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This page will be a thorough examination of the two AP African American Studies Frameworks.

The February 2022 version seems to be a sample as it only goes into detail of what will be covered in Unit 1. Units 2-4 has a bare bones framework mainly mentioning authors, articles, and so forth it thinks can cover the topic.

The rest of the 82 page document goes into the research and the process of setting up the course as well as asking for input.

The Official 2023 version is fully fleshed out and is 234 pages long. Including the assessment, essay details, and exam topics and weight. However, it is also 3 weeks shorter than the February 2022 framework. You can see this at just a glance of the Units and the proposed lesson topics. The majority of the cuts were in Units 3 and 4 which seems to be where the controversial topics are located because these units take places from Emancipation to present and future.

The following is just a examination of the frameworks and notable listed events, names, topics, sources, and so forth. 

To see both complete versions just download them yourself. They are both very informative.

Part of the framework is access to a Smithsonian project: 

2023 Official AP African American Studies Framework

Unit 1: Origins of the African Diaspora (5 Weeks)

* Introduction to African American Studies

  • 1.1 What Is African American Studies?

* The Strength and Complexity of Early African Societies

  • 1.2 The African Continent: A Varied Landscape

  • 1.3 Population Growth and Ethnolinguistic Diversity

  • 1.4 Ancestral Africa: Ancient Societies and African American Studies

* Early West African Empires

  • 1.5 The Sudanic Empires Map of Africa’s kingdoms and empires

  • 1.6 Global Visions of the Mali Empire

  • 1.7 Learning Traditions

* Early African Kingdoms and City-States

  • 1.8 Indigenous Cosmologies and Religious Syncretism

  • 1.9 Southern Africa: Great Zimbabwe

  • 1.10 East Africa: Culture and Trade in the Swahili Coast

* Early Africa and Global Politics

  • 1.11 West Central Africa: The Kingdom of Kongo

  • 1.12 Kinship and Political Leadership

  • 1.13 Global Africans

Unit 2: Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance (8 Weeks)

* Atlantic Africans and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  • 2.1 African Explorers in America

  • 2.2 Departure Zones in Africa and the Slave Trade to the U.S.

  • 2.3 Capture and the Impact of the Slave Trade on West African Societies

* From Capture to Sale: The Middle Passage

  • 2.4 Architecture and Iconography of a Slave Ship

  • 2.5 Resistance on Slave Ships

  • 2.6 Slave Auctions

* Slavery, Labor, and American Law

  • 2.7 The Domestic Slave Trade and Forced Migration

  • 2.8 Labor, Culture, and Economy

  • 2.9 Slavery and American Law: Slave Codes and Landmark Cases

* Culture and Community

  • 2.10 The Concept of Race and the Reproduction of Status

  • 2.11 Faith and Song Among Free and Enslaved African Americans

  • 2.12 Music, Art, and Creativity in African Diasporic Cultures

  • 2.13 Black Pride, Identity, and the Question of Naming

* Radical Resistance and Revolt

  • 2.14 The Stono Rebellion and Fort Mose

  • 2.15 Legacies of the Haitian Revolution

  • 2.16 Resistance and Revolts in the U.S.

  • 2.17 Black Organizing in the North: Freedom, Women’s Rights, and Education

* Resistance Strategies, Part 1

  • 2.18 Maroon Societies and Autonomous Black Communities

  • 2.19 Diasporic Connections: Slavery and Freedom in Brazil

  • 2.20 African Americans in Indigenous Territory

  • 2.21 Emigration and Colonization

  • 2.22 Anti-Emigrationism: Transatlantic Abolitionism and Belonging in America

* Resistance Strategies, Part 2

  • 2.23 Radical Resistance

  • 2.24 Race to the Promised Land: Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad

  • 2.25 Legacies of Courage in African American Art and Photography

* Abolition and the War for Freedom

  • 2.26 Gender and Resistance in Slave Narratives

  • 2.27 The Civil War and Black Communities

  • 2.28 Freedom Days: Commemorating the Ongoing Struggle for Freedom

Feb 2022 Framework

Unit 1: Origins of the African Diaspora (5 weeks)

* Africa: First Look

  • Topic 1.1: Introduction to African American Studies and Interdisciplinarity 

  • Topic 1.2: Exploring Africa's Geographic Diversity

  • Topic 1.3: Ethnolinguistic Diversity and Bantu Dispersals

  • Topic 1.4: Geography, Climate, and the Emergence of Empires

* The Strength and Reach of West African Empires

* Intercultural Forces in African Kingdoms and City-States

* Gender, Community, and Knowledge Production 

* Envisioning Early Africa in African American Studies

Unit 2: Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance (8 weeks)

* Atlantic Africans and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  • Topic 2.1: African Explorers in the Americas

  • Topic 2.2: Origins and Overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade 

  • Topic 2.3: Impact of the Slave Trade on West African Societies in Literature 

  • Topic 2.4: Architecture and Iconography of a Slave Ship 

* The Middle Passage

  • Topic 2.5: Experiences of Capture and the Middle Passage 

  • Topic 2.6: Resistance on Slave Ships 

  • Topic: 2.7: The Middle Passage in African American Poetry 

  • Topic 2.8: Slave Auctions and the Domestic Slave Trade 

* Communal Life, Labor, and Law

  • Topic 2.9: Labor and Economy 

  • Topic 2.10: Slavery and American Law: Slave Codes and Landmark Cases 

  • Topic 2.11: Faith Among Free and Enslaved African Americans 

  • Topic 2.12: Music, Art, and Creativity in African Diasporic Cultures 

* Gender and Reformation of Kinship 

* Strategies for Change, Part 1

  • Topic 2.16: Race to the Promised Land: The Underground Railroad

  • Topic 2.17: Fleeing Enslavement 

  • Topic 2.18: The Maroons: Black Geographies and Autonomous Black Communities 

  • Topic 2.19: Legacies of the Haitian Revolution

* Strategies for Change, Part 2

* Black Identities 

  • Topic 2.24: Integration: Transatlantic Abolitionism and Belonging in Antebellum America 

  • Topic 2.25: A Question of Naming: African and/or American

  • Topic 2.26: Black Women's Rights & Women

  • Topic 2.27: Black Pride 

* Abolition and the Politics of Memory

  • Topic 2.28: The Civil War and Black Communities

  • Topic 2.29: Theorizing Slavery and Resistance in African American Studies 

  • Topic 2.30: The Afterlives of Slavery in Contemporary Culture 

  • Topic 2.31: Commemorating the Ongoing Struggle for Freedom 

Unit 3: The Practice of Freedom (5 Weeks)

* Reconstruction and Black Politics

  • 3.1 The Reconstruction Amendments

  • 3.2 Social Life: Reuniting Black Families

  • 3.3 Black Codes, Land, and Labor

  • 3.4 The Defeat of Reconstruction

* The Color Line: Black Life in the Nadir

  • 3.5 Disenfranchisement and Jim Crow Laws

  • 3.6 White Supremacist Violence and the Red Summer

  • 3.7 The Color Line and Double Consciousness in American Society

* Racial Uplift

  • 3.8 Uplift Ideologies

  • 3.9 Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Rights and Leadership

  • 3.10 Black Organizations and Institutions

  • 3.11 HBCUs and Black Education

* The New Negro Renaissance

  • 3.12 The New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance

  • 3.13 Photography and Social Change

  • 3.14 Envisioning Africa in Harlem Renaissance Poetry

  • 3.15 The Birth of Black History

  • 3.16 Genealogy of the Field of African American Studies

* Migrations and Black Internationalism

  • 3.17 The Great Migration

  • 3.18 Afro-Caribbean Migration

  • 3.19 The Universal Negro Improvement Association

Unit 3: The Practice of Freedom (7 weeks)

* Reconstruction and Black Politics

  • Topic 3.1: Reconstruction and Its Discontents 

  • Topic 3.2: Health and Education for Freedpeople 

  • Topic 3.3: Violence and White Supremacy 

  • Topic 3.4: Reuniting Black Families 

* Uplift Ideology

  • Topic 3.5: Racial Uplift 

  • Topic 3.6: Black Suffrage and Women's Rights 

  • Topic 3.7: HBCUs and Black Education 

  • Topic 3.8: Labor and Economics 

* The New Negro Resistance

  • Topic 3.9: The New Negro Movement 

  • Topic 3.10: Black Expression

  • Topic 3.11: Everyday Life in Literature

  • Topic 3.12: Black Identity in Literature 

* Art, Literature, and Music

  • Topic 3.13: The Harlem Renaissance in Art

  • Topic 3.14: The Rise and Fall of Harlem

  • Topic 3.15: Music and the Black National Anthem

  • Topic 3.16: Black in America: Reflections

* Migrations, Pan-Africanism, and Black Internationalism

  • Topic 3.17: The Great Migration

  • Topic 3.18: Afro-Caribbean Migration to the U.S.

  • Topic 3.19: Marcus Garvey and the UNIA

  • Topic 3.20: The Pan-African Congresses

* AP Extended Essay

Unit 4: Movements and Debates (7 Weeks)

* Anticolonial Movements and the Early Black Freedom Movement

  • 4.1 The Négritude and Negrismo Movements

  • 4.2 Discrimination, Segregation, and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement

  • 4.3 The G.I. Bill, Redlining, and Housing Discrimination

* The Long Civil Rights Movement

  • 4.4 Major Civil Rights Organizations

  • 4.5 Black Women’s Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement

  • 4.6 The Arts and the Politics of Freedom

  • 4.7 Faith and the Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement

* Black Power and Black Pride

  • 4.8 Diasporic Solidarity: African Americans and Decolonization in Africa

  • 4.9 The Black Power Movement

  • 4.10 The Black Panther Party

  • 4.11 Black Is Beautiful and the Black Arts Movement

* Black Women’s Voices in Society and Leadership

  • 4.12 Black Women and Movements in the 20th Century

  • 4.13 Overlapping Dimensions of Black Life

* Diversity Within Black Communities

  • 4.14 The Growth of the Black Middle Class

  • 4.15 Black Political Gains

  • 4.16 Demographic and Religious Diversity in Contemporary Black Communities

* Identity, Culture, and Connection

  • 4.17 The Evolution of African American Music

  • 4.18 Black Achievements in Science, Medicine, and Technology

  • 4.19 Black Studies, Black Futures, and Afrofuturism

Unit 4: Movements and Debates (8 weeks)

* Anti-Colonial Movements and Military Service

  • Topic 4.1: Anti-Colonial Politics and the African Diaspora 

  • Topic 4.2: The Négritude Movement 

  • Topic 4.3: African Americans and the U.S. Occupation of Haiti 

  • Topic 4.4: Black Military Service and the G.I. Bill

* The Long Civil Rights Movement

  • Topic 4.5: Segregation, Discrimination, and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement 

  • Topic 4.6: The Big Four: NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, CORE 

  • Topic 4.7: Civil Rights Leaders

  • Topic 4.8: Faith and the Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement

* Black Power, Black Arts, Black Pride, and the Birth of Black Studies

  • Topic 4.9: The Black Power Movement and the Black Power Party

  • Topic 4.10: The Black Arts Movement

  • Topic 4.11: The Black Is Beautiful Movement

  • Topic 4.12: Student Protest and the Birth of Black Studies

* The Black Feminist Movement, Womanism, and Intersectionality

  • Topic 4.13: The Black Feminist Movement and Womanism 

  • Topic 4.14: African American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race 

  • Topic 4.15: lntersectionality and Activism

  • Topic 4.16: Black Feminist Literary Thought 

* African American Studies: Movements and Methods

  • Topic 4.17: The Black Intellectual Tradition

  • Topic 4.18: Movements and Methods in Black Studies

  • Topic 4.19: Black Queer Studies

  • Topic 4.20: Afrocentricity in Black Studies

* Diversity Within Black Communities

  • Topic 4.21: Demographic Diversity in African American Communities

  • Topic 4.22: "Postracial" Racism and Colorblindness

  • Topic 4.23: Politics and Class in African American Communities

  • Topic 4.24: Religion and Faith in Black Communities

* Black Lives Today

  • Topic 4.25: Medicine, Technology, and the Environment

  • Topic 4.26: Incarceration and Abolition

  • Topic 4.27: The Evolution of African American Music

  • Topic 4.28: Black Vernacular, Pop Culture, and Cultural Appropriation 

* New Directions in African American Studies 

  • Topic 4.29: Movements for Black Lives

  • Topic 4.30: The Reparations Movement

  • Topic 4.31: Black Study and Black Struggle in the 21st Century 

  • Topic 4.32: Black Futures and Afrofuturism

Unit 1

Unit 1: Origins of the African Diaspora (5 Weeks)

* Introduction to African American Studies

* The Strength and Complexity of Early African Societies

* Early West African Empires

* Early African Kingdoms and City-States

* Early Africa and Global Politics

 

Instructional Focus: Introduction to African American Studies

 

1.1: What Is African American Studies?

SOURCES

§ Black Studies National Conference program, 1975

§ Medicine and Transportation by Thelma Johnson Streat,

   1942–1944

§ “Outcast” by Claude McKay, 1922

Learning Objectives:

Describe the features that characterize African American studies.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American studies combines an interdisciplinary approach with the rigors of scholarly inquiry to analyze the history, culture, and contributions of people of African descent in the U.S. and throughout the African diaspora.​

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African American studies reframes misconceptions about early Africa and its relationship to people of African descent.

Essential Knowledge

  • African American studies examines the development of ideas about Africa’s history and the continent’s ongoing relationship to communities of the African diaspora.

  • Perceptions of Africa have shifted over time, ranging from misleading notions of a primitive continent with no history to recognition of Africa as the homeland of powerful societies and leaders that made enduring contributions to humanity.

  • Africa is the birthplace of humanity and the ancestral home of African Americans. Early African societies brought about developments in fields including the arts, architecture, technology, politics, religion, and music. These innovations are central to the long history that informs African American experiences and identities.

  • Interdisciplinary analysis in African American studies dispels notions of Africa as a place with an undocumented or unknowable history, affirming early Africa as a diverse continent with complex societies that were globally connected well before the onset of the Atlantic slave trade.

