Personal tools
You are here: Home > Faculty and Staff > Michelle Kuhl > African American History

African American History

HST 385  African American History
Professor Kuhl  
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Office:  Clow Faculty 307                     
Spring 2008                                                                  
Office Hours:  Weds. 12-2



This course will cover the history of African Americans from the 17th century slave trade through the twentieth century.  Paying close attention to the interplay of race, class, and gender, we will look at the variety of creative strategies African Americans used create communities and culture in America.  We will examine the transition of Africans to America, the development of colonial slavery, the influence of the American Revolution on the institution of slavery, the development of an antebellum slave culture, the abolition movement, slave actions during the Civil War, the transition to freedom, and the long civil rights movement.  Twentieth century topics include: lynching, the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, the women’s club movement, the NAACP, the Civil Rights movement, the Black Power movement, and African American cultural productions.  The course will study great black leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells, and Martin Luther King, but will also investigate the contributions that countless average men and women made to the black liberation movement. Overall, this course will emphasize the power of resistance and the struggle for African Americans to overcome oppression and infuse their lives with humanity and dignity.



Available at the Campus Bookstore

  • Joe Trotter The African American Experience
  • John H. Bracey Jr., ed.  The African American Mosaic vol. 1
  • Anne Moody    Coming of Age in Mississippi
  • Timothy B. Tyson  Blood Done Sign My Name



  • Students are expected to attend class.  See attendance policy for more details.
  • Students should complete the day’s reading before class, and come prepared to discuss it.
  • There will be one 4-5 page paper comparing early slave narratives.
  • There will be one 6-8 page Civil Rights archive paper.
  • There will be numerous short writing assignments.
  • There will be one midterm and one final exam, with short identifications and essays.
  • Late work will be docked one letter grade per day, with missing work factored as a zero.



Attendance is essential for learning at a brick and mortar university, and records will be kept in this class.  Only a few types of absences will be excused.  To faciliate that process, you must write down your name, the date of class you missed, and attach appropriate documentation.  Bring those items to the next class period, and turn them in to me after class.  I will return the pages to you with your next assignment marked “approved” or “disapproved.”  Only the following four reasons and documents will be accepted:

  1. Medical illness.  A Doctor’s note testifying to the date and seriousness of incident.
  2. Family death.  I must receive:  the name of the deceased, the name of the funeral parlor, and your parent’s address so that I may send condolences.
  3. Religious holiday.  You must have a note by Feb. 28 from your faith leader verifying your good standing in a faith community and all the dates of conflict in the semester.
  4. University related event such as soccer game, debate tournament, etc.  Bring in the schedule at the beginning of the semester.
  • Please note that any responsibilities related to an outside job do not count as an excuse for missing class.  School cannot work around your job, but many jobs can work around school.
  • I do not allow make-up quizzes or tests for unexcused absences.



Professor Kuhl holds office hours every week.  Please feel free to drop by to ask questions about the readings, clarify points from lecture, challenge my interpretation of history, or hold other sorts of intellectual conversations.



Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from The University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of The University; policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.   For more information on The University policy see



Course grades will be determined as follows

  • Class Participation         15%
  • Short Paper                   10%
  • Other assignments         20%
  • Archive Paper               20%
  • Midterm Exam              15%
  • Final Exam                    20%




Week 1 The Atlantic World

Tues 2/5          Read Trotter ch.1-2; Mosaic ch.1

Thurs 2/7          No class.  Please attend Dr. Blum talk from 7-9 in Reeve Union

Week 2 Africa to America

Tues 2/12         Class cancelled

Thurs 2/14        Read Trotter ch.3-4, Mosaic ch.2

Week 3 Early America

Tues 2/19       Read Trotter 5-6; Mosaic p.99-144

Thurs 2/21       Short Papers Due

Week 4
Antebellum Slavery

Tues  2/26        Read Trotter ch.7-8

Thurs  2/2/8      Read Mosaic ch.3

Week 5 Free Blacks, Abolition, and War

Tues  3/4          Read Trotter ch.9; Mosaic ch. 4 selections:  Joseph Wilson, Maria                                            Stewart, Henry Highland Garnet, Frederick Douglass

Thurs  3/6         Read Trotter ch.10-11

Week 6 The Civil War   and Reconstruction

Tues  3/11        Read Mosaic ch.5

Thurs  3/13       Read Mosaic ch.6

Week 7 The Rise of Jim Crow

Tues  3/18        Midterm Exam please bring blue books and ink pens

Thurs  3/21       Read Trotter ch.12-13; Moody “Childhood”

Jobs List assignment

Week 8 Spring Break!!  Have fun, bring Anne Moody wherever you go

Week 9 Living Jim Crow

Tues  4/1          Read Trotter ch.14; Moody “High School” and “College”

Thurs 4/3          Reading on lynching TBA

History Mystery assignment TBA

Week 10 Migration and the Harlem Renaissance

Tues 4/8           Trotter ch.15-16

Thurs  4/10       Reading on Renaissance TBA

Performance Assignment TBA

Week 11 The Great Depression and World War II

Tues 4/15         Trotter ch.17-18

Tues 4/17         Trotter ch.19-20

Week 12 The Civil Rights Movement

Tues 4/22         Trotter ch.20-21, Moody “The Movement”

Thurs 4/24        The class will meet in the Polk Library Archive and Area Research Center to examine primary documents from the Civil Rights Movement.

Week 13 Civil Rights cont’d

Tues 4/29         The class will meet in the Polk Library Archive and Area Research Center to examine primary documents from the Civil Rights Movement.

Thurs 5/1          Peer Review – Bring drafts of CR paper to class         

Week 14 The Black Power Movement

Tues 5/6           Tyson Chapter 1-7

Thurs 5/8          Tyson Chapter 8-Epilogue

Week 15 Current Issues

Tues 5/13         Trotter ch.23; Archive Papers Due

Thurs  5/18       Final Exam

by linnm37 — last modified Jun 08, 2012 01:50 PM