Posted by: profe | February 17, 2017

WEEK 6: Black Power

We conclude the first of three “transitions” this week as we move from the Black Freedom Struggle to the farmworker and Chicano/Latino movements. This doesn’t mean we leave our discussion of African American movements behind.  One of the fundamental arguments of our class is that there is a profound interrelatedness of the movements we study and a meaningful understanding can occur when we examine them in concert with one another.

To begin to suggest that interrelatedness, we’ll be reading and writing about one topic this week while also learning about another. On TUESDAY we’ll read selected chapters from the book Black Against Empire, provided to you as DCR 08. As I mentioned in class, this is a groundbreaking book that is the first comprehensive history of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers are an important organization for our class, inspiring countless other radical movements in the era. We’ll discuss the reading in our regular collective discussion. As usual, write your “prep sheet” in anticipation of being selected to participate in the seminar.

We’ll follow-up our in-class discussion with an interactive lecture on “black power.”

On THURSDAY we will watch part of a documentary on the Black Panther Party.  You are also expected to read a few chapters from a book on organizer Fred Ross.  Ross was a formidable figure in 20th century Mexican American history.  You’ll get a slice of that in the reading, which is provided to you as DCR 09.

Now also might be a good time to start thinking about our semester project, “Teaching the Freedom Struggle.” The first part of our project will be due on Thursday, March 2nd. A detailed assignment sheet for the entire project can be downloaded from our Assignments page, along with other resources to guide your thinking. The key at this stage is about framing an usable questions and identifying both “primary” and “secondary” sources to use in answering it. Finding primary sources takes time, so please start now.

MalcolmX

Posted by: profe | February 10, 2017

WEEK 5: SNCC, Malcolm, and the Panthers

This week we will delve further into the history of SNCC, as we also introduce “black nationalism” and the late-sixties turn toward revolutionary politics.

On Tuesday we’ll read a graphic novel.  March (Book Three) is the last part of a three-part telling of the story of Congressman John Lewis.  It is many things but it is not a scholarly text. As you read it, however, be mindful that it isn’t just for fun.  Lewis is out to tell a story of a very important time in his life and in the life of this country.  He has a point; and, like a person toward the end of a profoundly successful life of struggle, he has a developed sense of what his life has meant.  We should read this, then, as a meaning-making document on his part.  In it we can learn about the times but also how a movement participant makes sense of those times from his position in the present.

[Just so you know, the story begins in book one on the inauguration day of Barack Obama, on January 20, 2009.  A young boy has come into Lewis’ office just as he is about to walk out to the ceremony. He begins recounting his story to the boy. The suggestion is that this is part of the story of that historic day.]

You are also asked to watch the film “Freedom on My Mind,” available on our Sakai site.

On Thursday we will have a lecture on “radicalism” as we discuss a speech by Stokely Carmichael (found here).  You should listen to the speech before coming to class.  Before you do so, you should also look up who Stokely Carmichael was.

On Thursday we’ll also have a short, in-class quiz.

MalcolmX

Posted by: profe | February 2, 2017

WEEK 4: MLK, CORE, and SNCC

This week we’ll discuss the life and career of Martin Luther King Jr. within the context of how “movement history” is constructed. We’ll also begin our study of the youth-led movements of the early Sixties, in particular the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, better known as SNCC (pronounced “Snick”).

On Tuesday we’ll have our regular, in-class collective discussion followed by a short lecture.  We have three readings for our seminar.  The first is a chapter relating to the history of the “Freedom Rides” in the context of the Kennedy administration (DCR 6).  The other two (combined as DCR 7) are a letter from white religious leaders to MLK while he was in jail for protesting.  It’s provided along with his thoughtful response, a document simply called “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.”  King’s eloquent and reasoned defense of nonviolent protest is an important document and the most read of any he ever wrote.

As always, bring your “prep sheet” to class for discussion. This is certainly one of those weeks when you want to focus in on one part of one of the readings rather than try to tackle them all in one page.

