This course will provide a dynamic learning environment in which students engage critical questions concerning race, gender, and nation through the prism of the unique history of Black Women in the U.S. More specifically, students will engage four questions, namely: (1) What conceptual frameworks are useful in exploring how Black women have negotiated their particular political, social, and economic circumstances in the U.S.? (2) What are the dominant cultural myths/stereotypes about Black women and how have they changed over time? (3) What are the political, economic, and social challenges with which Black women have been confronted? (4) How have Black women strategically & creatively engaged in resistance? In addressing these concerns, the course will integrate scholarship from a variety of disciplines to utilize learning communities to facilitate a deeper understanding of key issues and promote teamwork in the classroom environment.
By the end of this course, students should:
- Be able to define racism and sexism and explain how they work to shape the political, economic, and social conditions of Black women in the U.S.;
- Be aware of competing ways of defining nationalism and their implications of gender politics at the level of theory and practice;
- Be familiar with the dominant myths about and stereotypes of Black women in the U.S. and be able to explain how they affect cultural production and public policy;
- Be aware of the key tactics and approaches used in discussing the role of women and gender in the Black church and the Nation of Islam.