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This is the course blog for SOCY498/AASVP498–Sociology of Black Activism at the University of Maryland, College Park.

This site is a resource for students enrolled in the class and those, in general, interested in black activism.

Sociology has historically studied social inequalities of race, gender, class, nation, sexuality and age among others. As a result, we know much about the institutional dimensions of these systems of oppression. At the same time, far less emphasis has been placed on questions of activism and resistance to these systems of oppression. This course investigates these questions of resistance, activism, and social change by examining patterns of contemporary political activism by African Americans and their allies who aim to better the social conditions of people of African descent.

Two reasons guide our choices. First, responding to racism through anti-racist political action has been central to these broader questions of resistance and activism in the contemporary era.  Here we approach race through a robust lens that incorporates social injustices of gender, class, sexuality, age and ethnicity. Second, people of African descent in the United States, in the Caribbean, in Latin America, in continental Africa and in selected European countries such as France and the UK have been central to negotiating broader questions of anti-racist resistance and political activism. Grounding our analysis in the specific experiences of those harmed by racism and examining the strategies used to confront it should provide a useful lens on political resistance and political activism overall.

Download the full syllabus here:  Syllabus

This blog is a work in progress and will develop as the class progresses. Students will also have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the blog. More updates will be posted soon.


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