On Thursday we’ll have a lecture on SNCC.  You are expected to watch a documentary in advance of our class, a film called “Freedom Riders.” It tells the thrilling story of youth activists and their bold attempt to desegregate the interstate bus system. To watch the film:

1.  login to your personal Sakai account;
2. select the tab for our class (CH HIST 25.1 SP17);
3. on the left sidebar of the class page menu click “Video Playlist”;
4. and then access the film by clicking on our playlist.

The film will play directly in the Sakai window or open in a new window, according to your choice. You will have to be on a Claremont Colleges network to view the film. If you have further problems, read the Video 47 instructions.

It might be a good time for you to start reading our next course book, a graphic novel written by Congressman and civil rights legend John Lewis.  March (Book Three) is the last volume of a three-book set representing his attempt to tell his story in an accessible manner.  While it is not long, a graphic novel is not as easy as it seems to read and analyze.  Between now and next Tuesday you will be expected to read the entire thing.

Have a great weekend!

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Posted by: profe | January 26, 2017

WEEK 03

This week we’ll move from our larger discussion of context and start to learn about the Montgomery bus boycott.  We’ll do that by reading our first course book–The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It, by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson–and watching part of an episode of the famed PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize.

On Tuesday we will have our second collective discussion on chapters 1-6 in the book The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It. As I mentioned in class, this is not a scholarly text but it is as rich as any you will read on the movement. With first-hand details about the organizing effort behind this famous historical event, Robinson gives us an important perspective from which to learn about the successes of the freedom struggle. Be mindful of the ways it informs your understanding of the difference between “organizing” and “mobilizing” as well as our very sense of what constitutes a “movement.”

As always, come to class with your one-page “prep sheet.”  This is a great opportunity for you to begin to analyze how “movements” work, from the bottom up.  What made the bus boycotts possible? Why did they happen in Montgomery?  What were keys to the longevity of the boycott?  Any of these questions, or many others, can help guide you through the historical meaning-making process.  And please remember: each “prep sheet” is worth 1 final grade point.

On Thursday we will watch part of a documentary related to the bus boycott. We’ll also get a chance to discuss how this major event is remembered differently from our various sources. To prepare, I ask that you read the few remaining chapters in the Robinson book, chapters 7-9.

On Thursday you’ll also turn in your first Critical Evaluation Exercise, on a short historical document (DCR 05). Further details can be downloaded here.

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Rosa Parks, circa 1956.

Posted by: profe | January 19, 2017

WEEK 02

And away we go! This is our first “regular week” of the semester where we’ll begin to connect the dots of “the long Sixties” and explore some early examples of postwar movements for racial justice.

On Tuesday we will begin class with our first collective discussion. Three readings will serve as the foundation for that discussion. Links to each can be found in our password-protected readings page above.

To prepare for our discussion you should do the reading and then write your “prep sheet.” The explanation of those can be found on the Assignments page. We’ll select a small group of you to conduct our mini-seminar for the week.

On Thursday we’ll have a regular, in-class lecture and a (less formal) discussion of two digital readings. Both are short historical documents related to the historic Brown v. Board of Education court case.

Have a great weekend!

This is the bus Rosa Parks boarded on December 1, 1955.  It is now fully restored and on display at the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan.
Posted by: profe | January 5, 2017

Welcome to Hist 25CH!

Welcome to the online home for the Spring 2017 section of “All Power to the People!” Social Movements for Justice (History 25CH PO). Offered jointly through the History Department and the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, the class is taught by me, Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr., an Associate Professor at Pomona College.

This website will be our online home for the semester. It’s also a virtual course syllabus. Using the tabs above, you can access our course description, explanations of our course outcomes, details regarding our course assignments, an explanation of the grading policies, and list of the books we will be reading (with links to buy them from Amazon.com). You will also find a complete course schedule for the semester.

If you are a member of the class, you’ll want to make regular visits to our website during the semester. I’ll post updates every week in the form of announcements and we will be using the blog function to record our collective discussions on readings and films.

If you are not a registered member of our class, you are still welcome to browse. While we are not an “online course” (we rely heavily on weekly in-class discussions, lectures, and activities) our strong online component might help you follow along at your own.

Welcome to History 25 CH!

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