Unit 1: Origins of the African Diaspora (5 weeks)

* Africa: First Look

* The Strength and Reach of West African Empires

* Intercultural Forces in African Kingdoms and City-States

* Gender, Community, and Knowledge Production 

* Envisioning Early Africa in African American Studies

Weekly Instructional Focus: Africa First Look

 

Topic 1.1: Introduction to African American Studies and Interdisciplinarity 

This topic introduces the interdisciplinary field of African American studies and invites students to explore multiple perspectives by examining works of art.

Source Encounter:

•    Bisa Butler's I Go To Prepare a Place For You

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American studies explores the experiences of people of African descent and their connections to the wider world from their own perspectives.

  • African American studies is an interdisciplinary field that integrates knowledge and analysis from multiple disciplines to examine a problem, question, or artifact more effectively than through a single disciplinary perspective.

  • Bisa Butler's artwork exemplifies the incorporation of multiple perspectives that is characteristic of African American studies. Her quilted portraits draw from African American quilting traditions to integrate historical, religious, diasporic, and gender perspectives (among others) in a visual and tactile format.

  • Bisa Butler's I Go To Prepare a Place For You contextualizes Harriet Tubman's legacy, emphasizes Black women's beauty and strength, illustrates the link between faith and leadership in Tubman's life, and draws connections between African Americans and Africa.

 

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • Compare Butler's piece (2021) to the work that inspired it: Benjamin F. Powelson's carte-de-visite portrait of Harriet Tubman (1868-1869).

Instructional Focus: The Strength and Complexity of Early African Societies

1.2 The African Continent: A Varied Landscape

SOURCES

§ Map showing the major climate regions of Africa

Learning Objectives:

Describe the geographic features of the African continent.

Essential Knowledge:

  • As the second-largest continent in the world, Africa is geographically diverse with five primary climate zones: desert (e.g., the Sahara), semiarid (e.g., the Sahel), savanna grasslands, tropical rainforests, and the Mediterranean zone.

  • Africa is bordered by seas and oceans (Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean) with five major rivers (Niger River, Congo River, Zambezi River, Orange River, and Nile River) connecting regions throughout the interior of the continent.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how Africa’s varied landscape impacted patterns of settlement and trade between diverse cultural regions.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The proximity of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean to the African continent supported the emergence of early societies and fostered early global connections beyond the continent.

  • Population centers emerged in the Sahel and the savanna grasslands of Africa for three important reasons:

    • Major water routes facilitated the movement of people and goods through trade.

    • Fertile land supported the expansion of agriculture and domestication of animals.

    • The Sahel and savannas connected trade between communities in the Sahara to the north and in the tropical regions to the south.

  • Variations in climate facilitated diverse opportunities for trade in Africa.

    • In desert and semiarid areas, herders were often nomadic, moving in search of food and water, and some traded salt.

    • In the Sahel, people traded livestock.

    • In the savannas, people cultivated grain crops.

    • In the tropical rainforests, people grew kola trees and yams and traded gold.

Topic 1.2: Exploring Africa's Geographic Diversity

This topic explores the diversity of Africa's primary regions and climate zones using maps. Students can examine misconceptions through readings, such as the essay "How to Write About Africa" by Binyavanga Wainaina.

Source Encounter:

  • Physical and political maps of Africa 

  • "How to Write About Africa" (2005) Binyavanga Wainaina

Essential Knowledge:

  • As the second-largest continent in the world, Africa is geographically diverse. There are five main geographic regions: North Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa.

  • The African continent is made up of five primary climate zones: desert (e.g., the Sahara), semi-arid (e.g., the Sahel), savanna grasslands, tropical rainforests, and the Mediterranean zone.

  • Binyavanga Wainaina's satirical essay "How to Write About Africa" critiques Western depictions of Africa that rely on negative stereotypes and oversimplify the continent's complexity, diversity, and centrality to humanity's past and present. The essay encourages the reader to develop a more complex understanding of Africa's 54 countries, including ongoing changes in the landscapes, cultures, and political formations within them.

1.3 Population Growth and Ethnolinguistic Diversity

SOURCES

§ Map showing the movement of Bantu people, languages, and     technologies

Learning Objectives:

Describe the causes of Bantu expansion across the African continent.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Technological innovations (e.g., the development of tools and weapons) and agricultural innovations (e.g., cultivating bananas, yams, and cereals) contributed to the population growth of West and Central African peoples.

  • This population growth triggered a series of migrations throughout the continent, from 1500 BCE to 500 CE, called the Bantu expansion.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the Bantu expansion affected the linguistic diversity of West and Central Africa and the genetic heritage of African Americans.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Bantu-speaking peoples’ linguistic influences spread throughout the continent. Today, the Bantu linguistic family contains hundreds of languages that are spoken throughout West, Central, and Southern Africa (e.g., Xhosa, Swahili, Kikongo, Zulu).

  • Africa is the ancestral home of thousands of ethnic groups and languages. A large portion of the genetic ancestry of African Americans derives from Western and Central African Bantu speakers.

Topic 1.3: Ethnolinguistic Diversity and Bantu Dispersals

This topic explores Bantu dispersals affected linguistic diversity across African regions. Students may investigate maps and music selections to examine this topic.

Source Encounter:

  • Map of Bantu dispersals

  • Miriam Makeba performing "Qongqothwane," a Xhosa wedding song

  • Selection from "Dispersals and Genetic Adaptation of Bantu­Speaking Populations in Africa and North America" (2017) by Etienne Patin et al.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Africa is the ancestral home of thousands of ethnic groups and languages.

  • Two important factors contributed to population growth among Bantu-speaking peoples in West Africa, triggering a series of migrations throughout the continent from 1500 BCE to 500 CE:

    • Technological innovations (e.g., the development of iron tools and weapons)

    • Agricultural innovations (e.g., cultivating bananas, yams, and cereals).

  • Bantu-speaking peoples' linguistic influences spread throughout the continent. Today, the Bantu linguistic family contains hundreds of languages that are spoken throughout West, Central, and Southern Africa (e.g., Xhosa, Swahili, Kikongo, Zulu). Western and Central African Bantu speakers also represent a large portion of the genetic ancestry of African Americans.

1.4 Ancestral Africa: Ancient Societies and African American Studies

SOURCES

§ Image of Aksumite coin showing King Ezana, c. 300–340

§ Image of Nok sculpture, c. 900 BCE–200 CE

Learning Objectives:

Describe the features of and goods produced by complex societies that emerged in ancient East and West Africa.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Several of the world’s earliest complex, large-scale societies arose in Africa during the ancient era, including Egypt, Nubia (also known as Kush/Cush), and Aksum in East Africa and the Nok society in West Africa.

  • Egypt and Nubia emerged along the Nile River around 3000 BCE. Nubia was the source of Egypt’s gold and luxury trade items, which created conflict between the two societies. Around 750 BCE, Nubia defeated Egypt and established the 25th dynasty of the Black Pharaohs, who ruled Egypt for a century.

  • The Aksumite Empire (present-day Eritrea and Ethiopia) emerged in eastern Africa around 100 BCE. The Red Sea connected the empire to major maritime trade networks from the Mediterranean and the Roman Empire to India, and its strategic location contributed to its rise and expansion. Aksum developed its own currency and script (Ge’ez).

  • The Nok society (present-day Nigeria), one of the earliest iron-working societies of West Africa, emerged around 500 BCE. They are best known for their terracotta sculptures, pottery, and stone instruments. These figures are the most ancient extant evidence of a complex, settled society in sub-Saharan Africa.

Learning Objectives:

Explain why Africa’s ancient societies are culturally and historically significant to Black communities and African American studies.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Aksum became the first African society to adopt Christianity under the leadership of King Ezana. Ge’ez, its script, is still used as the main liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Aksumite Empire exemplifies African societies that adopted Christianity on their own terms, beyond the influence of colonialism or the later transatlantic slave trade.

  • From the late 18th century onward, African American writers emphasized the significance of ancient African societies in sacred and secular texts. These texts countered racist stereotypes that portrayed Africans and their descendants as societies without government or culture and formed part of the early canon of African American studies.

  • In the mid-20th century, scholarship demonstrating the complexity and contributions of Africa’s ancient societies underpinned Africans’ political claims for self-rule and independence from European colonialism.

Source Notes

§ Nubia emerged in present-day Egypt and Sudan. Meroë               developed its own system of writing.

§ Archaeological research in the 1940s helped to uncover the         Nok society’s history. Common features of Nok sculptures             include naturalistic sculptures of animals and sculptures of           people adorned by various hairstyles and jewelry.

§ The similarity of Nok sculptures to the brass terracotta works       of the Ife Yoruba and Benin cultures suggests that the Nok           society may be their early ancestor.

Topic 1.4: Geography, Climate, and the Emergence of Empires

This topic explores the influence of Africa's geography on settlement and trade encourages examination of African climate zone maps.

Source Encounter:

  • Map of African climate zones

Essential Knowledge:

  • Variations in climate and geography in West Africa facilitated opportunities for regional trade.

    • In desert and semiarid areas, herders were often nomadic, moving in search of food and water, and some traded salt.

    • In the Sahel, people traded livestock.

    • In the savannas, people cultivated grain crops.

    • In the tropical rainforests, people grew kola trees and yams and traded gold.

  • Medieval empires strategically emerged in the Sahel and the savanna grasslands for three important reasons:

    • Fertile land supported the growth of agriculture and domestication of animals.

    • Water routes (e.g., the Senegal and Niger rivers) facilitated the movement of people and goods through trade.

    • The Sahel and savannas connected trade between communities in the Sahara to the north and in the tropical regions to the south.

Instructional Focus: Early West African Empires

1.5 The Sudanic Empires Map of Africa’s kingdoms and empires

SOURCES

§ Map of Africa’s kingdoms and empires

Learning Objectives: 

Explain how the influence of gold and trade shaped the political, economic, and religious development of the ancient West African empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Sudanic empires, also known as the Sahelian empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, emerged and flourished from the 7th to the 16th century. Each reached their height at different times and expanded from the decline of the previous empire: Ghana, fl. 7th–13th century; Mali, fl. 13th–17th century; and Songhai, fl. 15th–16th century.

  • Ancient Ghana, Mali, and Songhai were renowned for their gold mines and strategic location at the nexus of multiple trade routes, connecting trade from the Sahara (toward Europe) to sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Trans-Saharan commerce brought North African traders, scholars, and administrators who introduced Islam to the region and facilitated its spread throughout West Africa.

  • Songhai was the last and the largest of the Sudanic empires. Following Portuguese exploration along the western coast of Africa, trade routes shifted from trans-Saharan to Atlantic trade, diminishing Songhai’s wealth.

Learning Objectives:

Explain the connection between the Sudanic empires and early generations of African Americans.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Sudanic empires in West Africa stretched from Senegambia to the Ivory Coast and included regions of Nigeria. The majority of enslaved Africans transported directly to North America descended from societies in two regions: West Africa and West Central Africa.

Source Notes

§ Ancient Ghana was located in present-day Mauritania and           Mali. The present-day Republic of Ghana embraced the name     of the ancient empire when it achieved independence from         colonial rule.

Weekly Instructional Focus: The Strength and Reach of West African Empires

Topic 1.5: The Sudanic Empires: Ghana 

This topic explores the role of geography and the influence of Islam on ancient Ghana. Students may examine selections of historical texts describing Ghana's strength, such as Al-Bakri's Book of Routes and Realms (1098).

Source Encounter:

  • Selection from Book of Routes and Realms (1068) by Abu Ubaydallah AI-Bakri

  • Map of the Sudanic empires

Essential Knowledge:

  • The ancient empire of Ghana grew as a confederation of Soninke settlements along the Senegal and Niger rivers (throughout the seventh and 13th centuries). These water routes contributed to Ghana's rise through regional trade.

  • Ancient Ghana's wealth and power came from its gold. Arab writers nicknamed its capital city, Kumbi Saleh, "land of the gold."

  • Along with Muslim scholars, jurists, and administrators, trans-Saharan trade played an essential role in introducing Islam to the region. Despite the spread of Islam, many Soninke people continued to follow indigenous spiritual practices, causing divisions within the empire and its leadership.

  • The Ancient Ghana (located in present-day Mauritania and Mali) was eventually incorporated into the Mali Empire as a vassal state.

1.6 Global Visions of the Mali Empire

SOURCES

§ Catalan Atlas by Abraham Cresques, 1375

§ Image of Mali equestrian figure, 13th–15th century

Learning Objectives:

Explain how Mali’s wealth and power created opportunities for the empire to expand its reach to other societies within Africa and across the Mediterranean.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the 14th century, the Mali Empire was ruled by the wealthy and influential Mansa Musa, who established the empire as a center for trade, learning, and cultural exchange.

  • Mali’s wealth and access to trans-Saharan trade routes enabled its leaders to crossbreed powerful North African horses and purchase steel weapons, which contributed to the empire’s ability to extend power over neighboring groups.

  • Mali’s wealth and Mansa Musa’s hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) in 1324 attracted the interest of merchants and cartographers across the eastern Mediterranean to southern Europe, prompting plans to trade manufactured goods for gold.

Source Notes

§ The Mali Empire encompassed portions of present-day Mali,       Mauritania, and Senegal.

§ The title Mansa refers to a ruler or king among Mande                   speakers.

§ The Catalan Atlas details the wealth and influence of the ruler     Mansa Musa and the Mali Empire based on the perspective         of a cartographer from Spain. Mansa Musa is adorned with a       gold crown and orb. The Catalan Atlas conveys the influence       of Islam on West African societies and the function of Mali as       a center for trade and cultural exchange.

Topic 1.6: The Sudanic Empires: Mali 

This topic explores how Mali's geographic location and material wealth led to its rise to power and ability to eclipse ancient Ghana. Students may apply textual and visual analysis to works of art and primary source documents.

Source Encounter:

  • Selection from The Rihla (1355) by lbn Battuta

  • Images of Mali's terracotta horseman sculptures

  • Catalan Atlas (1375), created by Abraham Cresque

 

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Mali Empire emerged during the decline of ancient Ghana, flourishing between the 13th and 17th centuries. Like ancient Ghana, the Mali Empire was renowned for its gold and its strategic positioning. It was located at the nexus of multiple routes that connected trade from the Sahara (toward Europe) to sub-­Saharan Africa.

