Fall 2002

Dr. Glenn McNair

MWF 1:10-2:00

Tomsich Hall 101

Office Hours, MW 2:15-5:00 and by appointment

Seitz House No. 6

Ph. 427-5325



In August 1619 "twenty and odd negars" were traded for food by the crew of a Dutch sailing vessel. That commercial transaction represented the first recorded incident of a permanent African presence in America. Over the next 146 years this population of Africans would grow to create an African American population of over four million. The overwhelming majority of this population was enslaved. This course will be an examination of those enslaved millions and their free black fellows, who they were, how they lived, and how the nation was transformed by their presence and experience. Particular attention will be paid to the varieties of African American experience and how slavery and the presence of peoples of African descent shaped American social, political, intellectual and economic systems. Students will be presented with a variety of primary and secondary sources materials; timely and careful reading of these sources will prepare students for class discussions. Students will be confronted with conflicting bodies of evidence and challenged to analyze these issues and arrive at conclusions for themselves.


*Textbook: Darlene Clark Hine, The African American Odyssey, vol. 1 to 1877

*Olaudah Equiano, Life of Olaudah Equiano

*Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made

*James L. Roark and Michael P. Johnson, Black Masters

*Sylvia Frey, Water from the Rock: Black Resistance in a Revolutionary Age

*W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail

*Articles placed on Reserve on Eres and occasional handouts (ERES Password: hist175)


1. Class participation and discussion 10%

2. Mid term examination (short answer/identifications and an essay question) 20%

3. Film Review 5%

4. Critical Essay 5%

5. Non-cumulative final examination (short answer/identifications and several essay

questions) 30%

6. Research paper (On a topic of the studentís choice, subject to instructor approval) 30%


Attendance: Each student is expected to attend class regularly and on time. Roll will be taken and more than three unexcused absences during the semester will result in the deduction of a full letter grade. Excuses must be obtained from the Dean of Students or the Dean for Academic Advising

Class meetings: Students are expected to have read the assigned material, and to be fully prepared to discuss the same. The class participation grade will be based on student participation in classroom, which will include a response card on the major themes of each Fridayís readings. (The response will be written on the front side of a single 5 x 8 index card.) Students must submit at least eight response cards to receive full credit for class participation. Response cards will be graded Pass/Fail. I have a personal pet peeve: I do not like students talking while I am lecturing! Donít do it!!!!!!

Film Review: Each student is required to submit a 2-3 page double-spaced review of one of two films viewed for class purposes. (These films will be viewed after class hours at a time agreed upon by class members and the instructor.) This review will provide a brief overview of the narrative line of the film and then a discussion of its major themes. This thematic discussion should focus on whether these themes were accurately presented based on what the student has learned through readings and class discussion, and if not, why not. Due dates will be determined based on the dates of film screenings.

Critical Essay: Each student will be required to submit a 2-3 page double-spaced critical essay based on two primary sources provided by the instructor. These primary sources will provide two opposing viewpoints; the student should compare and contrast these arguments with each other and craft a concluding summary which provides the studentís view as to which argument is most convincing and why. This assignment is due Oct. 25th.

Research Paper: Each student will provide the instructor with a proposal for a double-spaced, 7-10 page research paper. Students may choose any topic which is relevant to the issues and time period under examination. Papers must have a clear thesis and use both primary and secondary source materials. All sources should be cited in footnotes; footnotes and all other matters of style must conform to the Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.) or A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations (6th ed.) by Kate L. Turabian. (Both are available at the Olin Library). Students must also provide a research proposal with an annotated bibliography describing the sources that will be consulted. This proposal will outline the thesis/argument that the student plans to make or questions to be asked. The annotated bibliography will describe (a short paragraph for each primary and secondary source) how these works will contribute to the thesis/argument or answer the questions posed. Students will write their papers using a 12 point Times New Roman font, with page margins of one inch on the top, bottom and both sides of each page. Each paper must have a cover page; each page must be numbered, and the entire paper must be stapled or bound in some fashion. Grading of this paper will be based on the clarity of the thesis, the construction of the argument and grammar. As grammar and construction are critical considerations in the grading of this assignment, student use of the Writing Center is strongly recommended. (The instructor will review drafts, provided they are submitted no later than Nov. 18th ) This assignment is due on Dec. 2nd .

