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Academic Year 2005/2006
Blacks in the American Political System
GOVT 259 SP
In this course students will examine the relationship between African Americans and the American political system in order to gain a broader perspective of the American political process. Issues of leadership,
and strategies for empowerment will be addressed. We will consider both mainstream and non-traditional forms of participation as we examine African America's quest for political empowerment. We will also consider the
of African Americans within political institutional settings and at various levels of government. It is hoped that this course will provide students with a structured opportunity to struggle with the issues challenging
scholars and interested citizens. What are some of the historical dynamics shaping the relationship between African Americans and the government? How much and in what situations have Blacks been able to exert political
influence? What are some of the alternative forms of participation that African Americans have used when traditional channels have been closed? What are some of the political psychological barriers to increased
among Blacks and other groups? How has the increased presence of African Americans in traditional government institutions changed the face of politics? Last, can we generalize the African American case to emerging
groups and their prospect for political incorporation? Addressing these and other questions will be the foundation for this course.
The reading list will evolve once the interests and prior knowledge of the students are assessed; however, below is a list of sample readings. The course will also employ the use of documentaries, speeches and popular
films to illustrate the nature of
the relationship between Blacks and the government.
1. Dawson, Michael. BLACK VISIONS: THE ROOTS OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN AMERICAN POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
2. Bell, Derrick. FACES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL: THE
PERMANENCE OF RACISM.
Cathy J. BOUNDARIES OF BLACKNESS: AIDS AND THE BREAKDOWN OF BLACK POLITICS.
4. Morris, Aldon D. THE ORIGINS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
5. Ture and Hamilton. BLACK POWER: THE POLITICS OF LIBERATION.
Hero, Rodney E. LATINOS AND THE U
.S. POLITICAL SYSTEM.
7. Parenti, Michael. "Power and Pluralism: A View from the Bottom." Journal of Politics
8. King, Martin Luther. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: CHAOS OR COMMUNITY?
9. Brooks, Roy L.
INTEGRATION OR SEPARATION
olm X. "The Ballot or the Bullet." MALCOLM X SPEAKS
11. Grofman, Handley, & Niemi. MINORITY REPRESENTATION AND THE QUEST FOR VOTING EQUALITY
12. Guinier, Lani. THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY.
Robert C. WE HAVE NO LEADERS.
ain, Carol. BLACK FACES, BLACK INTERESTS: THE REPRESENTATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN CONGRESS.
15. Persons, Georgia A. DILEMMA OF BLACK POLITICS
16. Wilbur Rich. THE POLITICS OF MINORITY COALITIONS: RACE,
ETHNICITY AND SHARED UNCERTAINTY
7. Tate & Mansbridge. "Race Trumps Gender: Analyzing the Thomas-Hill Hearings" in PS
EXAMINATIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Final, midterm, journal assignments based on outside activities such as collecting histories, participant observation, and analysis of resulting data.
Gen Ed Area Dept:
Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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