, algebra, geometry, and numerous other fields of study were introduced.  However, many texts deal with the creation of African American as understood in White America.  This deals primarily with capitalism, which was one of the reasons for the creation of racism and intense and pervasive oppression and subjugation - much of which persists in America, in some form, today.  

***          Goodbye Uncle Tom 

I am suggesting you watch only the 1st half of the movie. This movie was created in 1971, by a couple of Italian filmmakers and is listed as a documentary.  While it is based on recorded facts, please keep in mind that it is a person's interpretation.  The treatment of the enslaved persons is rather accurate, in accordance with historical documents, however, their response is primarily assumed.

***        Nat Turner

***          Slavery By Another Name
Please watch the entire movie.  This movie covers the periods directly after Slavery, which for African American Studies scholars would include Reconstruction and Migration periods.  The persistent slave-like treatment is what led to, and warranted the Civil Rights Movement.

 ***         Black History : Lost Stolen or Strayed is linked on YouTube (part 1).  Be sure to locate all sections, parts 1-5 and watch them all on YouTube.


           What is your personal response to this week's videos: Black History: Lost Stolen or Strayed, Goodbye Uncle Tom, Slavery By Another Name, and Nat Turner.  What did you feel, or think of during or after viewing those films?  

          What aspects of slavery destroyed the stability and continuity of family life for Black people.     

           Think about the use of the category "Holocaust of enslavement" rather than "slave trade" or simply "slavery".  What is a holocaust?  What is the significance of the moral emphasis put on the victims rather than the traditional commercial emphasis placed on trade?  How does the use of the word "trade" hide massive violence and violate the memory of the "victims"?

          What were the various forms of resistance to the Holocaust of enslavement?

            In what ways was "slavery" or its core conditions and structures of inequality perpetuated after emancipation?  

Week 2 Basic Introduction (cont.)

Start Here: 

 *Watch or listen to the linked interviews and audiobooks.  Most are relatively short :-).  Unfortunately, many students, including adult students, believe African Americans were created as slaves.  When you think deeply about this notion, it becomes ridiculous.  However, when that is the only history you are exposed to, it is the only recorded reality and is excepted as fact.  Don't feel bad if you, too believed Black folks just burst from bellies or wherever :-) with tiny little booties, onesies, and shiny shackles as their first fits.  It is not so.  The African's experience in America has been a fight to get back to freedom and a journey to regain the powerful legacy that existed prior to Africans being kidnapped, forced into slavery, and stripped of their basic human rights.  

                Relevance of Black Studies - Maulana Karenga

                Imhotep: The World's First Multi-Genius

                African Origin of Humanity - Cheik Anta Diop

                Stolen Legacy (w/Asa)

                    The Destruction of Black Civilization - Chancellor Williams

                Stolen Legacy


Week 1 Basic Introduction

Start Here: 

*Everything's An Argument is a PowerPoint presentation I use at the beginning of classes.  It is in alignment with the LEARN Model of teaching that I generally use. Link (to the old, or to common ground - something we can agree on); Educate (provide data); Active Learning (do something to demonstrate an understanding of the info); Recall (review or summarize); Now & Then (ties to the future or what's next).  This is the ONLY course info that uses non-Black examples.  After reviewing the PP, most students understand and tend to accept the strict adherence to the intentional Black focus and Black examples in the Black Studies class. :-)  

(file is uploaded) 


    - offers the ideological framework for the class 

    - be sure to click on & watch the video clips embedded in the            PowerPoint

    - if the link for Honeymooners is not working.  Use this link:


       - you are not required to complete the homework noted in the PP; we will not complete the chart.  It is just an exercise that demonstrates how you can determine norms and consistencies as you work to understand and rebuild a history of a culture.  There are always outliers and varied ways of existence.  We look for similarities.  There are always at least a few core concepts that can be readily identified and classified as a norm or average for a varied groups.

Everything's An Argument.  How about that?  It doesn't have to be violent.  No one even has to speak directly to you.  Sometimes, exclusion and omission are the strongest arguments.  Please remember an argument is not always negative; it is simply the presence of choice.  It can be what you wear, how you speak, what you eat or don't eat... There is meaning, beliefs, and positions expressed in every choice that is made and presented. When we train ourselves to think critically, we easily read the unspoken arguments and are better prepared to deal with realities. 


* Watch the video

 Brown Eyes Blue Eyes... filmed in 1968, demonstrates the construction of racist 

 Start at 3:21   - 

How is racism and prejudice constructed?  Wasn't that Jane Elliot experiment poignant?!  Wow!  Basically, here's what happens:

          * point out differences

          * create a hierarchy (one thing is good or bad or better, etc.)

          * institute laws, rules, and structural affirmations of the hierarchy


        Once these thing are done, or instituted, discrimination, subjugation, hate crimes, marginalization, oppression, etc. will follow.  In the Jane Elliot experiment, since the teacher (an authority) created the hierarchy the 3rd grade students embraced her claims.  They associated unwarranted behaviors and characteristics with certain children simply because of the labels that were assigned.  You may have excused away their behavior by attributing it to youth and immaturity; however, this same experiment was done with adults in corporate America and the response was the same.  Yes!  Grown, educated people responded just as the 3rd graders had.  Now, imagine people who experienced this type of labeling and discrimination for hundreds of years on a consistent and pervasive level. The effects would be devastating, or at least crippling.

The process of interrogating structures, understandings, and qualifiers like "good" or "bad" is called deconstruction.  In Black Studies one of the goals is to deconstruct, then reconstruct knowledge based on an inclusion of the understanding of people of African descent.  

Let's get to it!  I look forward to hearing from you!



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