African American History Syllabus

Syllabus:  African American History  

COURSE LENGTH:  4 terms (meets daily, 50minutes)                                


INFORMATION/DESCPRITION:   The African American History course provides a chronological study of African American History from earliest time to the present.  Students will study the history and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on their contributions and roles in American History. It is strongly advised that students have completed US History prior to taking this course.  Course material will be taught through a variety of means including:  lecture and note taking, class discussion, intensive reading, group and individual projects.  

COURSE REQUIREMENTS/OUTCOMES:  These are the general goals:

1.      Examine how people lived in the past using a variety of primary and secondary sources.

2.     Explain how the development of transportation and communication networks influenced the movement of people, goods, and ideas from place to place, such as trade routes in Africa, Asia and Europe, and the spread of Islam.

3.     Analyze how the colonial society was influenced by the contributions of African Americans.

4.     Analyze how the institute of slavery impacted individuals and groups in the colonies and more specifically Maryland.

5.     Analyze the different roles and viewpoints of African Americans during the Revolutionary period.

6.     Analyze the methods used by individuals and groups to shape governmental policy and actions.

7.     Analyze the institution of slavery and its influence on societies in the United States.

8.     Analyze the experiences of African American slaves and free blacks.   

9.     Describe the economic opportunities and obstacles faced by African Americans before and after the Civil War.

10.  Describe the changing roles of African Americans during the war years, such as access to education and jobs.

11.  Describe the methods that were used to deny civil rights to African Americans.

12.  Analyze African American responses to inequality. 

COURSE TEXT/RESOURCES ·       The African American Experience: A HistoryAfrican American History·       Douglass, Frederick. 1845. The Narrative of Frederick Douglass. ·       Stampp, Kenneth M. 1956. The Peculiar Institution. ·       Franklin, John Hope. 1963. The Emancipation Proclamation. ·       Handouts, transparencies, videos/films, etc. are determined by the teacher for each unit. 

  • Loose leaf paper
  • Folder or section of a binder
  • Note cards
  • Highlighter
  • Writing utensils


 I.Beginnings in Africa    

II.The Atlantic Slave Trade   

III.  African Americans Help Create a New Nation

IV. African Americans in the New Republic   

V. Steps to Freedom   

VI. Blacks in the Reconstruction Era

VII.The Separation of the Races   

VIII.A New Century and New Opportunities   

 IX.The Great Depression and World War II

X. First Steps towards Equality   

XI. The Movement Continues   

XII.A Time of Transition   

XIII.        African Americans in Modern America

GRADING: Grades are determined according to Dorchester County Public Schools grading policy.

90-100%       A
80-89%         B
70-79%         C
60-69%         D
Below 60%    E
Classwork:    20%                          Homework:  10%       
Tests/Quizzes/Projects:  60%        Final:  10% 

GUIDELINS FOR SUCCESS / REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:  Bring pencil or pen, and paper to African American History to class every day. You will be issued a textbook to take home. Participation and attendance are extremely important.  Students are responsible for turning in all work on time.  No late work will be accepted unless work is missed due to an excused absence or prior arrangements are made with the instructor.  Students are evaluated on their understanding of quantitative and visually presented information, i.e. maps, charts, and graphs as they pertain to a given unit.  

OTHER INFORMATION OR CLASS PROCEDURES OR POLICIES:  Cheating: Plagiarism or dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated! This includes turning ininformation from the Internet as your own work.  Consequences of plagiarism include earning ascore of “0” on the assignment, involvement of the principal and your parents, possiblesuspension and/or failure of the course. Unauthorized Electronic Devices: Cell phones, IPods, CD players, handheld games, etc. are tobe kept off and out of sight at all times. A repeated violation of this expectation will result in awritten referral. 

WHILE YOU WERE OUT If you are absent from class for any reason, excused or unexcused, it is your responsibility toget your missed assignments.  Go to the “Make Up” box and fill out a form for the day(s) youwere absent and place it in the bin at my desk.  It now becomes my responsibility to gather yourassignments and give them to you. If you miss a test, it must be made up promptly.  You need to schedule the make-up test with me in person.