  • Mali's wealth and access to trade routes enabled its leaders to crossbreed powerful North African horses and purchase steel weapons. These tools gave Mali an advantage over foot soldiers and contributed to the empire's ability to centralize and extend power over local groups.

  • The wealth and power of the Mali Empire attracted the interest of merchants and cartographers across the eastern Mediterranean to southern Europe, prompting plans to trade manufactured goods for gold.

 

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • Selection from "Mansa Musa and Global Mali," a chapter in in Michael Gomez's African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa that contextualizes lbn Battuta's text

1.7 Learning Traditions

SOURCES

§ “The Sunjata Story - Glimpse of a Mande Epic,” a griot                 performance of The Epic of Sundiata (video, 20:00)

Learning Objectives:

Describe the institutional and community-based models of education present in early West African societies.

Essential Knowledge:

  • West African empires housed centers of learning in their trading cities. In Mali, a book trade, university, and learning community flourished in Timbuktu, which drew astronomers, mathematicians, architects, and jurists.

  • Griots were prestigious historians, storytellers, and musicians who maintained and shared a community’s history, traditions, and cultural practices.

  • Gender played an important role in the griot tradition. Griots included African women and men who preserved knowledge of a community’s births, deaths, and marriages in their stories.

Source Notes

§ Mande griots have passed down oral traditions such as the           Epic of Sundiata (the “lion prince”) for centuries, and it is still       celebrated today in the nation of Mali. The epic recounts the       early life of Sundiata Keita (an ancestor of Mansa Musa),               founder of the Mali Empire, and it preserves the early history       of the Mande people.

Topics 1.7: The Sudanic Empires: Songhai

This topic explores how trade routes contributed to the rise and decline of the Songhai Empire using maps and primary source accounts.

Source Encounter:

  • Selection from History and Description of Africa (1550) by Leo Africanus

  • Map of the Sahelian/Sudanic empires

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Songhai Empire emerged from the Mali Empire and achieved preeminence during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Acquiring revenue from taxes and trans-Saharan trade, Songhai eclipsed the Mali Empire through territorial expansion,
    the codification of its laws, and its establishment of a central administration with representation from conquered ethnic groups.

  • The Songhai Empire was undermined in part by internal strife and the diversion of trade from trans-Saharan to Atlantic
    trade routes, occasioned by Portuguese exploration along the coast of western Africa and the European trade that followed.

  • Shifting trade routes diminished the empire's wealth, as gold­ producing regions increasingly benefited from direct access to non-African markets.

Instructional Focus: Early African Kingdoms and City-States

1.8 Indigenous Cosmologies and Religious Syncretism

SOURCES

§ “Osain del Monte - Abbilona” (video, 4:00; from 36:00–40:00)

Learning Objectives:

Explain how syncretic practices in early West African societies developed and were carried forward in African-descended communities in the Americas.

Essential Knowledge: 

  • The adoption by leaders of some African societies to Islam (e.g., in Mali and Songhai) or to Christianity (e.g., in Kongo) often resulted in their subjects blending aspects of these introduced faiths with indigenous spiritual beliefs and cosmologies.

  • Africans who blended indigenous spiritual practices with Christianity and Islam brought their syncretic religious and cultural practices from Africa to the Americas. About one quarter of African Americans descends from Christian societies in Africa and one quarter descends from Muslim societies in Africa.

  • Spiritual practices that can be traced to West Africa, such as veneration of the ancestors, divination, healing practices, and collective singing and dancing, have survived in African diasporic religions, including Louisiana Voodoo; Vodun, in Haiti; Regla de OchaIfa (once known as santería), in Cuba; and Candomblé, in Brazil. Africans and their descendants who were later enslaved in the Americas often performed spiritual ceremonies of these syncretic faiths to strengthen themselves before leading revolts.of the transatlantic slave trade.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Intercultural Forces in African Kingdoms and City-States

Topic 1.8: East Africa: The Swahili Coast

This topic explores the geographic and cultural factors that contributed to the rise and fall of the Swahili Coast's city­-states. Students may analyze primary source accounts to build their understanding. 

Source Encounter:

  • Selection from A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century ( 1514) by Duarte Barbosa

  • Map of Swahili Coast trade routes

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Swahili Coast (named from sawahil, the Arabic word for coasts) stretches from Somalia to Mozambique. The coastal
    location of its city-states linked Africa's interior to Arab, Persian, Indian, and Chinese trading communities.

  • Between the 11th and 15th centuries, the Swahili Coast city-states were united by their shared language (Swahili, a Bantu lingua franca) and a shared religion (Islam).

  • The strength of these trading states garnered the attention of the Portuguese, who invaded major city-states and established settlements in the 16th century in an attempt to control Indian Ocean trade.

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • "The Swahili Coast," a video clip (2:59) from the PBS series, Africa's Great Civilizations

1.9 Southern Africa: Great Zimbabwe

SOURCES

§ Images of Great Zimbabwe’s walls and stone enclosures,

   12th–15th century

Learning Objectives:

Describe the function and importance of Great Zimbabwe’s stone architecture.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Kingdom of Zimbabwe and its capital city, Great Zimbabwe, flourished in Southern Africa from the 12th to the 15th century. The kingdom was linked to trade on the Swahili Coast, and its inhabitants, the Shona people, became wealthy from its gold, ivory, and cattle resources.

  • Great Zimbabwe is best known for its large stone architecture, which offered military defense and served as a hub for long-distance trade. The Great Enclosure was a site for religious and administrative activities and the conical tower likely served as a granary.

  • The stone ruins remain an important symbol of the prominence, autonomy, and agricultural advancements of the Shona kings and early African societies such as Great Zimbabwe.

Topic 1.9: Southern Africa: Great Zimbabwe
This topic explores the significance of Great Zimbabwe's stone architecture by inviting students to study images of the walls and stone enclosure. 

Source Encounter:

  • Images of Great Zimbabwe's walls and stone enclosures

Essential Knowledge:

  • Great Zimbabwe was linked to trade on the Swahili Coast, and its inhabitants, the Shona people, became wealthy from its gold, ivory, and cattle resources.

  • Great Zimbabwe is best known for its large stone architecture, including the Great Enclosure, which served the purposes of military defense and religious rituals.

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • "The City of Great Zimbabwe," a video clip (2:36) from the PBS series Africa's Great Civilizations

1.10 East Africa: Culture and Trade in the Swahili Coast

Map showing Indian Ocean trade routes from the Swahili Coast

SOURCES

§ Map showing Indian Ocean trade routes from the Swahili             Coast

Learning Objectives:

Explain how geographic, cultural, and political factors contributed to the rise and fall of the city-states on the Swahili Coast.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Swahili Coast (named from sawahil, the Arabic word for coasts) stretches from Somalia to Mozambique. The coastal location of its city-states linked Africa’s interior to Arab, Persian, Indian, and Chinese trading communities.

  • Between the 11th and 15th centuries, the Swahili Coast city-states were united by their shared language (Swahili, a Bantu lingua franca) and shared religion (Islam).

  • The strength of the Swahili Coast trading states garnered the attention of the Portuguese, who invaded major city-states and established settlements in the 16th century to control Indian Ocean trade.

Topic 1.10: West-Central Africa: The Kingdom of Kongo

This topic explores the consequences of the Kingdom of Kongo's conversion to Christianity. Students may review primary source documents, such as letters, as well as artistic images. 

Source Encounter:

  • Selection from a letter by Afonso I, King of Kongo, to Manuel I, King of Portugal, 5 October 1514" 

  • Images of Kongo Christian artworks

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the late 15th century, King Nzinga and his son Afonso I converted the West Central African Kingdom of Kongo to Roman Catholicism to secure a political and economic alliance with the Portuguese monarchy. This had three important effects:

    • It increased Kongo's wealth through trade in ivory, salt,
      copper, and textiles.

    • The Portuguese demanded access to the trade of enslaved people in exchange for military assistance. Despite persistent requests made to the king of Portugal, Kongo's nobility was unable to limit the number of captives. This region (Kongo,
      along with the greater Central Africa region and West Africa) was the largest source of enslaved people in the history of the Atlantic slave trade.

    • A syncretic blend of Christian and indigenous religious beliefs and practices emerged.

  • In the Americas, West Central Africans continued the practice of merging forms of Christianity with African beliefs to create new syncretic faiths.

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • Selection from The Art of Conversion: Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo by Cécile Fremont

Instructional Focus: Early Africa and Global Politics

1.11 West Central Africa: The Kingdom of Kongo

SOURCES

§ “Excerpt of letter from Nzinga Mbemba to Portuguese King         João III,” 1526, World History Commons

§ Image of triple crucifix, 16th–19th century

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the adoption of Christianity affected economic and religious aspects of the Kingdom of Kongo.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In 1491, King Nzinga a Nkuwu (João I) and his son Nzinga Mbemba (Afonso I) voluntarily converted the powerful West Central African Kingdom of Kongo to Roman Catholicism.

  • The Kingdom of Kongo’s conversion to Christianity strengthened its trade relationship with Portugal, leading to Kongo’s increased wealth. Ivory, salt, copper, and textiles were the primary goods of trade.

  • The nobility’s voluntary conversion allowed the faith to gain mass acceptance, as the presence of the Church was not tied to foreign colonial occupation. A distinct form of African Catholicism emerged that incorporated elements of Christianity and local aesthetic and cultural traditions.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the Kingdom of Kongo’s political relations with Portugal affected the kingdom’s participation in the slave trade.

Essential Knowledge:

  • As a result of the Kingdom of Kongo’s conversion to Christianity and subsequent political ties with Portugal, the king of Portugal demanded access to the trade of enslaved people in exchange for military assistance.

  • Kongo nobles participated in the slave trade, but they were unable to limit the number of captives sold to European powers.

  • Kongo, along with the greater region of West Central Africa, became the largest source of enslaved people in the history of the Atlantic slave trade to the Americas.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the Kingdom of Kongo’s Christian culture influenced early generations of African Americans.

Essential Knowledge:

  • About a quarter of enslaved Africans directly transported to what became the United States hailed from West Central Africa. Many West Central Africans were Christians before they arrived in the Americas.

  • In Kongo, the practice of naming children after saints or according to the day of the week on which they were born (“day names”) was common before the rise of the Atlantic slave trade. As a result, Christian names among early African Americans (in Iberian and English versions, such as Juan, João, and John) also have African origins and exemplify ways that ideas and practices endured across the Atlantic.

Topic 1.11: Enslavement in Africa
This topic explores the characteristics of enslavement in West Africa prior to the Atlantic slave trade using historical documents related to voyages, such as those by Alvise Cadamosto. 

Source Encounter:

  • Selections from The Voyages of Cadamosto and Other Documents on Western Africa in the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century edited (2015) by G.R. Crone

Essential Knowledge:

  • Enslavement in Africa existed in many forms, including some that were very different from chattel slavery in the Americas. Enslaved status was considered temporary and could change throughout one's lifetime.

    • People became enslaved through debt, through poverty, as prisoners of war, or by seeking protection under elite
      custodianship. Some labored as attendants while others
      worked in administration, the military, and as agricultural or mine laborers.

    • Slavery was not based on race, and enslaved people most
      often came from different religious or ethnic groups than their enslavers.

    •  Slavery in Africa tended to include women and children who were thought to assimilate more easily into kinship networks.

1.12 Kinship and Political Leadership

SOURCES

§ Image of Illustration of Queen Njinga, 1754

§ Image of Queen Mother Pendant Mask: Iyoba, 16th century

Learning Objectives:

Describe the function of kinship along with the varied roles women played in early West and Central African societies.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Many early West and Central African societies were comprised of family groups held together by extended kinship ties, and kinship often formed the basis for political alliances. 

  • Women played many roles in West and Central African societies, including spiritual leaders, political advisors, market traders, educators, and agriculturalists.

Learning Objectives:

Compare the political and military leadership of Queen Idia of Benin and Queen Njinga of Ndongo-Matamba.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the late 15th century, Queen Idia became the first iyoba (queen mother) in the Kingdom of Benin (present-day Nigeria). She served as a political advisor to her son, the king.

  • In the early 17th century, when people from Ndongo became the first large group of enslaved Africans to arrive in the American colonies, Queen Njinga became queen of Ndongo (present-day Angola).

  • Both Queen Idia and Queen Njinga led armies into battle. Queen Idia relied on spiritual power and medicinal knowledge to bring victories to Benin.

  • Queen Njinga engaged in 30 years of guerilla warfare against the Portuguese to maintain sovereignty and control of her kingdom. She participated in the slave trade to amass wealth and political influence, and also expanded Matamba’s military by offering sanctuary for those who escaped Portuguese enslavement and joined her forces.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the legacy of Queen Idia of Benin’s and Queen Njinga of Ndongo-Matamba’s leadership.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Queen Idia became an iconic symbol of Black women’s leadership throughout the diaspora in 1977 when an ivory mask of her face was adopted as the symbol for FESTAC (Second Festival of Black Arts and Culture).

  • Queen Njinga’s reign solidified her legacy as a skilled political and military leader throughout the African diaspora. The strength of her example led to nearly 100 more years of women rulers in Matamba.

Source Notes

§ The 16th-century ivory mask of Queen Idia was designed as a       pendant to be worn to inspire Benin’s warriors. It includes             features that express the significance of Queen Idia’s                     leadership. Faces adorn the top of Queen Idia’s head,                   representing her skill in diplomacy and trade with the                   Portuguese. Her forehead features scarifications made from         iron, which identify her as a warrior. The beads above her face     depict afro-textured hair, valorizing her natural features.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Gender, Community, and Knowledge Production 

Topic 1.12: Women and Leadership

This topic explores various facets of Queen ldia's and Queen Njinga's leadership by inviting students to consider art works and secondary texts. 

Source Encounter:

  • Queen Mother Pendant Mask: lyoba (16th century)

  • Illustrations of Queen Njinga

  • Selection from Njinga of Angola: Africa's Warrior Queen (2017) by Linda M. Heywood

Essential Knowledge:

  • In medieval West African societies, women played many roles, including spiritual leaders, political advisors, market traders, educators, and agriculturalists. 

