The African American and Black Experience

The African American and Black Experience

The African American and Black Experience
Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903: 2007). The souls of black folk. Oxford University Press. (read first half, up through Chapter 7 “Of the Black Belt”) and complete a reflection
Professor’s Commentary: You will notice this week is devoted to the African American and Black experience in the US. As we go through the readings, we will travel in
time, stopping at particular historical moments to assess from the eyes of great Black thinkers what being Black in American means.
DuBois work was written in 1903, he was responding to a number of developments but namely the Reconstruction of the South after the end of slavery and the Civil War.
Many of the hopes and optimism of Reconstruction were dashed, as small court ruling began chipping away at the freedom Blacks had won. The series of court decisions,
and legal practices led to Jim Crow, the legal segregation of Black and White in much of the South. This was enforced with systematic violence and cruelty. Nationally,
the 1896 Supreme Court decision ruling, “separate but equal” established segregation as the law of the land.

Method of Evaluation
Discussion Board Reflections 70% (or 5% per reflection)
They are to be submitted the day the readings are assigned and reflections must be completed by Midnight of that day. I will deduct .5 points/ hour for lateness. Each
reflection must be 250-300 words and address major issues raised by the readings and media for the given day. I will often prompt students with a few major questions
or issues to address. Students are encouraged to end the reflection by posing a question to the class or me generated by the reading. Please proofread, use this course
as an opportunity to become a better writer.

The discussion boards will serve as the major point of encounter for the course. There, we will discuss your ideas as they relate to the readings, and as the forum is
open to the class I can address student’s questions and ideas to the full class. Students are expected to comment on fellow students reflections and questions posed.

Discussion Posts Rubric
General: Students should post reflections of 250-300 words in essay form on time. The essay should address all readings and assigned materials, and any questions
posed. Students should use textual details to demonstrate their points. Only writing in general terms does not make for a good essay.

5/5: Demonstrates understanding of all assigned materials, using textual details and concepts. Does not overly rely on quotes to fill space. The reflection is proper
length, and has few to no grammar and spelling errors. The student demonstrates thoughtful consideration of assigned materials and concepts. When the materials or
concepts are unclear or confusing, the student highlights this and asks for clarification, or poses a question to the class.

-1 point: Spelling and grammar errors
-1 point: Sloppy formatting, not in essay form
-1/ neglected assigned material: Students will not be given full credit if they do not address all assigned readings/ materials. It is also important that the focus is
on that particular week’s assigned readings, not others. So, if three readings are assigned but the student only writes on one, they cannot receive more than a 3/5.

Additions: +1 For meaningful contributions, questions, commentary on other student’s posts. By ‘meaningful’ I mean the comment furthers the conversation or builds on
ideas in some way that has not been already addressed by the original author.

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