Late Work: All assignments are due at the beginning of class. Assignments received after this point will be downgraded 10 points per 24 hours, beginning at the end of the class period. Exceptions will be granted in only in cases of dire circumstance. (I will not grant exceptions because your printer did not print, you lost the diskette, or you had eight other assignments due at the same time! Prepare your work in advance.)

Examinations: Students should arrive on time with blue books. Failure to attend class on an examination date without prior notice/permission will require the student to provide a note of excuse from the Dean of Students in order to schedule a make-up examination. Permission to take the final examination on a date or at a time other than that scheduled must also be obtained from the dean.


In order to ensure academic integrity Kenyon College has established an Honor Code. The Honor Code of Kenyon College prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty, which include cheating and plagiarism. In accordance with the policy of the Kenyon College any breach of the Code will be immediately reported to the Academic Infractions Board. A copy of the 2001-2002 course of study guidelines regarding plagiarism and academic dishonesty is attached and each student should read it carefully. The instructor will clarify any concern students may have on these issues.


Aug. 26 First Day of Classes (Orientation)


Aug. 28 Hine, pp. 3-21

Aug. 30 Discussion: Reginald Stuart, "Painful Past"; Nathan Huggins, "The Afro-American,

National Character and Community: Toward a New Synthesis," and "Integrating

Afro-American History into American History"

Middle Passage

Sept. 2 Hine, pp. 25-37

Sept. 4 Hine, pp. 37-45

Sept. 6 Discussion: Equiano, Life of Olaudah Equiano

Black People in British North America, 1619-1763

Sept. 9 Hine, pp. 47-58

Sept. 11 Hine, pp. 58-68

Sept. 13 Discussion: David Northrup, ed., "Why were Africans Enslaved," and Patrick

Manning, "Slave Trades, 1500-1800: Globalization of Forced Labor"

Rising Expectations: African Americans and the Struggle for Independence, 1763-1783

Sept. 16 Hine, pp. 71-80

Sept. 18 Hine, pp. 80-89

Sept. 20 Discussion: Frey, Water From the Rock

African Americans in the New Nation, 1783-1820

Sept. 23 Hine, pp. 93-103

Sept. 25 Hine, pp. 103-112

Sept. 27 Discussion: Paul Finkelman, "Slavery and the Constitutional Convention," Peter

Onuf, "Jeffersonian Legacies," and Barbra Murray and Brian Duffy, "Jeffersonís

Secret Life," and related articles

Life in the Cotton Kingdom

Sept. 30 Hine, pp. 119-27

****(Research Proposals Due)****

Oct. 2 Hine, pp. 127-37

Oct. 4 Discussion: Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll (Prologue and Book 1)

Oct. 7 Reading Day

Oct. 9 Mid-Term Exam

Oct. 11 Discussion: Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll (Book 2)

Free People in Antebellum America

Oct. 14 Hine, pp. 141-52

Oct. 16 Hine, pp. 152-62

Oct. 18 Discussion: Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll (Book 3)

Opposition to Slavery, 1800-1833

Oct. 21 Hine, pp. 165-72

Oct. 23 Hine, pp. 172-80

Oct. 25 Discussion: Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll (Book 4)

*****Critical Essays Due*****

Let Your Motto Be Resistance, 1833-1850

Oct. 28 Hine, pp. 183-94

Oct. 30 Hine, pp. 194-201

Nov. 1 Discussion: Bolster, Black Jacks

"And Black People Were at the Heart of It": The U.S. Disunites Over Slavery

Nov. 4 Hine, pp. 205-13

Nov. 6 Hine, pp. 213-23

Nov. 8 No Class

Liberation: African Americans and the Civil War

Nov. 11 Hine, pp. 229-43 and Frederick Douglass, "Men of Color, To Arms"

Nov. 13 Hine, pp. 243-53

Nov. 15 Discussion: Roark and Johnson, Black Masters

The Meaning of Freedom: The Promise of Reconstruction, 1865-1868

Nov. 18 Hine, pp. 257-68

Nov. 20 Hine, pp. 268-79

Nov. 22 Discussion: (Handout Provided by Instructor)

Nov. 25- Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 29

The Meaning of Freedom: The Failure of Reconstruction

Dec. 2 Hine, pp. 283-94

(Research Papers Due)

Dec. 4 Hine, pp. 294-301

Dec. 6 Leon Litwack, Trouble in Mind, pp. 280-325 (On Reserve)

Dec. 9 Last Day of Classes