  • In the late 15th century, Queen ldia became the first iyoba (queen mother) in the Kingdom of Benin (present-day Nigeria). She served as a political advisor to her son, the king, and she became one of the best-known generals of the renowned Benin army. She was known to rely on spiritual power and medicinal knowledge to bring victories to Benin. 

  • Shortly after 1619, when Ndongans became the first large group of enslaved Africans to arrive in the American colonies, Queen Njinga became queen of Ndongo (present-day Angola). She fought to protect her people from enslavement by the Portuguese.

  • After diplomatic relations between Ndongo and Portugal collapsed, Queen Njinga fled to Matamba, where she created sanctuary communities, called kilombos, for those who escaped Portuguese enslavement. Queen Njinga's strategic guerrilla warfare solidified her reign, her legacy throughout the African diaspora, and the political leadership of women in Matamba.

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • "The Country of Angola," a video clip (5:18) from the PBS series Africa's Great Civilizations

1.13 Global Africans

SOURCES

§ Chafariz d’El Rey (The King’s Fountain), 1570–1580

Learning Objectives:

Explain the reasons why Africans went to Europe and Europeans went to Africa before the onset of the transatlantic slave trade.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the late 15th century, trade between West African kingdoms and Portugal for gold, goods, and enslaved people grew steadily, bypassing the trans-Saharan trade routes. African kingdoms increased their wealth and power through slave trading, which was a common feature of hierarchical West African societies.

  • Portuguese and West African trade increased the presence of Europeans in West Africa and the population of sub-Saharan Africans in Iberian port cities like Lisbon and Seville.

  • African elites, including ambassadors and the children of rulers, traveled to Mediterranean port cities for diplomatic, educational, and religious reasons. In these cities, free and enslaved Africans also served in roles ranging from domestic labor to boatmen, guards, entertainers, vendors, and knights.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how early forms of enslaved labor by the Portuguese shaped slave-based economies in the Americas.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the mid-15th century, the Portuguese colonized the Atlantic islands of Cabo Verde and São Tomé, where they established cotton, indigo, and sugar plantations using the labor of enslaved Africans.

  • By 1500, about 50,000 enslaved Africans had been removed from the continent to work on Portuguese-colonized Atlantic islands and in Europe. These plantations became a model for slave-based economies in the Americas.

Source Notes

§ The Chafariz d’El-Rey illustrates the substantial presence of         Africans and the range of roles they played in urban Iberian         port cities like Lisbon, where they comprised 10% of the city’s       population in the 16th century. It depicts João de Sá                     Panasco, an African Portuguese knight of the Order of Saint         James, riding a horse and two African noblemen in European       attire bearing swords in the right corner. It also depicts an             African court guard and Muslim African traders in the upper         left. The painting shows the interchange between African and     European societies well before the height of the transatlantic       slave trade. 

Topic 1.13: Learning Traditions
This topic explores institutional and community-based models of education in medieval West African societies using historical accounts and oral histories. 

Source Encounter:

  • Griot performance of The Epic of Sundiata

  • Description of Timbuktu in History and Description of Africa (1550) by Leo Africanus

Essential Knowledge:

  • West African empires housed centers of learning in their trading cities. In Mali, Mansa Musa established a book trade and learning community at Timbuktu, which drew astronomers, mathematicians, architects, and jurists.

  • Griots were prestigious historians, storytellers, and musicians who maintained and shared a community's history, traditions, and cultural practices.

 

Suggested Instructional Resource:

  • "City of Timbuktu," a video clip (1 :40) from the PBS series Africa's Great Civilizations

Topic 1.14: Indigenous Cosmologies and Culture
This topic explores various belief systems in West African societies. Students can view and discuss musical performances from artists such as Osain del Monte. 

Source Encounter:

  • Video of performance by Osain del Monte (Afro-Cuban performance group)

 

Essential Knowledge:

  • Although the leaders of empires often converted to Islam (e.g., in Mali and Songhai) or Christianity (e.g., in Kongo), they were not always able to convert their subjects, who instead blended these faiths with indigenous spiritual beliefs and cosmologies.

  • Africans brought indigenous religious practices and their experiences blending traditional beliefs with Catholicism from the continent to the Americas. They infused elements of their performative traditions into the religious cultures they created in the diaspora. Cultural practices such as veneration of the ancestors, divination, healing practices, and collective singing and dancing survive in African diasporic religions such as Louisiana Voodoo and regla de ocha in Cuba.

Topic 1.15: Africans in Europe and European in Africa
This topic explores the factors that brought Africans to Europe and Europeans to Africa prior to the transatlantic slave trade. Students may have the opportunity to apply visual analysis to artworks and maps. 

Source Encounter:

  • Images of artworks showing Africans in Renaissance Europe, such as the Chafariz d'ef Rey (The King's Fountain) in the Alfama district of Lisbon, 1570

  • 16th century Portuguese map of northwestern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula

Essential Knowledge:

  • Trade between West African kingdoms and the Portuguese for gold, goods, and enslaved people grew steadily, bypassing the trans-Saharan trade routes. This trade increased the presence of Europeans in West Africa and the population of sub-Saharan Africans in Mediterranean port cities like Lisbon.

  • In the mid-fifteenth century, the Portuguese established a trading post at Elmina Castle (present-day Ghana). They also colonized the Atlantic islands of Cape Verde and Sao Tome, where they established cotton, indigo, and sugar plantations based on the labor of enslaved Africans. These plantations became a model for slave-based economies in the Americas. By 1500, about 50,000 enslaved Africans had been removed from the continent to work on these islands and in Europe.

  • Elite, free Africans, including the children of rulers, traveled to Mediterranean port cities for diplomatic, educational, and religious reasons. 

  • In the early 16th century, free and enslaved Africans familiar with Iberian culture journeyed with Europeans in their earliest explorations of the Americas, including the first Africans in territory that became the United States.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Envisioning Early Africa in African American Studies

Topic 1.16: Reframing Early African History 

This topic explores how African American studies reframes conceptions of early Africa and its relationship to people of African descent. Students may analyze secondary text selections from historians such as Nell Irvin Painter. 

Source Encounter:

  • Selection from Chapter 1 : "Africa and Black Americans" from Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present (2006) by Nell Irvin Painter

Essential Knowledge:

  • Perceptions of Africa continue to shift, from the notion of a primitive continent with no history to recognition of Africa as the homeland of powerful societies and leaders that made enduring contributions to humanity.

  • Early African societies saw developments in many fields, including the arts, architecture, technology, politics, economics, mathematics, religion, and music.

  • The interdisciplinary analysis of African American studies has dispelled notions of Africa as a "dark" continent with an undocumented or unknowable history, affirming early Africa as a diverse place full of complex societies that were globally-connected well before the onset of the Atlantic slave trade.

Topic 1.17: Interdisciplinarity and Multiple Perspectives
This topic explores how the interdisciplinary approach of African American studies incorporates multiple perspectives. Students may read and discuss topics from among the key debates in African American studies as presented by scholars such as Henry Louis Gates Jr. 

Source Encounter:

  • "Forty Million Ways to be Black" (2011) by Henry Louis Gates Jr. from Call and Response: Key Debates in African American Studies

Essential Knowledge:

  • There was no singular way of life in early Africa, and there is no singular perspective among African Americans about their ancestry or history. 

  • The field of African American studies interrogates the development of ideas about Africa's history and its ongoingrelationship to communities of the African diaspora.

Topic: 1.18: Imagining Africa

This topic explores the question of Africa's relationship to African American ancestry and culture. Students may analyze poetry that expresses connections to and detachments from Africa, such as "Heritage" by Countee Cullen. 

 

Source Encounter:

  • "Heritage" (1925) by Countee Cullen

Essential Knowledge:

  • The question of Africa's relationship to African American ancestry, culture, and identities remains a central and fraught one for communities of the African diaspora, due to the ruptures caused by colonialism and Atlantic slavery. In response, writers, artists, and scholars interrogate and imagine their connections and detachment.

  • In "Heritage," Countee Cullen uses imagery to counter negative stereotypes about Africa and express admiration.

  • In "Heritage," Countee Cullen explores the relationship between Africa and African American identity throughintrospective reflection.

Topic 1.19: Visualizing Early Africa
This topic explores techniques contemporary African American artists use in music, film, and performance to illustrate the diversity of African cultures and their influence on the African diaspora. 

Source Encounter:

•    "Spirit" video (4:30) by Beyonce

Essential Knowledge:

  • Perceptions of Africa and its early history have influenced ideas about the ancestry, cultural heritage, and identities of people of African descent in the Americas.

  • Artists from the African diaspora often aim to counter negative stereotypes about Africa with narratives that emphasize the strength, beauty, diversity, and dynamism of African cultures as the foundation of the broader inheritance of African Americans.

  • Communities of the African diaspora emerged from the blending of multiple African cultures in the Americas. Because many African Americans cannot trace their heritage to a single ethnic group, African American cultural production often reflects a creative blend of cultural elements from multiple societies and regions in Africa.

  • African American studies seeks to recover and reframe the continuities and transformations of African cultural practices, beliefs, and aesthetic and performative traditions within the diaspora.

  • Research in African American studies underscores the role that diversity of early African societies played a significant role in the diverse expressions of African culture that exist in diaspora communities today.

Unit 1
IF 1 - Unit 1 23
WIF 1 - Unit 1 22
Unit 1 23 - 1.1
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.1
IF 2 - Unit 1 23
Unit 1 23 - 1.2
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.2
Unit 1 23 - 1.3
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.3
Unit 1 23 - 1.4
Unit 1 2 - Topic 1.4
IF 3 - Unit 1 23
WIF 2 - Unit 1 22
Unit 1 23 - 1.5
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.5
Unit 1 23 - 1.6
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.6
Unit 1 23 - 1.7
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.7
IF 4 - Unit 1 23
WIF 3 - Unit 1 22
Unit 1 23 - 1.8
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.8
Unit 1 23 - 1.9
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.9
Unit 1 23 - 1.10
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.10
IF 4 - Unit 1 23
Unit 1 22 - Topc 1.11
Unit 1 23 - 1.11
WIF 4 - Unit 1 22
Unit 1 23 - 1.12
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.12
Unit 1 23 - 1.13
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.13
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.14
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.15
WIF 5 - Unit 1 22
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.16
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.17
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.18
Unit 1 22 - Topic 1.19

Unit 2

Unit 2: Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance (8 Weeks)

* Atlantic Africans and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

* From Capture to Sale: The Middle Passage

* Slavery, Labor, and American Law

* Culture and Community

* Radical Resistance and Revolt

* Resistance Strategies, Part 1

* Resistance Strategies, Part 2

* Abolition and the War for Freedom

Instructional Focus: Atlantic Africans and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

2.1 African Explorers in America

SOURCES

§ Juan Garrido’s petition, 1538

§ Juan Garrido on a Spanish expedition, 16th century

Learning Objectives:

Explain the significance of the roles ladinos played as the first Africans to arrive in the territory that became the United States.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the early 16th century, some free and enslaved Africans familiar with Iberian culture journeyed with Europeans in their earliest explorations of the Americas; among them were the first Africans in territory that became the United States. These Africans were known as ladinos.

  • Ladinos were part of a generation known as Atlantic creoles. Atlantic creoles were Africans who worked as intermediaries before the predominance of chattel slavery. Their familiarity with multiple languages, cultural norms, and commercial practices granted them a measure of social mobility.

  • Ladinos were essential to the efforts of European powers laying claim to Indigenous lands. Black participation in America’s colonization resulted from Spain’s early role in the slave trade and the presence of enslaved and free Africans in the parties of Spanish explorers who laid claim to “La Florida”— Spain’s name for an area that included Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the diverse roles Africans played during colonization of the Americas in the 16th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the 15th and 16th centuries, Africans in the Americas played three major roles:

    • As conquistadores, participating in the work of conquest, often in hopes of gaining their freedom

    • As enslaved laborers, working largely in mining and agriculture to produce profit for Europeans

    • As free skilled workers and artisans

  • Juan Garrido, a conquistador born in the Kingdom of Kongo, moved to Lisbon, Portugal. A free man, he became the first known African to arrive in North America when he explored present-day Florida during a Spanish expedition in 1513. Garrido maintained his freedom by serving in the Spanish military forces, participating in efforts to conquer Indigenous populations.

  • Estevanico (also called Esteban), an enslaved African healer from Morocco, was forced to work in 1528 as an explorer and translator in Texas and in territory that became the southwestern United States. He was eventually killed by Indigenous groups that were resisting Spanish colonialism.

Unit 2: Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance (8 weeks)

* Atlantic Africans and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

* The Middle Passage

* Communal Life, Labor, and Law

* Gender and Reformation of Kinship 

* Strategies for Change, Part 1

* Strategies for Change, Part 2

* Black Identities 

* Abolition and the Politics of Memory

Weekly Instructional Focus: Atlantic Africans and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 

Topic 2.1: African Explorers in the Americas

This topic explores the various roles Africans played during colonization of the Americas in the 16th century. Students may analyze a primary source text or apply visual analysis to a work of art. 

2.2 Departure Zones in Africa and the Slave Trade to the U.S.

SOURCES

§ Departure zones and destinations of captive Africans,

   1500-1900 CE

§ Map showing the regional origins of enslaved people forcibly       transported to North America

Learning Objectives:

Describe the scale and geographic scope of the transatlantic slave trade.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Due to the slave trade, before the 19th century, more people arrived in the Americas from Africa than from any other region.

  • The transatlantic slave trade lasted over 350 years (from the early 1500s to the mid 1800s), and more than 12.5 million enslaved Africans were forcibly transported to the Americas. Of those who survived the journey, only about 5% (approximately 388,000) came directly from Africa to what became the United States.

  • Forty-eight percent of all Africans who were brought to the United States directly from Africa landed in Charleston, S.C., the center of U.S. slave trading.

  • Portugal, Great Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands were the top five enslaving nations involved in the transatlantic slave trade.

Learning Objectives:

Identify the primary slavetrading zones in Africa from which Africans were forcibly taken.

