POLS 064. African American Political Thought (TH)

This seminar is an engagement with African American political thought from approximately 1830 to the present. We will focus on issues such as slavery, systemic racism, and segregation, as criticized by prominent African American philosophers, public intellectuals, and activists. However, we will also use their texts to explore broader themes in political theory about the meaning of "freedom" and the burdens of democratic citizenship. These include debates among African American intellectuals about coalition building, civil disobedience, violence, organized religion, gender, social class, education,  economic organization, and American foreign policy. We will think critically about how African American political thinking both intersects with and challenges Eurocentric philosophical traditions, and how it intersects with intellectual and political movements in the broader African diaspora community.

The syllabus may include thinkers such as David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Martin Delany, Harriet Jacobs, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Harold Cruse, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Toni Morrison, Cornel West, Clarence Thomas, and Barack Obama.  
Social sciences.
1 credit.
Eligible for GLBL, BLST
Fall 2021. Arlen.
Catalog chapter: Political Science  
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/political-science

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