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HIST221 - African-American History before 1877

Course Details

Course Code: HIST221 Course ID: 3048 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course examines the complex and varied experiences of African Americans from slavery to 1877. Topics include West African roots, the middle passage, American slavery and resistance, the development of racism, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. The course will examine internal and external factors that shaped the black historical experience economically, culturally, and politically. While the class is designed to proceed chronologically, important themes such as the development of racism, abolitionist thought, the slave community, and the impact of free blacks will be emphasized.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • Effectively discuss African-Americans’ experiences in order to better understand their impact on national history
  • Explain the foundations of slavery and how slavery developed in the New World from a less severe form of servitude into a permanent slave class based solely upon race
  • Describe African-American history from the slave trade to the Reconstruction Era
  • Identify the impact of race during the American Revolution and the Writing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Analyze and interpret historical issues as they relate to African-American history and conduct university-level research on the subject that is communicated effectively in writing

Reading Assignments: This course relies mainly on the assigned text, lectures, and supplemental readings. Links to these readings are located in the weekly lesson section of the course.

Discussion Assignments: Throughout the course you will answer questions in the Discussions, respond to the postings of you classmates, and answer follow-up questions that I will post in the Discussion. Directions for the Discussion assignments are located within the classroom in the Discussion area.

Written Assignments: During the course you will write two short papers, each at least three pages long plus a cover page and a bibliography page. An in-depth explanation of the exact expectations are located in the Assignment area of the class.

Additional Resources:

Films as listed inside the classroom

Aftershock: Beyond The Civil War

directed by David W. Padrusch; produced by David W. Padrusch (New York, NY: A&E Television Networks, 2006), 1:29:37 mins

Blacks in the American Revolutionary War produced by Jean M. Brannon

(Folkways Records, 1974), 26:01 mins

Dark Passages

(Arlington, VA: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1995), 49:55 mins

For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots

Directed by Martin, Frank, (Agoura Hills, CA: Eleventh Day Entertainment, Inc, 2014), Episodes 1 and 2.

Freedom's Road: Slavery & The Opposition

directed by Donna Lusitana; produced by Martin Gillam, in Civil War Journal

(New York, NY: A&E Television Networks, 1995), 47:26 mins

Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property

directed by Charles Burnett; produced by Frank Christopher (San Francisco, CA: California Newsreel, 2002), 57:32 mins

Psychological Residuals of Slavery

written by Kenneth V. Hardy; presented by Kenneth V. Hardy (San Francisco, CA:, 2008), 17:56 mins

Shackles of Memory: The Atlantic Slave Trade directed by Michel Moreau and Jean-Marc Masseaut (New York, NY: Filmakers Library, 1996), 55:20 mins

Underground Railroad

directed by Craig Haffner; produced by Scott Paddor

(New York, NY: A&E Television Networks, 2002), 2:15:25 mins

Web Sites:

Great resource site: Digital Library of American Slavery

Also if interested in other visual films to help comprehend this history go to:

HIST221 Play list for further videos and material

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Required formats for citations and bibliography follows your major’s required format. Please see below the website of each style for further explanation.

Chicago Style: APA style:

MLA Style:

Also remember that Noodle tools has the Noodle bib express which showcases all three styles and has a fill in page that creates your citation and bibliography reference for you.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*
Book Title:To Make Our World Anew: Vol I: A History of African Americans to 1880 - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Oxford University Press Lib
Author:Kelley & Lewis
Unit Cost:$14.42

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.