Essential Knowledges:

  • Enslaved Africans transported directly to mainland North America primarily came from locations that correspond to nine contemporary African regions: Senegambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Angola, and Mozambique. Captives from Senegambia and Angola comprised nearly half of those taken to mainland North America (about a quarter from each region).

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the distribution of distinct African ethnic groups during the era of slavery shaped the development of African American communities in the U.S.

Essential Knowledges:

  • Enslaved Africans’ cultural contributions in the U.S. varied based on their many different places of origin. The interactions of various African ethnic groups produced multiple combinations of African-based cultural practices, languages, and belief systems within African American communities.

  • The ancestors of early generations of African Americans in mainland North America derived from numerous West and Central African ethnic groups, such as the Wolof (Senegambia), Akan (Ghana), Igbo, and Yoruba (Nigeria). Nearly half of those who arrived in the U.S. came from societies in Muslim or Christian regions of Africa.

  • The distribution patterns of numerous African ethnic groups throughout the American South created diverse Black communities with distinctive combinations of African-based cultural practices, languages, and beliefs.

Topic 2.2: Origins and Overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade 
This topic explores the primary embarkation zones in West Africa used during the transatlantic slave trade. Students may examine a map of the transatlantic slave trade and a secondary text to build their awareness that the Africans who arrived in the U.S. originated from regions beyond West Africa. 

2.3 Capture and the Impact of the Slave Trade on West African Societies

SOURCES

§ Excerpt from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah       Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself         by Olaudah Equiano, 1789 (selection from chapter 2)

§ “On Being Brought from Africa to America” by Phillis                     Wheatley, 1773

Learning Objectives:

Describe the conditions of the three-part journey enslaved Africans endured during the slave trade.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the first part of the journey, which could last several months, Africans were captured and marched from interior states to the Atlantic coast. On the coast they waited in crowded, unsanitary dungeons.

  • The second part of the journey, the Middle Passage, involved traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, and it lasted up to three months. For most, the Middle Passage established permanent separation from their communities. Aboard slave ships Africans were humiliated, beaten, tortured, and raped and suffered from widespread disease and malnourishment. Fifteen percent of captive Africans perished in the Middle Passage.

  • The third, or “final” passage, occurred when those who arrived at ports in the Americas were quarantined, resold, and transported domestically to distant locations of servitude—a process that could take as much time as the first and middle passages combined.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the transatlantic slave trade destabilized West African societies.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The slave trade increased monetary incentives to use violence to enslave neighboring societies, and wars between kingdoms were exacerbated by the prevalence of firearms received from trade with Europeans.

  • Coastal states became wealthy from trade in goods and people, while interior states became unstable under the constant threat of capture and enslavement.

  • To maintain local dominance and grow their wealth, African leaders sold soldiers and war captives from opposing ethnic groups. In some areas of the Americas, this led to a concentration of former African soldiers, which aided enslaved communities’ ability to revolt.

  • As a result of the slave trade, African societies suffered from long-term instability and loss of kin who would have assumed leadership roles in their communities, raised families, and passed on their traditions.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the key features and purposes of narratives written by formerly enslaved Africans.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Formerly enslaved Africans detailed their experiences in genres such as slave narratives and poetry.

  • Slave narratives serve as historical accounts, literary works, and political texts and are examined through interdisciplinary lenses.

  • As political texts, slave narratives aimed to end slavery and the slave trade, demonstrate Black humanity, and advocate for the inclusion of people of African descent in American society

Source Notes

§ Phillis Wheatley became the first African American to publish       a book of poetry. Her iconic portrait, attributed to the                   enslaved African American painter Scipio Moorehead, is the         first known individual portrait of an African American.

Topic 2.3: Impact of the Slave Trade on West African Societies in Literature 

This topic explores how African and African American authors often combine literary techniques with historical research to convey the impact of the slave trade on West African society. Students may read a short excerpt from a contemporary novel. 

Instructional Focus: From Capture to Sale: The Middle Passage

2.4 Architecture and Iconography of a Slave Ship

SOURCES

§ Stowage of the British slave ship Brookes, early 19th century

§ Stowage by Willie Cole, 1997

Learning Objectives:

Describe the features of slave ship diagrams created during the era of the slave trade.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Slave ship diagrams depict a systematic arrangement of captives that aimed to maximize profit by transporting as many people as possible; even so, the diagrams typically show only about half the number of enslaved people on any given ship.

  • Slave ship diagrams show unsanitary and cramped conditions that increased incidence of disease, disability, and death during a trip that could last up to 90 days.

  • Slave ship diagrams rarely include the features enslavers used to minimize resistance, such as guns, nets to prevent captives from jumping overboard, and iron instruments to force-feed those who resisted.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how abolitionists and Black artists have utilized slave ship diagrams during and since the era of slavery

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the 18th and 19th centuries, White and Black antislavery activists circulated diagrams of slave ships to raise awareness of the dehumanizing conditions of the Middle Passage.

  • Since abolition, Black visual and performance artists have repurposed the iconography of the slave ship to process historical trauma and honor the memory of their ancestors— the more than 12.5 million Africans who were forced onto over 36,000 known voyages for over 350 years.

Source Notes

§ In the 18th and 19th centuries, slave ship diagrams created a       visual archive of commodification by depicting individual             Africans as an anonymous, homogenous group of fungible           goods for sale.

§ Today, the icon of the slave ship embodies a pivotal                       development in the shared history of communities of African       descent—the birth of a global diaspora.

§ In Stowage, contemporary artist Willie Cole uses an everyday       object (an iron) to symbolize the history of his ancestors—             Africans brought through the Middle Passage to labor in the       homes of their enslavers. The detailed vertical faces of the           iron represent the various African communities that would             have traveled in a slave ship, and the horizontal image                   represents the ship itself.

Topic 2.4: Architecture and Iconography of a Slave Ship 
This topic explores the purpose, context, and audiences for slave ship diagrams circulated during and after the era of slavery. Students may examine archival images or modern art. 

2.5 Resistance on Slave Ships

SOURCES

§ Plea to the Jurisdiction of Cinquè and Others, 1839

§ Sketches of the captive survivors from the Amistad trial, 1839

Learning Objectives:

Describe the methods by which Africans resisted their commodification and enslavement individually and collectively during the Middle Passage.

 

Essential Knowledge:

  • Aboard slave ships, African captives resisted the trauma of deracination, commodification, and enslavement individually and collectively by staging hunger strikes, attempting to jump overboard rather than live enslaved, and overcoming linguistic differences to form revolts.

  • Africans’ resistance made the slave trade more expensive and more dangerous, and it led to changes in the design of slave ships (e.g., the construction of barricades and inclusion of nets and guns).

  • In 1839, more than 30 years after the abolition of the slave trade, a Mende captive from Sierra Leone, Sengbe Pieh, led a group of enslaved Africans in one of the most famous revolts aboard a slave ship. During the revolt, the enslaved Africans took over the schooner La Amistad. After a trial that lasted two years, the Supreme Court granted the Mende captives their freedom. The trial generated public sympathy for the cause of abolition.

Source Notes

§ Although they outnumbered their enslavers, Africans faced           incredible obstacles and risked near-certain death by resisting     their enslavement aboard slave ships.

§ Sengbe Pieh was also known as Joseph Cinquè.

Weekly Instructional Focus: The Middle Passage 

Topic 2.5: Experiences of Capture and the Middle Passage 

This topic explores narratives by formerly enslaved Africans that detail their experience of capture and the middle passage. Students may analyze literary techniques used in primary accounts, such as Olaudah Equiano's narrative, to also consider how these narratives served as political texts that aimed to end the dehumanizing slave trade. 

2.6 Slave Auctions

SOURCES

§ Solomon Northup’s description of the New Orleans Slave             Market, 1841

§ “The Slave Auction” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1854

Learning Objectives:

Describe the nature of slave auctions in the 19th-century U.S. South.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Slavery leveraged the power of the law and white supremacist doctrine to assault the bodies, minds, and spirits of enslaved Africans and their descendants. Those who resisted sale at auction were punished severely by whipping, torture, and mutilation—at times in front of their families and friends.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African American authors advanced the causes of abolition and equality in their writings about slave auctions.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American writers used various literary genres, including narratives and poetry, to articulate the physical and emotional effects of being sold at auction to unknown territory.

  • African American writers sought to counter enslavers’ claims that slavery was a benign institution and to advance the cause of abolition.

Source Notes

§ Solomon Northup, a free Black musician who was captured           and illegally sold into slavery on a cotton plantation in                   Louisiana, provided an eyewitness account in his narrative,           Twelve Years a Slave.

§ Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a poet, suffragist, and                     abolitionist was the first African American woman to publish a     short story.

Topic 2.6: Resistance on Slave Ships 

This topic explores methods by which Africans resisted their commodification and enslavement during the Middle Passage. Students may examine a primary account, such as the transcript from the Amistad trial. 

Instructional Focus: Slavery, Labor, and American Law

2.7 The Domestic Slave Trade and Forced Migration

SOURCES

§ Map showing cotton expansion and the growth of slavery in         the U.S. South

§ Broadside for an auction of enslaved persons at the                       Charleston Courthouse, 1859

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the rise in cotton as a cash crop drove the growth of the domestic slave trade in the United States.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The invention of the cotton gin increased U.S. production, profits, and dependency on cotton as a cash crop.

  • The forced removal of Indigenous communities by the U.S. government through the Trail of Tears made lands available for large-scale cotton production.

  • After the U.S. government formally banned the transatlantic slave trade in 1808, the enslaved population grew primarily through childbirth rather than new importations, increasing the supply of enslaved agricultural laborers.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the growth of the cotton industry in the U.S. displaced enslaved African American families.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The lower South (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) was dominated by the slave-cotton system, where enslaved African Americans were especially valuable as commodities due to the demand for laborers.

  • During the cotton boom in the first half of the 19th century, many African Americans were forcibly relocated through the domestic slave trade from the upper South (inland states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri) to the lower South.

  • Marching hundreds of miles, over one million African Americans were displaced by this “Second Middle Passage”—over two-and-a-half times more people than had arrived from Africa during the original Middle Passage. This massive displacement was the largest forced migration in American history.

Topic: 2.7: The Middle Passage in African American Poetry 

This topic explores how African American writers use imagery and the senses to recount experiences of enslaved Africans' resistance and foreground resistance as endemic to the slave trade. Students may read or listen to a poem, such as Robert Hayden's "Middle Passage." 

2.8 Labor, Culture, and Economy

SOURCES

§ Broadside advertising “Valuable Slaves at Auction” in New           Orleans, 1859

§ Rice fanner basket, c. 1863

Learning Objectives:

Describe the range and variety of specialized roles performed by enslaved people.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Enslaved people of all ages and genders performed a wide variety of domestic, agricultural, and skilled labor in both urban and rural locales.

  • In some areas, there were distinct roles separating domestic and agricultural laborers, although enslaved persons could be reallocated to another type of labor according to the preferences of their enslaver.

  • Many enslaved people relied on skills developed in Africa, such as rice cultivation.

  • In addition to agricultural work, enslaved people learned specialized trades and worked as painters, carpenters, tailors, musicians, and healers in the North and South. Once free, American Americans used these skills to provide for themselves and others.

  • Some enslaved people were bound to institutions such as churches, factories, and colleges, rather than to an individual person.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how slave labor systems enabled the formation of African American musical and linguistic practices.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Enslaved agricultural laborers often worked in a gang system or a task system.

  • In the gang system, enslaved laborers worked in groups from sunup to sundown, under the watch and discipline of an overseer as they cultivated crops like cotton, sugar, and tobacco. Enslaved people working in gangs created work songs (in English) with syncopated rhythms to keep the pace of work.

  • In the task system, enslaved people worked individually until they met a daily quota, generally with less supervision. The task system was used for the cultivation of crops like rice and indigo. With less oversight, some enslaved people found the autonomy to maintain linguistic practices, such as the Gullah creole language that developed in the Carolina Lowcountry.

Learning Objectives:

Evaluate the economic effects of enslaved people’s commodification and labor, within and outside of African American communities.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Slavery fostered economic interdependence between the North and South. Cities that did not play a major role in the African slave trade nonetheless benefited from the economy created by slavery.

  • Enslaved people were foundational to the American economy, even though they and their descendants were alienated from the wealth that they both embodied and produced.

  • Over centuries, slavery deeply entrenched wealth disparities along the U.S.’s racial lines. Enslaved African Americans had no wages to pass down to descendants and no legal right to accumulate property, and individual exceptions to these laws depended on their enslavers’ decision.

Source Notes

§ The broadside illustrates the wide range of tasks enslaved           people performed (e.g., engineer, ship caulker, ironer), their         ages, and other characteristics, such as the languages spoken     and their racial designations. It also captures the lingering           influence of French and Spanish racial nomenclature on New       Orleans; enslaved people are listed as “black,” “mulatto,”           and “griffe” (three quarters Black and one quarter Indigenous).

§ The rice fanner basket conveys the transfer of agricultural and     artistic knowledge from Africa to the U.S. The coiled features       of African American basket-making traditions in the                       Lowcountry resemble those currently made in Senegal and           Angola

Topic 2.8: Slave Auctions and the Domestic Slave Trade 

This topic explores the assault to the bodies, minds, and spirits of enslaved Africans at slave auctions and the physical and emotional effects of being sold to unknown territory. Students may analyze a narrative, poem, or historical broadside to build their understanding. 

2.9 Slavery and American Law: Slave Codes and Landmark Cases

SOURCES

§ Excerpts from the South Carolina slave code, 1740

§ Articles 1–10 from the Louisiana slave code, 1724

§ Article 1, Section 2 and Article 4, Section 2 of the U.S.                   Constitution, 1787

§ Excerpts from Dred Scott’s plea and Chief Justice Roger B.           Taney’s opinion in Dred Scott v. Sanford, 1857

Learning Objectives:

Explain how American law impacted the lives and citizenship rights of enslaved and free African Americans between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Article 1 and Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution refer to slavery but avoid using the terms slave or slavery. “Slave” appeared in an early draft but was removed. These terms appear for the first time in the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery.

  • Slave codes defined chattel slavery as a race-based, inheritable, lifelong condition and included restrictions against freedom of movement, congregation, possessing weapons, and wearing fine fabrics, among other activities. These regulations manifested in slaveholding societies throughout the Americas, including the Code Noir and Código Negro in French and Spanish colonies.

