Course Content (Syllabus)
The course will explore the politics, popular culture and social life of the Civil Rights Movement as it developed from 1954 to 1965 and focus on the ways these are reflected in literary works which deal with that era. It will begin with a brief overview of the social, economic, and political conditions of African Americans after the Civil war and the circumstances that led to the disfranchisement and segregation of blacks at the turn of the century. The ideology of black leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Stokeley Carmichael and others will be examined as well as certain events which had an enormous impact on the development of the movement: the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, the lynching of 14-year old Emmett Till, the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, the Freedom Rides, the Voting Rights Act. Among the writers that will be studied in this course are Bebe Moore Campbell, Thulani Davis, Anthony Grooms, and Lewis Nordan. Moreover, students will be required to study poems, essays, and short excerpts by other writers. The screening of the films "Mississippi Burning" and "Ghosts of Mississippi" will also be included in the course material. Course textbooks and outline/bibliography are available. Assessment: Final exam (written).