Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The Africian American Experience From Slavery To Black Lives Matter HIST4027

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The election of Barrack Obama in 2008 was a groundbreaking event in African American history, and has led many to question whether the United States is now 'post-racial.' This course will examine black history, race relations and gender from the perspective of African Americans: beginning with the emancipation of enslaved African Americans during the Civil War, through the civil rights struggles that began during Reconstruction and continued into the twentieth century, and ending with a discussion of African American culture and politics in the twenty-first century, including the Black Lives Matter movement.


Taught twice weekly

Requirements of Entry

Admission to honours in History.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2000 words) - 30%

Examination (120 minute duration) - 70%

Seminar Presentation

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

■ Develop an awareness of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

■ Offer the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness.

■ Offer familiarity with complex historical debates and interpretations, skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research.

■ Develop transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Chart the course of African American history since the Civil War

■ Analyse the changing role of African Americans in US society, politics and culture

■ Articulate the ways in which African Americans have challenged the status quo, and evaluate the extent to which African Americans have been successful in improving their status in the United States

■ Engage with and critically evaluate different historiographical and popular interpretations of African American history and culture

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.