  • Slave codes and other laws deepened racial divides in American society by reserving opportunities for upward mobility and protection from enslavement for White people on the basis of their race and by denying opportunities to Black people on the same premise.

  • Some free states enacted laws to deny African Americans opportunities for advancement.

    • Some free states barred entry of free Black people into the state.

    • Some states enacted restrictions to keep free Black men from voting (e.g., New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut) and testifying against Whites in court (e.g., Ohio).

    • By 1870, with the ratification of the 15th Amendment, only Wisconsin and Iowa had given Black men the right to vote.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how slave codes developed in response to African Americans’ resistance to slavery.

Essential Knowledge

  • South Carolina’s 1740 slave code was updated in response to enslaved people’s resistance during the Stono Rebellion in 1739. The 1740 code classified all Black people and the Indigenous communities that did not submit to the colonial government as nonsubjects and presumed enslaved people.

  • South Carolina’s 1740 slave code prohibited enslaved people from gathering, drumming, running away, learning to read, or rebelling. It condemned to death any enslaved persons that tried to defend themselves from attack by a White person.

  • Legal codes and landmark cases intertwined to define the status of African Americans by denying them citizenship rights and protections. Dred Scott’s freedom suit (1857) resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision that African Americans, enslaved and free, were not and could never become citizens of the U.S.

Source Notes

§ Louisiana’s Code Noir contained restrictions similar to those in     South Carolina’s slave code, along with a greater emphasis on     Catholic instruction and regulations that acknowledged the         possibility of marriage between enslaved people but forbid         interracial relationships.

§ The Dred Scott decision was overturned by the                               Reconstruction Amendments (the 13th, 14th, and 15th                   amendments to the U.S. Constitution).

§ By 1860, Black men could only vote in five of the six New               England states (Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts,

   Rhode Island, and New Hampshire).

Weekly Instructional Focus: Communal Life, Labor, and Law 

Topic 2.9: Labor and Economy 

This topic explores the economic effects, within and outside African American communities, of enslaved people's commodification and labor using a narrative or secondary text. 

Instructional Focus: Culture and Community

2.10 The Concept of Race and the Reproduction of Status

SOURCES

§ Laws of Virginia, Act XII, General Assembly, 1662

§ “Am I not a Woman and a Sister” from The Liberator, 1849

Learning Objectives:

Explain how partus sequitur ventrem impacted African American families and informed the emergence of racial taxonomies in the United States.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Partus sequitur ventrem, a 17th-century law, defined a child’s legal status based on the status of its mother and held significant consequences for enslaved African Americans.

  • Partus codified hereditary racial slavery in the U.S. by ensuring that enslaved African American women’s children would inherit their status as property, which invalidated African Americans’ claims to their children.

  • Partus was designed to prohibit the mixedrace children of Black women from inheriting the free status of their father (the custom in English common law).

  • Partus gave male enslavers the right to deny responsibility for the children they fathered with enslaved women (most often through assault) and to commodify enslaved women’s reproductive lives.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how racial concepts and classifications emerged alongside definitions of status.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The concept of race is not based in clear biological distinctions, as more genetic difference and variation appears within racial groups than between racial groups. Concepts and classifications of racial types emerged in tandem with systems of enslavement.

  • Phenotype (e.g., skin color, hair texture) contributes largely to perceptions of racial identity. During the era of slavery, racial categories were also defined by law, regardless of phenotype. Legal statutes like partus sequitur ventrem defined racial categories and tied them to rights and status (e.g., enslaved, free, citizen) in order to perpetuate slavery over generations.

  • In the U.S., race classification was determined on the basis of hypodescent. Prior to the Civil War, states differed on the percentage of ancestry that defined a person as White or Black. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, a practice known as the “one-drop rule” classified a person with any degree of African descent as part of a singular, inferior status.

  • Although many African Americans had European or Indigenous ancestry, race classification prohibited them from embracing multiracial or multiethnic heritage.

Source Notes

§ In 1656, Elizabeth Key (born of a White father and an enslaved     Black mother) became the first Black woman in North America     to sue for her freedom and win. Soon after, in 1662, the legal       doctrine of partus sequitur ventrem was passed by the

   General Assembly of Virginia and spread throughout the               remaining 13 colonies.

Topic 2.10: Slavery and American Law: Slave Codes and Landmark Cases 

This topic explores the impact of slave codes and landmark cases intended to strip enslaved African Americans of their rights and freedoms and harden the color line in American society for free Blacks. Students may analyze selections from slave codes from different states. 

2.11 Faith and Song Among Free and Enslaved African Americans

SOURCES

§ My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass, 1855

§ Contemporary gospel performance of “Steal Away” by Shirley     Caesar and Michelle Williams (video)

§ Lyrics of “Steal Away,” mid-19th century

Learning Objectives:

Explain the emergence and growth of African American faith traditions.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Religious practices among enslaved and free Afro-descendants took many forms and served social, spiritual, and political purposes.

  • Some enslaved people followed belief systems from Africa. Others blended faith traditions from Africa with those they encountered in the Americas or adhered to Christianity and Islam but practiced in their own way.

  • Religious services and churches became sites for community gathering, celebration, mourning, sharing information, and, in the North, political organizing. Religion inspired resistance to slavery in the form of rebellions, such as those led by Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey, and the activism of abolitionists like Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass, and Henry Highland Garnet.

Learning Objectives:

Explain the multiple functions and significance of spirituals.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Musical and faith traditions combined in the U.S. in the form of spirituals—the songs enslaved people sang to articulate their hardships and their hopes.

  • Enslaved people used spirituals to resist the dehumanizing conditions and injustice of enslavement, express their creativity, and communicate strategic information, such as plans to run away, warnings, and methods of escape.

  • The lyrics of spirituals often had double meanings. These songs used biblical themes of redemption and deliverance to alert enslaved people to opportunities to run away via the Underground Railroad.

Source Notes

§ Enslaved people maintained a range of spiritual beliefs,               including African-derived beliefs, syncretic forms of                       Christianity, and Islam. For enslaved Afro-descendants,                 Christianity animated political action and justified African             Americans’ pursuit of liberation.

§ African performative elements are present in the ring shout         found among the Gullah Geechee community in Georgia and     South Carolina.

§ “Steal Away” was documented and composed by Wallace           Willis, a formerly enslaved Black person in Choctaw territory         in Mississippi who was displaced to Oklahoma territory                 during the Trail of Tears.

Topic 2.11: Faith Among Free and Enslaved African Americans 

This topic explores the context in which various African American faith traditions emerged. Students may analyze a musical performance or apply textual analysis to a song lyric. 

2.12 Music, Art, and Creativity in African Diasporic Cultures

SOURCES

§ Gourd head banjo, c. 1859

§ Storage jar by David Drake, 1858

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African Americans combined influences from African cultures with local sources to develop new musical and artistic forms of self-expression.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American creative expression drew upon blended influences from ancestors, community members, and local European and Indigenous cultures.

  • Africans’ descendants in the U.S. added their aesthetic influences as they made pottery and established a tradition of quilt making as a medium of storytelling and memory keeping.

  • African Americans drew from varied African and European influences in the construction of instruments such as the banjo, drums, and rattles from gourds in order to recreate instruments similar to those in West Africa.

Learning Objectives:

Explain the influence of enslaved Africans’ and their descendants’ musical innovations on the development of American music genres.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Enslaved people adapted Christian hymns they learned and combined rhythmic and performative elements from Africa (e.g., call and response, clapping, improvisation) with biblical themes, creating a distinct American musical genre. This became the foundation of later American music genres, including gospel and the blues.

  • Senegambians (such as the Wolof and Mandinka) and West Central Africans arrived in large numbers in Louisiana, which influenced the development of American blues. American blues contains the same musical system as fodet from the Senegambia region.

Source Notes

§ Despite bans on literacy for African Americans, David Drake,       an enslaved potter in South Carolina, exercised creative               expression by inscribing short poems on the jars he created         on a range of topics including love, family, spirituality, and           slavery.

Topic 2.12: Music, Art, and Creativity in African Diasporic Cultures 
This topic explores how African Americans combined influences from African cultures and local sources to develop new musical and artistic forms of self-expression. Students may examine a work of art or poetry, such as those by David Drake.

2.13 Black Pride, Identity, and the Question of Naming

SOURCES

§ Selections of letters written to newspapers from Call and               Response, 1831–1841 (pp. 87–89, includes letters from various     named and anonymous authors that were originally published     between 1831 and 1841 including Freedom’s Journal, The             Liberator, The Colored American, and the Minutes of the Fifth     Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of     Color in the United States)

Learning Objectives:

Explain how changing demographics and popular debates about African Americans’ identity influenced the terms they used to identify themselves in the 19th century and beyond.

Essential Knowledge:

  • After the U.S. banned international slave trading in 1808, the percentage of African-born people in the African American population declined (despite the importing of enslaved Africans continuing illegally).

  • The American Colonization Society was founded during the same era by White leaders seeking to exile the growing free Black population to Africa. In response, many Black people emphasized their American identity by rejecting the term African, the most common term for people of African descent in the U.S. until the late 1820s.

Source Notes

§ Beginning in the 1830s, African Americans began to hold             political meetings, known as Colored Conventions, across the     U.S. and Canada. These meetings foregrounded their shared       heritage and housed debates about identity and self-                   identification in African American communities.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Gender and Reformation of Kinship 

Topic 2.13: Gender and Slavery in Literature 

This topic explores the impact of gender on women's experiences of enslavement, seeking freedom, and writing about their experiences. Students may read select passages from Harriet Jacob's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself, for example. 

Instructional Focus: Radical Resistance and Revolt

2.14 The Stono Rebellion and Fort Mose

SOURCES

§ Letter from Governor of Florida to His Majesty, 1739

§ Excerpt from an Account of the Stono Rebellion, 1739 (first           paragraph)

§ Fort Mose Artifacts, Florida Museum of Natural History

§ Watercolor of Fort Mose, Florida Museum of Natural History

Learning Objectives: 

Explain effects of the asylum offered by Spanish Florida to enslaved people in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Founded in Florida in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of African American and European origin in the U.S. Beginning in the 17th century, enslaved refugees escaping Georgia and the Carolinas fled to St. Augustine, seeking asylum in Spanish Florida, which offered freedom to enslaved people who converted to Catholicism.

  • In 1738, the governor of Spanish Florida established a fortified settlement under the leadership of Francisco Menéndez, an enslaved Senegambian who fought against the English in the Yamasee War and found refuge in St. Augustine. The settlement, called Fort Mose, was the first sanctioned free Black town in what is now the U.S.

  • The emancipation from slavery offered by Spanish Florida to slaves fleeing the British colonies inspired the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina in 1739. Led by Jemmy, an enslaved man from the Angola region, nearly 100 enslaved African Americans set fire to plantations and marched toward sanctuary in Spanish Florida.

  • After the Stono Rebellion, in 1740, the British province of South Carolina passed a restrictive slave code that prohibited African Americans from organizing, drumming, learning to read, or moving abroad, including to other colonial territories. One month later, British colonial forces invaded Florida, eventually seizing and destroying Fort Mose.

Source Notes

§ The full name of the Florida town established in 1738 was             Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose.

§ The names of African-born leaders like Francisco Menéndez         and Jemmy reflect the names they acquired as enslaved               people in Spanish and British colonies.

§ Many of the enslaved people participating in the Stono                 Rebellion were from the Kingdom of Kongo (present-day             Angola), and they were Portuguese speakers familiar with             Catholicism.

Topic 2.14: Reproduction and Racial Taxonomies

This topic explores the impact of parlus sequitur ventrem on African American families and the emergence of racial taxonomies in the United States. Students may examine a secondary text, by Jennifer Morgan for example, to build knowledge of the emergence of race as a social construct and part of a system of classification. 

2.15 Legacies of the Haitian Revolution

SOURCES

§ The Preliminary Declaration from the Constitution of Haiti,           1805

§ Frederick Douglass’s lecture on Haiti at the Chicago World’s         Fair, 1893

§ L’Ouverture, 1986, To Preserve Their Freedom, 1988, and               Strategy, 1994, from The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture series         by Jacob Lawrence

Learning Objective:

Explain the historical and cultural significance of the Haitian Revolution.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was the only uprising of enslaved people that resulted in overturning a colonial, slaveholding government. It transformed a European colony (Saint-Domingue) into a Black republic free of slavery (Haiti) and created the second independent nation in the Americas, after the U.S.

  • The Haitian Revolution had a broad impact:

  • France lost the most lucrative colony in the Caribbean.

  • The cost of fighting Haitians prompted Napoleon to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States. This sale nearly doubled the size of the U.S. and also increased the land available for the expansion of slavery.

  • France temporarily abolished slavery (from 1794 to 1802) throughout the empire, in colonies like Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana.

  • The destruction of the plantation slavery complex in Haiti shifted opportunities in the market for sugar production to the U.S., Cuba, and Brazil.

  • The Haitian Revolution brought an influx of White planters and enslaved Black refugees to U.S. cities like Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia and increased anxieties about the spread of slave revolts.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the role of maroons in the Haitian Revolution.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Afro-descendants who escaped slavery to establish free communities were known as maroons.

  • During the Haitian Revolution, maroons disseminated information across disparate groups and organized attacks. Many of the enslaved freedom fighters were former soldiers who were enslaved during civil wars in the Kingdom of Kongo and sent to Haiti.

Learning Objectives: 

Explain the impacts of the Haitian Revolution on African diaspora communities and Black political thought.

Essential Knowledge:

  • For some African Americans, Haiti’s independence and abolition of slavery highlighted the unfulfilled promises of the American Revolution.

  • The Haitian Revolution inspired uprisings in other African diaspora communities, such as the Louisiana Slave Revolt (1811), one of the largest on U.S. soil, and the Malê Uprising of Muslim slaves (1835), one of the largest revolts in Brazil.

  • The legacy of the Haitian Revolution had an enduring impact on Black political thinking, serving as a symbol of Black freedom and sovereignty.

