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Black Labor and Working-Class History
AFAM 234
Fall 2024
Section: 01  

This course examines the history of Black people's work experiences, labor activism, and working-class life in the United States. Topics will include wage labor in the emerging market economy of the late 18th century; the many forms of enslaved labor; labor activism and radicalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; racial exclusion from the New Deal order; Black socialist and communist politics; changes and continuities in Black women's labor during the 20th century; the "surplus labor" to prisoner pipeline in the late 20th century; and the rise of gig labor and new worker movements (particularly in health care and e-commerce) during the 21st century. Using historical scholarship, novels, films, theory, and music, alongside a wide variety of primary sources, we will consider the changing ideas and practices of workers, their families and communities, and employers. We will highlight persistent themes that challenge the typical (white-centric) narrative of working-class history in the United States, such as the ways in which anti-Black racism has shaped labor politics. We will also discuss the flourishing of creative thought and practice that often happens alongside, or in response to, the seemingly endless demand for Black labor in American society.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AFAM
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AFAM-MN)(AFAM)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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