The Struggle for Racial Justice
This course is designed to initiate a discourse on why a country founded on the most basic principles of human rights continues to struggle with the issue of racial justice. We will start with a review of the real history of Reconstruction, not the one you were taught in high school. Next up will be a discussion of Jim Crow Laws and the subsequent battle for civil rights in the 1960’s, followed by the law-and-order reaction of the late 1970’s and 1980’s and finally into the current call for racial justice, the Black Lives Matter Movement. Each week, the moderator will present material from a range of historians and writers, such as Eric Foner, John Meacham, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Poems, letters, plays and song lyrics will be utilized to provide a cultural context to the discussions. Federal legislation, Supreme court decisions, and a wealth of empirical data will also be considered. Class is limited to 25 participants. In addition to eight Mondays, class will meet on Fridays January 21 and January 28.