Source Notes

§ Article 14 of the 1805 Haitian Constitution reversed prevailing     functions of racial categories in the Atlantic world, in which           “Black” often signified an outsider or noncitizen. Instead, it         declared all citizens of Haiti to be Black. By uniting the                 multiethnic residents of the island under a single racial                 category, it removed ethno-racial distinctions and reframed         Black as an identity that signified citizenship and belonging.

§ Frederick Douglass was appointed General Consul and U.S.         Minister to Haiti (1889–1891) by President Benjamin Harrison.

Topic 2.15: Recreating Kinship and Traditions

This topic explores the disruptions slavery created for African American families and how enslaved people forged marital and kinship bonds despite these challenges. Students may analyze a poem, such as France Ellen Watkins Harper's "The Fugitive's Wife" or a selection from a narrative. 

2.16 Resistance and Revolts in the U.S.

SOURCES

§ Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Rufus King, 1802

Learning Objectives:

Describe the daily forms of resistance demonstrated by enslaved people.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Enslaved people continually resisted their enslavement by slowing work, breaking tools, stealing food, or attempting to run away.

  • Daily methods of resistance helped galvanize and sustain the larger movement toward abolition.

Learning Objectives:

Explain connections between enslaved resistance within the U.S. and political developments outside of the U.S.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In 1526, Africans enslaved in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) were brought to aid Spanish exploration along the South Carolina–Georgia coastline. They led the earliest known slave revolt in what is now U.S. territory and escaped into nearby Indigenous communities.

  • Inspired by the Haitian Revolution, Charles Deslondes led up to 500 enslaved people in the largest slave revolt on U.S. soil, known as the German Coast Uprising, or the Louisiana Revolt of 1811. Deslondes organized support across local plantations and maroon communities (including self-emancipated people from Haiti) and led them on a march toward New Orleans. The revolt was violently suppressed.

  • In 1841, Madison Washington, an enslaved cook, led a mutiny aboard the slave brig, Creole, which transported enslaved people from Virginia to New Orleans. Washington seized the ship and sailed it to the Bahamas, knowing that the British had ended slavery in the West Indian colonies in 1833. As a result, nearly 130 African Americans gained their freedom in the Bahamas.

  • Shaped by common struggles, inspirations, and goals, a revolt in one region often influenced the circumstances and political actions of enslaved Afro-descendants in another region.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Strategies for Change, Part 1 

Topic 2.16: Race to the Promised Land: The Underground Railroad 

This topic directly explores innovative methods of escape via the Underground Railroad. Students may analyze an example of visual or textual narratives, including Harriet Tubman's reflections as captured by a biographer. 

2.17 Black Organizing in the North: Freedom, Women’s Rights, and Education

SOURCES

§ “Why Sit Here and Die” by Maria W. Stewart, 1832

Learning Objectives:

Explain how free Black people in the North and South organized to support their communities.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the free Black population grew in the U.S. By 1860, free people were 12% of the Black population. Although there were more free Black people in the South than in the North, their numbers were small in proportion to the enslaved population.

  • The smaller number of free Black people in the North and South built community through institutions that thrived in cities like Philadelphia, New York, and New Orleans. They created mutual-aid societies that funded the growth of Black schools, businesses, and independent churches and supported the work of Black writers and speakers.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the techniques used by Black women activists to advocate for social justice and reform.

Essential Knowledge: 

  • In the 19th century, Black women activists used speeches and publications to call attention to the need to consider gender and Black women’s experiences in antislavery discussions.

  • Maria Stewart was the first Black woman to publish a political manifesto, and one of the first American women to give a public address. Her advocacy in the 1830s contributed to the first wave of the feminist movement.

Learning Objectives:

Explain why Black women’s activism is historically and culturally significant.

Essential Knowledge: 

  • Black women activists called attention to the ways that they experienced the combined effects of race and gender discrimination.

  • Black women activists fought for abolitionism and the rights of women, paving a path for the women’s suffrage movement.

  • By highlighting the connected nature of race, gender, and class in their experiences, Black women’s activism anticipated political debates that remain central to African American politics.

Topic 2.17: Fleeing Enslavement
This topic explores the accounts and experience of fleeing enslavement in pursuit of freedom. Students may investigate archival sources such as broadsides and kidnapping advertisements. 

Instructional Focus: Resistance Strategies, Part 1

 

2.18 Maroon Societies and Autonomous Black Communities

SOURCES

§ Leonard Parkinson, a Captain of the Maroons, 1796

§ Maroon War in Jamaica, 1834

§ The Hunted Slaves by Richard Ansdell, 1862

§ The Maroons in Ambush on the Dromilly Estate in the Parish       of Trelawney, Jamaica by F.J. Bourgoin, 1801

Learning Objectives:

Describe the characteristics of maroon communities and the areas where they emerged across the African diaspora.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Maroon communities emerged throughout the African diaspora, often in remote and hidden environments beyond the purview of enslavers. Some communities lasted for just a few years, while others continued for a full century.

  • Maroon communities consisted of self-emancipated people and those born free in the community.

  • In maroon communities, formerly enslaved people created autonomous spaces where African-based languages and cultural practices blended and flourished, even as maroons faced illness, starvation, and the constant threat of capture.

  • African Americans formed maroon communities in areas such as the Great Dismal Swamp (between Virginia and North Carolina) and within Indigenous communities.

  • Beyond the U.S., maroon communities emerged in Jamaica, Suriname, Colombia, and Brazil. They were called palenques in Spanish America and quilombos in Brazil. The Quilombo dos Palmares, the largest maroon society in Brazil, lasted nearly 100 years.

Learning Objective:

Describe the purposes of maroon wars throughout the African diaspora.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Maroon leaders and their militias often staged wars (as distinct from slave revolts) against colonial governments to protect their collective freedom and autonomy. Others made treaties with colonial governments that required them to assist in the extinguishing of slave rebellions.

    • Bayano led a maroon community in wars against the Spanish for several years in Panama in the 16th century.

    • Queen Nanny led maroons in Jamaica in the wars against the English in the 18th century

Source Notes

§ Quilombo comes from the word kilombo (war camp) in                 Kimbundu, a Bantu language in West Central Africa. In 17th-       century Angola, Queen Njinga created a kilombo, which was a     sanctuary community for enslaved runaways where she offered     military training for defense against the Portuguese.

Topic 2.18: The Maroons: Black Geographies and Autonomous Black Communities 
This topic explores the creation of maroon societies and their lasting influence on the concept of marronage, using a selection from a secondary text. 

2.19 Diasporic Connections: Slavery and Freedom in Brazil

SOURCES

§ Escravo Africano - Mina and Escrava Africano - Mina by José       Christiano de Freitas Henriques Junior, 1864,                                   www.slaveryimages.org

§ Festival of Our Lady of the Rosario, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by         Carlos Julião, c. 1770, www.slaveryimages.org

Learning Objective:

Describe features of the enslavement of Africans in Brazil.

Essential Knowledge:

  • More enslaved Africans disembarked in Brazil than anywhere else in the Americas. Approximately half of the 10 million Africans who survived the Middle Passage landed in Brazil, where they were forced to labor in various enterprises such as sugar plantations, gold mines, coffee plantations, cattle ranching, and production of food and textiles for domestic consumption.

  • The massive number of African-born people who arrived in Brazil formed communities that preserved cultural practices. Some of those practices still exist in Brazil, such as capoeira (a martial art developed by enslaved Africans that combines music and call-and-response singing) and the congada (a celebration of the king of Kongo and Our Lady of the Rosary).

Learning Objectives:

Explain shifts in the numbers of enslaved Africans in Brazil and the United States during the 19th century.

  • During the 19th century in Brazil, the number of enslaved Africans steadily decreased as Brazil’s free Black population grew significantly, due to the increased frequency of manumission (release from slavery). Accordingly, by 1888 when Brazil became the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, approximately 4 million people in Brazil with African ancestry were already free, and Brazil’s abolition freed the approximately 1.5 million Africans still enslaved at that point.

  • Even after the 1808 ban against the importing of enslaved Africans, the number of enslaved people in the United States increased steadily throughout the 19th century as children of enslaved people were born into enslavement themselves. Approximately 4 million Africans remained enslaved in the U.S.—about 50% of all enslaved people in the Americas—at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Source Notes

§ The source photographs portray enslaved people who arrived     in Brazil as children, likely during the collapse of the Oyo               Empire (Nigeria) in the early 1830s.

§ The drawings display the diversity of labor forms, from                  marketers to medical work, and a festival by the brotherhood      of Our Lady of the Rosary, which speaks to the ways enslaved      people in Brazil recreated Afro-Catholic customs from West          Central Africa.

Topic 2.19: Legacies of the Haitian Revolution
This topic explores the immediate and long-term impacts of the Haitian Revolution on Black politics and historical memory. Students may analyze an excerpt from a Haitian founding document, such as the Haitian Constitution ( 1805) or Haiti's Declaration of Independence (1804) or a secondary text from anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot. 

2.20 African Americans in Indigenous Territory

SOURCES

§ Arkansas Petition for Freedmen’s Rights, 1869

§ Abraham, a Black Seminole leader, 1863

§ Gopher John, a Black Seminole leader and interpreter, 1863

§ Diary entry recounting the capture of 41 Black Seminoles by         Gen. Thomas Sidney Jesup, 1836

Learning Objective:

Explain how the expansion of slavery in the U.S. South impacted relations between Black and Indigenous peoples.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Some African American freedom seekers (maroons) found refuge among the Seminoles in Florida and were welcomed as kin. They fought alongside the Seminoles in resistance to relocation during the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842.

  • Some African Americans were enslaved by Indigenous people in the five large nations (Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole). When Indigenous enslavers were forcibly removed from their lands by the federal government during the Trail of Tears, they brought the Black people they had enslaved.

  • The five large Indigenous American nations (Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole) adopted slave codes, created slave patrols, and assisted in the recapture of enslaved Black people who fled for freedom.

  • The embrace of slavery by the five large Indigenous American nations hardened racial categories, making it difficult for mixed-race Black-Indigenous people to be recognized as members of Indigenous communities.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Strategies for Change, Part 2 

Topic 2.20: Radical Resistance

This topic explores strategies advocating for radical resistance and the reception to those ideas. Students may analyze a text from leaders such as David Walker and Henry Highland Garnet. 

2.21 Emigration and Colonization

SOURCES

§ The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the               Colored People of the United States, Politically Considered by     Martin R. Delany, 1852

§ “Emigration to Mexico” by “A Colored Female of                         Philadelphia,” The Liberator, 1832, from Call and Response

Learning Objectives:

Explain how 19th-century emigrationists aimed to achieve the goal of Black freedom and self-determination.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American supporters of emigration and colonization observed the spread of abolition in Latin America and the Caribbean from 1820 to 1860 and advocated building new communities outside the United States. The continuation of slavery and racial discrimination against free Black people in the U.S. raised doubts about peacefully achieving racial equality in the states.

  • Emigrationists embraced Black nationalism, which was ushered in by abolitionists, like Paul Cuffee and Martin R. Delany. Black nationalism promoted Black unity, self-determination, pride, and self-sufficiency.

  • Emigrationists promoted moving away from the U.S. as the best strategy for African Americans to prosper freely, and evaluated locations in Central and South America, the West Indies, and West Africa. Due to their large populations of people of color, shared histories, and a promising climate, Central and South America were considered the most favorable areas for emigration.

Source Notes

§ The 19th-century movement for African American emigration       among Black abolitionists was distinct from the American             Colonization Society, a White-led organization that drove             earlier attempts to colonize parts of Africa in order to relocate     free Black people from the U.S. Through emigration, African         Americans envisioned a new homeland beyond the reach of         racism and slavery.

§ Martin Delany was one of the first African Americans to                 publish a novel, and as a major in the Union Army, he became     the first Black field officer in the U.S. Army.

§ Paul Cuffee was the first person to take African Americans           from the U.S. to Africa. In 1815, he took 39 African Americans       to the British Black settlement of Freetown in Sierra Leone,           where some of the Black Loyalists during the Revolutionary           War were taken by the British after their defeat.

Topic 2.21: The "Common Wind" of Revolt Across the Diaspora 
This topic explores the interconnecting influence of slave revolts and the impact of different strategies. Students may examine a secondary source on figures like Nat Turner, for example. 

2.22 Anti-Emigrationism: Transatlantic Abolitionism and Belonging in America

SOURCES

§ “West India Emancipation” by Frederick Douglass, 1857

§ “’What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July’: Descendants Read       Frederick Douglass’s Speech,” 2020 (video, 6:59)

Learning Objectives:

Explain how transatlantic abolitionism influenced anti-emigrationists’ political views about the potential for African Americans belonging in American society.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Anti-emigrationists saw abolition as a means to achieve the liberation, representation, and full integration of African Americans in American society. They viewed slavery and racial discrimination as inconsistent with America’s founding charters and believed abolition and racial equality would reflect the nation’s ideals. They saw themselves as having “birthright citizenship.”

  • Due to the Fugitive Slave Acts, Frederick Douglass and other formerly enslaved abolitionists were not protected from recapture, even in the North. Many found refuge in England and Ireland and raised awareness for U.S. abolition from abroad.

  • Some anti-emigrationists used moral suasion, rather than radical resistance, to change the status of African Americans in American society

  • In the wake of emancipation in the British West Indies (1831-34) and the Dred Scott decision (1857), 19th-century integrationists highlighted the paradox of celebrating nearly a century of American independence while excluding millions from citizenship because of their race.

Source Notes

§ Frederick Douglass’s ideas about how American slavery                 should  end changed throughout the 19th century; before the     Civil War started, he went from advocating nonviolent                   resistance to accepting violence as a likely necessity for the         overthrow of slavery.

§ In the West India emancipation speech (1857), Frederick               Douglass spoke the famous line, “If there is no struggle, there     is no progress.” He encouraged his audience to hold fast to         the hope for abolition and racial harmony and to stay                   committed to struggle, either by words or actions.

Topic 2.22: Moral Suasion and Literary Protest
This topic explores the political strategies of moral suasion and radical resistance among African Americans in the United States. Students may analyze a primary text from authors such as Phillis Wheatley or a secondary text. 

