Governors State University College of Arts and Sciences
Division of Arts and Letters
HISTORY of CIVIL RIGHTS
HIST 4440, Spring 2020, 3 Credits
Thursdays, 4:30-7:20, Rm. TBA
Professor David Hamilton Golland, Office C3370
Office Hours: click HERE
Online Course Guide
Examines the struggle to secure civil rights in the United States. Emphasizes protests, court decisions, and legislation covering the civil rights areas of employment, education, housing, voting, public accommodations, and marriage since 1953.
Restriction: Sophomore status or higher. Prerequisites: None.
Intended Audience: History majors and other interested undergraduates. Course Modality: Lecture/Discussion
Rationale: The civil rights movement in the United States cannot be read in isolation understand the rich historical background of African American history or the legacies of the movement in the more recent past. While students may be familiar with major civil rights figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks, it is important to understand the complexities of civil rights leadership and the experience of the movement’s foot soldiers (the students in Student for Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the freedom riders, or the everyday people who marched, boycotted, protested, and volunteered to make the movement happen). This course will try to explore the movement from all of these perspectives using, where possible, first-hand accounts from the people who lived this important history.
This course will provide the opportunity for critical reflection on the practice of social movements, the theoretical and historical understandings of the movement, and the ongoing legacies of racial and economic inequality in the United States.
Expected Student Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Identify and interpret causes and consequences of major historical events in American history as related to the civil rights movement experience.
2. Explain the rhetorical arguments civil rights groups employed to argue against inequalities.
3. Identify leading civil rights leaders and events from the 1950s -1970s.
4. Analyze information on the history of civil rights from a variety of perspectives.
5. Explain the role of Constance Baker Motley as an individual leader, as well as team player, in the civil rights movement and her legacy in the 21st century.
Required Texts and Films (Top)
Costs are approximate, based on a recent Amazon search. The GSU bookstore may also have copies available, as may the GSU or other local libraries.
|Citation ||ISBN ||Cost|
|Golland, A Terrible Thing to Waste (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2019) ||ISBN-10: 0700627642 |
|Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion, 3d Ed. (Oxford: University Press of Mississippi, 2007) ||ISBN-10: 1578061547 |
|Self, American Babylon (Princeton University Press, 2005) ||ISBN-10: 0691124868 |
|Total || ||$76|
4 Little Girls, Dir. Spike Lee, 1997
A Soldier's Story, Dir. Norman Jewison, 1984
Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Dir. Stanley Nelson, 2016
Do the Right Thing, Dir. Spike Lee, 1989
Freedom Riders, Dir. Stanley Nelson, 2011
Ghosts of Mississippi, Dir. Rob Reiner, 1996
Malcolm X, Dir. Spike Lee, 1992
White Man's Burden, Dir. Desmond Nakano, 1995
Films may be available on DVD in the GSU Library or other local libraries, or via a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Prime.
Governors State University does not endorse any streaming service.
Course Components: (Top)
This course contains the following components:
|Syllabus Quiz ||5%|
|Do Nows ||20%|
|BlackBoard Questions ||20%|
|Plagiarism Quiz ||0%|
|Motley Paper Progress Report ||5%|
|Motley Paper ||10%|
|Film Review ||20%
Explanation of Course Components:
Syllabus Quiz. Carefully reading the entire syllabus is the homework assignment due the third day of class; maintaining knowledge of it throughout the semester is equally important. Students who do so will ace this brief quiz.
Do Nows. At the start of each class, students will write and submit, on a single page, two to three sentences explaining one thing they learned during the previous week's discussion and one thing they learned from the current week's reading.
BlackBoard Questions. Upon completion of each homework assignment, each student will post (in the appropriate forum on the "Discussion" page at the course's BlackBoard site) two questions inspired by the reading. These should not be "yes/no" or simple factual questions but rather must represent an informed consideration of the topic(s) covered by the assigned reading and viewing and should be posed so as to lead to further discussion (in fact they will form the basis of class discussion). When there are readings and viewings assigned, one questions must be inspired by the reading and the other by the viewing. These questions are due by 12:00 Noon the day before each class. Students are also expected to log in to the forum between Noon and the start of class the next day to read the questions posted by other students.
