Final Exam

History of Black America, Spring 2019

Final Essay: Choose and respond to ONE prompt. Due May 7 by 6pm. Please send essay as an e-mail or place in box beside my door. Good luck!

Directions: Please respond to prompts in essay form.  The best answers will be those that use historical events, personalities, policies, etc . . . to illustrate significant change and continuity over time, and the role(s) of social, political, and economic forces during the historical moment and/or theme; students can only use relevant source material from our course. All papers should be written in 12 font, Times New Roman, double-spaced. Essays should at least be at least 4 full pages and no more than 6 full pages. No cover page. Chicago Manual of Style.

  1. Using Anne Moody’s Coming of Age in Mississippiexamine the organizing efforts of SNCC and other civil rights organizations in Mississippi. Also, considering historic events like the March on Washington in 1963 and Freedom Summer in 1964, compare and contrast Moody’s experience, as well as other civil rights leaders, in the “Movement” to the national civil rights movement, best represented by activism of MLK, Jr. and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
  2. Using the writings of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and Bayard Rustin examine their understanding of the black freedom movement. Why did Malcolm X frame the black freedom movement as a national movement rather than a southern movement? Why did he support Black Nationalism and ultimately frame the plight of black people as a human rights issue and not a civil rights issue? What were Carmichael’s views of “integration” and the role of whites in the black freedom movement? What was the future of the “movement,” according to Rustin? What was the “no-win” policy and why did Rustin critique it? Considering, the historical moment (the late 1960s), whose solutions (Rustin and Carmichael), would have worked better? Integration? Black Power?  If not one or a combination of these, what alternative or solution would you suggest? Why?
  3. Using Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s book, From #Blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation, describe racial politics in the post-civil rights era. What does she mean by the “culture of racism”? The southern strategy? Colorblind racism? What roles did government (at all levels) play in the punishment of black people? How did the presidency of Barack H. Obama set the stage the Black Lives Matter Movement? And what does Taylor mean by “liberation”?