{Req's} {Extra Credit} {Grading}{Texts}


There are four essential requirements for the successful completion of this course in African-American Studies.

First, all students should attend class lectures and regularly scheduled weekly discussion section meetings. Attendance will not be taken at lectures, but failure to attend regularly may result in a lack of preparation for the final examination. Attendance will be taken at discussion sections, and the meetings will be led by graduate teaching assistants assigned to this course. The discussion sections are an extremely important aspect of the course, because students have the opportunity here to exchange perspectives and explore issues in greater detail than during the lectures.

Your attendance and participation in the discussion section, your ability to answer questions and to initiate dialogue based on the required readings, will comprise one-sixth (16.6 percent) of your total course grade for this course.

Second, at each discussion section meeting beginning with Week III, one or more students will be responsible for leading the section in a general discussion about that week's readings. They will present the key ideas within the assigned readings, making connections with information from previous readings and lectures from class. Each student's initial presentation should be about 10 minutes in length, and accompanied by a one or two page outline or short paper. If more than one student is assigned to a particular week, they should meet together prior to class to determine which topics or readings each individual will present. All grades are based on individual performances, not by the group as a whole. The section presentation will comprise one-sixth (16.6 percent) of your total course grade.

Third, students must submit two papers on topics that are relevant to the subjects addressed in the course. Students may choose to utilize information cited from required texts and lecture materials.

Additional research from other library sources, such as data from academic journals, newspapers, reference works, and other scholarly information is also encouraged. Footnotes are suggested, but not required. However, all papers must have a bibliography indicating all sources used for the preparation of the paper.

The first paper will be due at the lecture, in class, on Monday, October 16.
The second paper will be due at the lecture, in class, on Monday, November 27,
just after Thanksgiving break. Both papers must be typed, double spaced, and about eight to ten pages (about two thousand words), excluding footnotes and the bibliography. Students are free to select and develop their own topics for papers; however, all students must consult with their teaching assistants about their topics before the papers are submitted. Each paper will be counted as one-sixth (16.6 percent) of your total course grade.

Any papers submitted after the due dates listed above will be considered late. All students have an opportunity to turn in late papers up to two weeks after the original due dates. The last date for the submission of the first paper with a late penalty is Monday, October 31. The last date for the submission of the second paper with a late penalty is Monday, December 11. The penalty for submitting late papers is one full letter grade (e.g., an A paper submitted late is graded as a B, a B- would become a C-, etc.) The only exceptions that would be permitted are students who have health-related excuses provided from a physician or an academic adviser, or family emergencies requiring them to leave campus. Such requests for extension must be submitted prior to the dates that the papers are due, not on the day they are to be turned in, or afterward. I strongly discourage requests from students to obtain "incompletes" from any course, and will not grant them except for health-related and family emergencies. All papers, whether on time or late, must be submitted by students directly to their respective teaching assistants, not to me, and not with the staff at the office of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. Students are strongly advised to keep one copy each of all papers submitted in this course.

Fourth, all students must take the final examination for the course. The final exam will be comprehensive, covering the totality of information presented from readings, lectures, discussions, etc., and will consist of short essays. All students must bring their own pencils or pens to class on examination day. Students who fail to show up for the final examination, or students who arrive late and/or have no valid excuse, will not be given an opportunity to take a make-up test. The final examination will represent one-third (33.3 percent) of your total course grade.

The grading for the entire course will be done by graduating teaching assistants. Students who have questions or concerns regarding individual assignment grades, or the grading for the course overall, should first talk with their teaching assistants.

During the semester, one or more of our class lecture or discussion dates may conflict with religious holidays or observances (e.g., Yom Kippur on October 9). Students who observe these religious holidays are excused from class or discussion on those dates. They must, however, plan to turn in all papers on the dates that they are due, and keep up with regular weekly readings.


Introduction to African-American Studies has been designed to acquaint students with the diverse aspects of the black experience. The Institute for Research in African-American Studies will sponsor several public lectures and events this semester, which enrich the learning experience of our course. The dates, times and locations of the presentations will be given well in advance.

Students who attend any of these events will receive extra credit for their class participation grades. Students must sign the sign-in sheet at each event, in order to receive credit.


Discussion section participation and attendance= 16.6 percent

Oral presentation, including one to two page paper or outline,
covering assigned weekly readings in discussion section=
16.6 percent

Paper I (8 to 10 pages, plus footnotes and bibliography)
Due in class, Monday, October 16=
16.6 percent

Paper II (8 to 10 pages, excluding footnotes and bibliography)
Due in class, Monday, November 27=
16.6 percent

Final Examination, short essay format, 2 hours= 33.3 percent



All students should purchase their own individual copies of the required texts.
In addition to the list below, students may be given reading assignments throughout the course,
including several articles from the Institute's journal,
Souls. The teaching assistants will
distribute any additional readings at class discussions.

W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1994).

Paula Giddings, When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America, (New York: Bantam Books, 1984).

Vincent Harding, There Is A River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1981).

Manning Marable and Leith Mullings, eds., Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices of Resistance, Reform and Renewal: An African-American Anthology (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).

Manning Marable, Race, Reform and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991, Revised Second Edition).

Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (New York: Penguin, 1988).