Plagiarism Quiz. Students must take the quiz at the University of Indiana School of Education Plagiarism Test Site. Successful completion of the test will result in a certificate, which you must print, complete, sign, and turn in to me by the due date. Note: Written work will not be accepted from students who have not successfully completed the plagiarism quiz, resulting in late penalties (or a grade of zero) for those assignments.
Participation. Each student is expected to actively engage in discussion and activities during every class session. Every three weeks, students must submit in writing a self-description of their participation during those two weeks. Please print the form, which can be found HERE, and submit it at the start of class on the days it is due.
The Motley Paper will explain the role of Constance Baker Motley as an individual leader, as well as team player, in the civil rights movement and her legacy in the 21st century. The paper should be between 1200 and 1600 words, should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, and should cite every source used. Students will be required to meet with a faculty librarian (ask at the library who the faculty librarians are) to plan a search for articles and books about Motley and her role in the battle for civil rights; conduct the search; read all materials; write an outline for the paper, write a draft of the paper, read and revise the paper at least three times, and submit a final draft. Because all students are working on the same topic, students may work on this project in small groups (up to four students per group) or as individuals. For students working in groups, the paper must be between 1600 and 2000 words; all students will be listed as co-authors; and all students will be given the same grade for the assignment.
The Motley Paper Progress Report will detail the activities undertaken towards completion of the paper project to date, including library searches attempted, types of materials read (with citations), outlining and other planning, and any writing. Students will be graded on their progress towards completion of the paper project as well as on the professional preparation of the progress report. Students may submit the progress report no earlier than one week before the deadline. Progress reports submitted up to one week after the deadline will carry a late penalty; no progress reports will be accepted more than one week after the deadline. Students working on the Motley paper in small groups must still submit separate project reports decribing their individual role as part of the team working on the project.
The Film Review must examine in detail one of the films assigned in this class (for homework or in-class). The review should be between 600 and 800 words, should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, should state the genre of the film (comedy, drama, documentary), and should discuss how the film explores its historical period, how accurately it portrays its historical period, and how it compares and contrasts with the subject matter in all of the other films assigned or shown in this class.
The mathematical score for students who pass at least one of the exams will translate into letter grades as follows:
A: Greater than or equal to 90
B: Greater than or equal to 80 and less than 90
C: Greater than or equal to 70 and less than 80
D: Greater than or equal to 60 and less than 70
F: Less than 60
All students will receive the exact grade they have earned, and grades will NOT be rounded up. For example, a student with a mathematical score of 89.999 (who passes at least one of the exams) will receive a B; a student with a mathematical score of 59.999 will receive an F. Students in danger of receiving an F are advised to withdraw from the course prior to the withdrawal deadline.
