Race and Ethnicity in US History (V3029E)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module examines the history of African-American political, cultural, and social developments from 1863 to the present. Its principal goal is to familiarise you with the debates that African Americans have had among themselves between emancipation and the present day, thus establishing a deep historical understanding of the ongoing freedom struggle in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

It assesses intraracial arguments over the relationship of blacks to the US government in war and peace, over racial and class identities, and over diverse tactics and strategies for the advancement of the race. Although particular attention is given to the long running campaign to destroy de jure segregation in the southern states (culminating in the successful nonviolent direct action campaigns of the 1960s), the course is predicated on the demonstrable fact that racial prejudice was a national not a regional phenomenon.

Lectures and seminars interrogate the connections between African American history and culture. Emphasis is given to well-known black leaders like Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and Martin Luther King, but female activists and the unsung black masses themselves also receive close attention.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: