Political Science 246: Introduction to Black Politics in America
Instructor: C. Parker
Contact: csparker@; 543.2947
Ever since arriving on the North American continent over four hundred years ago, African
Americans have encountered myriad barriers to in their quest for inclusion. Drawing on a mix of
history and social science, we will come to understand why certain segments of America remain
steadfast in their refusal to cede equality to African Americans. We will also discuss the political
strategies undertaken by the black community to combat the social, political, and economic
injustices they’ve endured. Of course, we discuss the ways in which having a black president
affects black politics, and the purpose behind Black Lives Matter.
Dawson, Michael C. 1994. Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics.
Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dawson, Michael C. 2013. Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Anderson, Carol. 2016. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
*Indicates e-reserve material
** All reading is required. If, however, a particular module of the course appeals to you, I will be
happy to direct you to additional material.
As adults, I expect all of you to attend class fully prepared. During the course of discussion, feel
free to disagree with me or anyone else in the class. I ask only that everyone respect one another.
Plagiarism is strictly prohibited. This means that you must cite work that’s not your own.
In other words, you must acknowledge where appropriate, other’s ideas or words. If you fail to do
so, you are subject to disciplinary action. Should you remain unclear about UW’s policy on
academic misconduct, please see me.
You are evaluated on a mid-term (30%); final (50%); and class participation (20%). On occasion,
you may be quizzed. I will announce the quiz at least one class before I administer it. Quizzes will
count toward class participation.