|Class Date ||Read/Watch
(Links to articles require GSU login)
|Questions Due on BlackBoard (12:00PM)||Topic|
|January 23 || || ||Introduction|
|January 30 || || ||Finish and discuss Rosewood|
|February 6 ||SyllabusMarable through p. 11
"AHR Forum", pp. 310-387
Williams, "Vanguards of the New Negro"
||February 5 ||Syllabus Quiz|
|February 13 ||Golland, Ch. 1
Sitkoff, "Racial Militancy and Interracial Violence"
Finkle, "The Conservative Aims of Militant Rhetoric"
Reed, "The FBI, MOWM, and CORE, 1941-1946"
A Soldier's StoryParticipation Self-eval Form
||February 12 ||World War II|
|February 20 ||Self, Introduction & Ch. 1Golland, Ch. 2Marable, pp. 12-40 ||February 19 ||Brown v. Board|
|February 27 ||Plagiarism Quiz due
Self, Ch. 2Marable, pp. 40-58Ghosts of Mississippi
|February 26 ||Montgomery and Little Rock|
|March 5 ||Self, Ch. 3Marable, pp. 59-67Freedom Riders
Participation Self-eval Form
||March 4 ||Freedom Rides|
|March 12 ||Spring Break || ||Not a class day|
|March 19 ||Motley Progress Report due
Self, Ch. 4Marable, pp. 67-834 Little Girls
|March 18 ||Marches & Legislation|
|March 26 ||Self, Ch. 5Malcolm X ||March 25 ||Rebellions and Assassinations|
|April 2 ||Self, Ch. 6Golland, Ch. 3Marable, Ch. 5Black Panthers
Participation Self-eval Form
||April 1 ||Black Power|
|April 9 ||Self, Chs. 7, 8, and ConclusionMarable, Ch. 6Golland, Ch. 4 ||April 8 ||Affirmative Action|
|April 16 ||Marable, Chs. 7-8
Golland, Chs. 5-6Do the Right Thing ||April 15 ||Beyond the Dream|
|April 23 ||Marable, Chs. 9-10Golland, Ch. 7 & ConclusionWhite Man's Burden
Participation Self-eval Form
||April 22 ||Black Lives Matter|
|April 30 ||Motley Paper due || ||Start 13th|
|May 7 || || ||Finish and discuss 13th|
|May 9 ||Film Review due before Midnight || ||Not a class day|
Classroom Etiquette: (Top)
Students are expected to comport themselves in a manner similar to behavior standards in the workplace. Please remember to silence your phones and pagers and put them away for the class (except for times when their use is appropriate).
Counseling Center (Top)
The Counseling Center of the Academic Resource Center at Governors State University (GSU) has a staff of experienced professionals who provide a variety of counseling services for GSU undergraduate and graduate students. The counselors support and adhere to the professional, ethical, and legal standards as described by the American Psychological Association, as well as other professional organizations. Our mission is to contribute to the overall quality of campus life for students, and to support the academic endeavors of our students. The Counseling Center is located in the Academic Resource Center, B1215. Office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For personal counseling, contact Katherine Helm, 708.235.7334. For academic counseling, call 708.534.4508.
Services for Students with Disabilities:
GSU is committed to providing all students equal access to university programs and facilities. Students needing an accommodation based on disability should contact the Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities (ASSD). Students must register with ASSD before a faculty member is required to provide appropriate accommodations. For more information or to register, please contact the Director of ASSD (RoomB1215 or firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-235-3968). To ensure that learning needs are met, contact ASSD the first week of classes.
Title IX Statement:
Consistent with GSU Policy 52, Anti-Discrimination and Harassment, Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender is a Civil Rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories, such as race, national origin, etc... The University has a duty to prevent harassment, post policies against it, to investigate complaints, and to take prompt action to stop harassment when it occurs. Contact the Governors State University Title IX Officer, Sandra Alvarado to report any incidents at 708.534-4108 or email@example.com. For complete Title IX information and resources, visit: www.govst.edu/TitleIX.
Emergency Preparedness Statement:
In case of emergency, the University's Alert System will be activated. Students are encouraged to maintain updated contact information using the link on the homepage of the myGSU portal. In addition, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Emergency Procedures posted in each classroom. Detailed information about the University's emergency management plan, information on how to update your contact information, and the Campus Safety Booklet can be found at www.govst.edu/emergency.
Contact Information: (Top)
David Hamilton Golland
Associate Professor of History and and Coordinator of Humanities
Division of Arts and Letters
Governors State University
Office Location: C3370
The New York Times Online
Professor Golland's Website
Photo Credit: Migrant Mother (1936)
Disclaimer: None of the above shall be construed to supercede GSU policy or local, state, or federal laws. Any instructions or information on this website found to be in violation of said policies or laws can and should be ignored.
Last Updated 21 January, 2020 (DHG)