ETHN 2232 Contemporary African American Social Movements

Instructor Contact:

Jenean A. McGee (PhD Candidate)


About the Course:

This course will cover contemporary African American social movements. The course will begin looking at late twentieth century social movements—Civil Rights, Black Power, Third World People’s Struggle to the twenty first century movement of Black Lives Matter. While this class’s primary focus is on African Americans, it is important for us to examine African diasporic and global connections to African American social movements. In this course, we will move beyond the heteronormative androcentric—male focus—of African American social movements, to develop a holistic understanding of the intersectional ontology of African American social movements. With that being said, this class dedicates a significant amount of attention to women and L.G.B.T.Q.I.A people and their contributions to the Black liberation struggle.


1. Identify and describe core ideals and values related to Black liberation and Black social organizing.

2. Students should be able to discuss and explain the various and interconnected social and political conditions of African American life and how it inspires and maintains social movements. Along with this, students will be able to infer the emotional and intellectual discourses that take place during social organizing.

3. Through the course students will gain the skills needed to relate the African American struggle to the fabric of U.S. society; meaning, students will be able to show how the depths of the influence of Black social organizing and the goal of liberation on our individual, social, and political spheres.

4. The materials will aid students in their analysis of the various movements, their methods, and the results. This analysis will in turn mean that students will have the ability to appraise liberation movements and compare and contrast the Civil Rights and Black Power movements to the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name mobilizations in complex, non-generalizing ways.

5. Students will be able to synthesize prior knowledge of the Civil Rights Movements and its leaders with the more complex and rich information provided from the readings and films. Students will be able to explain mobilization techniques through writing and construct informed arguments on various aspects of Black organizing and liberation.

6. Finally, students will be able to appraise social movements, their accomplishments,

shortcomings, and predict possible future movements based on current events and social conditions. Students will have the skills necessary to argue on the possibilities of Black liberation and describe how it may be achieved, or support how it may have already been achieved, depending on viewpoint.

Required Texts:

(I provide students with PDFs as well)

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Haymarket Books,

Chicago, Illinois, 2016.

Grading (out of n points): Out of 1000 points

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado