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CCOG for ES 250 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
ES 250
Course Title:
Introduction to Black (Africana) Studies
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Provides an interdisciplinary survey of Black (Africana) Studies by exploring the culture, politics, societies, economies, history, philosophies, arts, and literature of the African Diaspora. Places the experience of African Americans within the larger context of the African Diaspora. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course will examine the history of Black Studies as a discipline including its origin as the academic arm of the Civil Rights Movement.  By exploring the history of the course and the discipline, the course will examine (but not be grounded in) some of the ideologies that have driven the history of Black Studies.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Examine the African American experience as part of the larger context of the African Diaspora.
  2. Analyze intersections of economics, history, culture, literature, region, politics, religion, gender, and sexuality in relation to the African Diaspora.
  3. Identify the major practitioners and influences of Black Studies as a discipline.
  4. Articulate the history of Black Studies as a discipline and its roots in activism and the community.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity with a focus on the experiences and perspectives of people of color within and beyond the United States. Students of Ethnic Studies analyze the ways that race and racism have and continue to be powerful social, cultural and political forces in the United States and around the world. Ethnic Studies courses explore connections and intersections between race and other forms of difference and oppression including gender, class, sexuality and citizenship. This course of study can help prepare students for a wide-range of career options that require an awareness and understanding of racial and cultural difference. Ethnic Studies courses produce culturally competent students who understand the social and ethical requirements of responsible participation in society and are committed to transformative social change.

Aspirational Goals

To engage in critical self-reflection regarding students' personal relationships to Black Studies and the African Diaspora.

To investigate the institutional and cultural forces that affect Black Studies.

To prepare students to function effectively in a racially and culturally diverse community, and to contribute to a campus culture that respects and values diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Course Activities and Design

Students read, discuss, write and perform research on related topics and events presented in the literature. Class activities may include instructor lecture, whole class discussion, small group work, student presentations and guest lectures.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will complete a term project, typically a research paper of 1500-2000 words in length, pertinent to scholarship of the field.  Instructors may also permit alternatives to the traditional research paper.  Such alternatives include the following possibilities:  PowerPoint presentations, multimedia presentations, and community service reports .  Instructors who permit such alternatives will ensure that students also write substantive analytical pieces in the form of journal, examination, or other appropriate format.  Students should be strongly encouraged to engage in critical self reflection during the course through that can be assessed through activities such as papers, journals, etc. Additionally, instructors may use a variety of other assessment tools such as quizzes, participation, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

From Black Studies to Africana Studies

Black People or Black Studies?

Representations of Blackness

Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade


Black Internationalism

Womanism and Black Feminism

Racism, Anti-Colonialism, and Resistance

Civil Rights and Black Power

Contemporary Debates in 21st Century Black Identity