Fall 2020 - HIST 382 D100

African-American History, since 1865 (4)

Class Number: 3469

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Fri, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2020
    Wed, 5:00–5:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including 9 units of lower division History.



Examines black history from the end of the American Civil War. The course focuses on the external and internal forces which shaped black communities across the nation. Special attention will be paid to these communities' struggles against the forces which sought to confine black people to an inferior place in society.


In the context of the massive Black-led movement to protest the murder of George Floyd and countless other African American victims of police violence; a pandemic in which African Americans are dying at a rate more than twice that of white Americans; and a political environment in which racism and racial inequality in the United States have been exposed more starkly than they have been for decades, this course is designed to give students a historical framework through which to understand contemporary events in the United States. The course will also focus on how African Americans have born witness to their oppression, along with their tireless quest for freedom, with a particular emphasis on Black popular culture.

This course is designed for students to learn:  

  • How and why African Americans and their experience are at the center of American history.  
  • The systems and mechanisms that have oppressed African Americans and limited Black life and liberty since Emancipation (the end of slavery) in 1865. 
  • The wide variety of strategies African Americans have used to struggle for and/or exercise freedom since Emancipation, with a particular emphasis on Black cultural expression.
Intended Learning Outcomes
  • Course assignments are designed:  
    • for students to learn how to connect and synthesize of a variety of primary and secondary sources to gain a broad, analytical understanding of particular historical topics and questions.
    • to build students’ skills in discussing complex historical topics in writing and verbally.
    • for students to learn how to apply their newly gained historical understanding to contemporary events in the United States and specific examples of contemporary African American popular culture.
  • This remote course is designed for students to build their independent learning skills in an instructor-supported environment.
  • The term paper assignment is designed to teach students to research, structure, and write an argument-driven, evidence-based research paper.

How the course will run
  • Asynchronous Elements
    • Short, weekly recorded lectures and/or written commentary by instructor to contextualize course materials (readings, videos, podcasts, lectures from other sources, etc.), along with study questions to guide student learning.
    • Canvas discussion board assignments intended to help students understand, synthesize, and analyze course materials.  
  • Synchronous Elements
    • Required:
      • Three or fewer live presentations by instructor over the semester to provide a course orientation and to discuss class assignments. To be held during scheduled class time on Fridays from 11:20 am-12:20 pm. These presentations will also be recorded.
      • Tutorials scheduled for every other week during students’ assigned tutorial time (Fridays, 1:30-2:20 or 2:30-3:20) to discuss questions about lectures and other class materials
      • One open-book quiz early in the semester to be completed within 24-hour window ending at 5 pm on Friday.
    • Optional:
      • Voluntary film club with live discussion of three feature films by Black directors (possible choices: Daughters of the Dust, Do the Right Thing, Get Out). Students will watch films on their own and discussions will be scheduled at relevant times through the semester. 



  • Icebreaker assignment (week 2) 5%
  • Open-book quiz on fundamental concepts and events (week 3, due within 24-hour window) 10%
  • Canvas discussion board activities (3 over the semester; intended to help you understand, synthesize, and analyze course materials) 20%
  • Midterm paper (4 pages, based on prompt) 15%
  • Term paper: Historical analysis of a contemporary cultural artifact or media event (6-8 pages; due last Friday of semester) 25%
  • Synchronous tutorial discussions (scheduled every other week during tutorial time) 5%
  • Take-home essay-based final exam (due first day of exam period) 20%
  • Film Club (Voluntary, but designed to be helpful for term paper assignment in generating ideas and practicing cultural analysis through a historical lens)
  • *Unless otherwise noted above, course is designed so that one written assignment is due approximately every other week. All assignments except take-home final will be due on Friday at 5 pm.
  • Assignments (subject to minor changes based on instructor’s ongoing learning about effective remote teaching).*


Please note

All teaching at SFU in fall term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Remote learning for this class requires a computer or tablet, camera and internet access. Most laptops and desktops are running OSX and Windows. Tablets may be Android, iOS or Windows based. Headsets are advised but not necessary. Note that students have access to free Office 365 or Adobe Creative Cloud found here: https:// www.sfu.ca/itservices/remote-study-work- resources.html

If students require student financial assistance to meet the technological requirements of this class, call SFU Financial Aid, 778-782-6930, Monday through Friday, 9:30 am–3:30 pm or email fiassist@sfu.ca.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu). ca or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

SFU Health and Counselling provides services to manage stress and provide support for mental health. For example, Health & Counselling guided meditation audio sessions to manage stress and promote calm: https://www.sfu.ca/ students/health/resources/media.html.  In addition, all SFU graduate, undergraduate and Continuing Studies (non-credit) students can access free professional counselling and support – reachable by phone or through the downloadable app through MySSP. Immediate support or counselling is also available 24/7 by phone (1-844-451-9700) or by chat using the MySSP app: https://www.sfu.ca/students/health/ support/mental-health/my-ssp.html



Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation is the only course book that students are required to purchase for this course. It is available from both Amazon and Indigo as a paperback or an e-book. All other readings will be available through the course Canvas site.  

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).