Race, Law, and the American State
What is race?
What is the social construction of race?
How have the meanings of race changed over time?
What are the connections between the history of slavery and the American conception of race?
How did African American contest/complicate/challenge the meanings of race?
Why didn't the problem of race end with the emancipation of the slaves?
Lynching, Racial Violence, and the History of Resistance
What laws were passed to try and limit the violence of the Klan?
Why was lynching a form of political terrorism?
Why was racial violence the most formidable obstacle to any movement for civil rights?
Week One: Response Assignment 1
Craft the short, typed essay in multiple paragraphs that fully respond to the question and utilize evidence from your sources. The essay will be graded on the quality of the composition, how well the essay employs an accurate and insightful reading of the articles, and how well the essay responds to all parts of a question. HANDWRITEN OR LATE ESSAYS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Is the question of civil rights still relevant today? Find at least two articles dealing with a contemporary question of civil rights. Some possible topics might include affirmative action, gay marriage, poverty, racial profiling, inequality in housing or education, voting rights, etc. Describe the issues or debates surrounding your selected topic. Explain why the history of civil rights might inform this contemporary debate.
Be prepared to share your articles and your response with the group informally on Tuesday. Please attach the articles to the assignment.