Instructional Focus: Resistance Strategies, Part 2

2.23 Radical Resistance

SOURCES

§ Appeal by David Walker, 1829

§ “An Address to the Slaves of the United States” by Henry             Highland Garnet, 1843

Learning Objective: 

Describe the features of 19thcentury radical resistance strategies promoted by Black activists to demand change.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Advocates of radical resistance embraced overthrowing slavery through direct action, including revolts and, if necessary, violence to address the daily urgency of living and dying under slavery.

  • Advocates of radical resistance leveraged publications that detailed the horrors of slavery to encourage enslaved African Americans to use any tactic, including violence, to achieve their freedom. Antislavery pamphlets were smuggled into the South as a radical resistance tactic.

Source Notes

§ David Walker addressed his Appeal to the larger African               diaspora and rejected the idea of emigration to Africa. He           wrote to counter Thomas Jefferson’s arguments in Notes on         the State of Virginia—namely that African Americans were           inferior by nature, benefitted from slavery, were incapable of       self-government, and, if freed, should emigrate.

§ Henry Highland Garnet came to support African American           emigration in the mid-19th century. He helped establish the         Cuban Anti-Slavery Society in New York (1872) and was                 appointed U.S. minister to Liberia after the Civil War.

§ Henry Highland Garnet’s wife, Julia Williams Garnet, was also       a leading abolitionist. She coauthored his famous speech             and founded an industrial school for girls in Jamaica.

Topic 2.23: Separatism: Emigration and Colonization 
This topic explores various perspectives on African American emigration and colonization by reviewing a primary source 
document, such as a newspaper article or letter. 

2.24 Race to the Promised Land: Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad

SOURCES

§ Freedom on the Move: Rediscovering the Stories of Self-             Liberating People (teacher choice of advertisements)

§ Excerpt from Harriet, the Moses of Her People by Sarah H.           Bradford, 1886 (p. 27–29)

§ Harriet Tubman’s reflection in The Refugee by Benjamin Drew,     1856 (p. 30)

Learning Objectives:

Describe the role and scale of the Underground Railroad in providing freedom-seeking routes.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The term Underground Railroad refers to a covert network of Black and White abolitionists who provided transportation, shelter, and other resources to help enslaved people fleeing the South resettle in free territories in the U.S. North, Canada, and Mexico in the 19th century.

  • An estimated 30,000 African Americans reached freedom through the Underground Railroad in this period.

  • Due to the high number of African Americans who fled enslavement, Congress enacted the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850, authorizing local governments to legally kidnap and return escaped refugees to their enslavers.

Learning Objective:

Describe the broader context of the abolitionist movement in which the Underground Railroad operated.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The abolitionist movement in the United States between 1830 and 1870 advocated for the end of slavery. The movement was led by Black activists and White supporters, and was championed and spread by a number of existing churches as well as organizations created solely for this cause.

  • Abolitionists effectively utilized speeches and publications to galvanize public sentiment and to engage in heated debates and confrontations with those who upheld slavery.

Learning Objective:

Explain the significance of Harriet Tubman’s contributions to abolitionism and African Americans’ pursuit of freedom.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Harriet Tubman is one of the most well-known conductors of the Underground Railroad. After fleeing enslavement, Tubman returned to the South at least 19 times, leading about 80 enslaved African Americans to freedom. She sang spirituals to alert enslaved people of plans to leave.

  • Tubman leveraged her vast geographic knowledge and social network to serve as a spy and nurse for the Union army during the Civil War.

  • During the Combahee River raid, Tubman became the first American woman to lead a major military operation.

Source Notes

§ The Underground Railroad was large; early portrayals                    suggesting its influence was limited were not accurate.                 Surviving visual and textual sources about a covert process           must be read critically against the factors that mediate them.       Enslaved people’s determination to free themselves fueled           the success of the Underground Railroad, as they took the           first step toward freedom.

§ Harriet, Moses of Her People is based on interviews with               Harriet Tubman; however, the author took creative license to       describe Tubman’s speech using dialect. The Refugee is the         only known text to capture Tubman’s speech directly.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Black Identities 

Topic 2.24: Integration: Transatlantic Abolitionism and Belonging in Antebellum America 

This topic explores the influence of transatlantic abolitionism on Frederick Douglass' political views on the potential for African Americans' integration and belonging in American society. Students may analyze a text by Douglass, such as "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" 

2.25 Legacies of Courage in African American Art and Photography

SOURCES

§ I Go To Prepare A Place For You by Bisa Butler, 2021

§ Photographs of Harriet Tubman throughout her life: carte-de-      visite, 1868–1869; matte collodion print, 1871–1876; albumen      print, c. 1908

Learning Objective:

Explain the significance of visual depictions of African American leaders in photography and art during and after the era of slavery.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In the 19th century, African American leaders embraced photography, a new technology, to counter stereotypes about Black people by portraying themselves as citizens worthy of dignity, respect, and equal rights.

  • Sojourner Truth sold her carte-de-visites to raise money for the abolitionist cause as well as activities such as speaking tours and recruiting Black soldiers to the Union army. Her photos showcased the centrality of Black women’s leadership in the fight for freedom.

  • Frederick Douglass was the most photographed man of the 19th century. Photos of formerly enslaved African Americans like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass were especially significant, as they demonstrated Black achievement and potential through freedom.

  • Many contemporary African American artists draw from Black aesthetic traditions to integrate historical, religious, and gender perspectives in representations of African American leaders. Their works preserve the legacy of these leaders’ bravery and resistance.

Topic 2.25: A Question of Naming: African and/or American
This topic explores factors that influenced African Americans' self-identification within American society. Students may examine a secondary source from a historian or analyze a primary source from a Black newspaper such as The Liberator

Instructional Focus: Abolition and the War for Freedom

2.26 Gender and Resistance in Slave Narratives

SOURCES

§ Excerpts from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by         Herself by Harriet Jacobs, 1860 (sections V–VIII, XIV, XXI)

§ Excerpt from The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave       by Mary Prince, 1831

Learning Objective:

Explain how enslaved women used methods of resistance against sexual violence.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Laws against rape did not apply to enslaved African American women. Some resisted sexual abuse and the enslavement of their children through various methods, including fighting their attackers, using plants as abortion-inducing drugs, infanticide, and running away with their children when possible.

Learning Objective:

Explain how gender impacted the genre and themes of slave narratives in the 19th century

Essential Knowledge:

  • Slave narratives described firsthand accounts of suffering under slavery, methods of escape, and acquiring literacy, with an emphasis on the humanity of enslaved people to advance the political cause of abolition.

  • Narratives by formerly enslaved African American women convey their distinct experiences of constant vulnerability to sexual violence and exploitation.

Learning Objective:

Explain the impact of Black women’s enslavement narratives on political movements in the 19th century

Essential Knowledge:

  • Narratives by formerly enslaved Black women reflected 19th-century gender norms. They focused on domestic life, modesty, family, and resistance against sexual violence, whereas narratives by enslaved men emphasized autonomy and manhood.

  • In the U.S. and the Caribbean, Black women’s narratives of their distinct experiences under slavery advanced the causes of abolition and feminist movements in their respective societies.

Source Notes

§ Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by       Herself (1861) became the first narrative published by an               enslaved African American woman.

Topic 2.26: Black Women's Rights & Women

This topic explores the intersection of race and gender in African American women activists' advocacy for justice. Students may analyze a primary source speech. 

2.27 The Civil War and Black Communities

SOURCES

§ “The Colored Soldiers” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1895

§ Civil War era photographs: Washerwoman for the Union Army     in Richmond, VA, 1860s; or Photograph of Charles Remond           Douglass, 1864

Learning Objective:

Describe enslaved and free African American men and women’s contributions during the U.S. Civil War.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Thousands of free and enslaved African Americans from the North and South joined the Union war effort to advance the causes of abolition and Black citizenship.

  • Men participated as soldiers and builders, and women contributed as cooks, nurses, laundresses, and spies.

  • Enslaved people in the South fled slavery to join the Union war effort, while free African Americans in the North raised money for formerly enslaved refugees and journeyed south to establish schools and offer medical care.

  • Of the 200,000 Black men who served in the Civil War, 50,000 were free men from the North and about 150,000 were formerly enslaved men liberated during the Civil War by Union troops and the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Learning Objective:

Describe African American soldiers’ motivations for enlisting during the U.S. Civil War and the inequities they faced.

Essential Knowledge:

  • For many free and enslaved African American men, service in the Union army demonstrated their view of themselves as U.S. citizens, despite the inequities they faced.

  • Initially excluded from serving in the Civil War, African American men were permitted to join the Union Army when it faced labor shortages; they also served in the Union Navy. African American men enrolled under unequal conditions (e.g., receiving half the salary of White soldiers) and risked enslavement and death if captured by the Confederate Army.

Learning Objective:

Explain how Black soldiers’ service impacted Black communities during and after the U.S. Civil War.

Essential Knowledge:

  • During the war, free Black communities in the North suffered from anti-Black violence initiated by those who opposed Black military service and the possibility of Black citizenship and political equality. Some White working class men, largely Irish immigrants, resented being drafted to fight in the Civil War and rioted against Black neighborhoods.

  • Many Black soldiers shared their pride in their role in preserving the Union and in ending slavery, even though after the war they were not immediately celebrated. African American poetry and photographs preserve an archive of the participation, dignity, and sacrifice of Black soldiers and Black communities during the Civil War.

Source Notes

§ Black soldiers served in every American military initiative,             including well before they were eligible for American                     citizenship. The recruitment of Black soldiers into the military       was written into the Emancipation Proclamation.

§ Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem was written after the Civil War       to honor Black soldiers, and to counter narratives that                   minimized their participation in the conflict and ignored the         stakes of the war for Black liberty and citizenship.

Topic: 2.27: Black Pride 

This topic explores John S. Rock's 1858 speech on Black pride and the significance of the concept for African American communities. Students may review and discuss the speech alongside another text, such as Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia

2.28 Freedom Days: Commemorating the Ongoing Struggle for Freedom

SOURCES

§ General Order 3 issued by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, 1865

§ Juneteenth celebration in Louisville, 2021

§ Juneteenth celebration in West Philadelphia, 2019

§ Juneteenth celebration in Galveston, 2021

Learning Objective:

Describe the events that officially ended legal enslavement in the United States.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, a wartime order, declared freedom for enslaved people held in the 11 Confederate states still at war against the Union. After the Civil War, legal enslavement of African Americans continued in the border states and did not end until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

  • The 13th Amendment secured the permanent abolition of slavery in the U.S. It freed four million African Americans, nearly a third of the South’s population, and signified a monumental first step toward achieving freedom, justice, and inclusion in the land of their birth.

  • The 13th Amendment did not apply to the nearly 10,000 African Americans enslaved by Indigenous nations. The U.S. government negotiated treaties with these nations to end legal slavery in Indian Territory in 1866, though these treaties did not grant freed men rights as tribal citizens.

Learning Objective:

Explain why Juneteenth is historically and culturally significant.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the last state of rebellion—Texas. It commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were informed that they were free by Major-General Gordon Granger’s reading of General Order No. 3. This order was the first document to mention racial equality through “an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.”

  • African American communities have a long history of commemorating local Freedom Days, since the celebration of abolition in New York on July 5th, 1827. Juneteenth is one of the many Freedom Days that African American communities have consistently celebrated. Over 150 years after its first celebration, it became a federal holiday in 2021.

  • The earliest Juneteenth celebrations included singing spirituals and wearing new clothing that symbolized newfound freedom, along with feasting and dancing. At that time, Juneteenth was also called Jubilee Day and Emancipation Day. 

  • Juneteenth and other Freedom Days commemorate:

    • African Americans’ ancestors’ roles in the struggle to end legal enslavement in the United States

    • African Americans’ embrace, postslavery, of a fragile freedom even as they actively engaged in ongoing struggles for equal rights, protections, and opportunities in the United States

    • African Americans’ commitment to seeking joy and validation among themselves, despite the nation’s belated recognition of this important moment in its own history

Weekly Instructional Focus: Abolition and the Politics of Memory 

Topic 2.28: The Civil War and Black Communities

This topic explores the contributions of free and enslaved African Americans in the U.S. Civil War. Students may examine a poem and archival images to deepen their knowledge. 

Topic 2.29: Theorizing Slavery and Resistance in African American Studies 
This topic explores the utility of the concept of social death for understanding African American agency during the period of enslavement. Students may compare arguments from secondary texts related to this concept. 

Topic 2.30: The Afterlives of Slavery in Contemporary Culture 

This topic explores artistic reflections on slavery's enduring legacy for African Americans. Students may analyze lyrics from a contemporary music selection. 

Topic 2.31: Commemorating the Ongoing Struggle for Freedom 
This topic explores Juneteenth and its significance for African Americans prior to its recognition as a federal holiday. Students may analyze photographs of Jubilee celebrations. 

Unit 2
IF 1 - Unit 2 23
WIF 1 - Unit 2 22
Unit 2 23 - 2.1
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.1
Unit 2 23 - 2.2
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.2
Unit 2 23 - 2.3
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.3
IF 2 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.4
Unit 2 23 - 2.4
WIF 2 - Unit 2 22
Unit 2 23 - 2.5
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.5
Unit 2 23 - 2.6
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.6
IF 3 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.7
Unit 2 23 - 2.
Unit 2 23 - 2.8
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.8
WIF 3 - Unit 2 22
Unit 2 23 - 2.9
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.9
IF4 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Top 2.10
Unit 2 23 - 2.10
Unit 2 23 - 2.11
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.11
Unit 2 23 - 2.12
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.12
WIF 4 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.13
Unit 2 23 - 2.13
IF 5 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.14
Unit 2 23 - 2.14
Unit 2 23 - 2.15
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.5
WIF 5 - Unit 2 22
Unit 2 23 - 2.16
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.16
Unit 2 23 - 2.17
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.17
IF 6 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.18
Unit 2 23 - 2.18
Unit 2 23 - 2.19
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.19
WIF 6 - 2 22
Unit 2 23 - 2.20
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.20
Unit 2 23 - 2.21
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.21
Unit 2 23 - 2.22
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.22
IF 7 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.23
Unit 2 23 - 2.23
WIF 7 - Unit 2 22
Unit 2 23 - Uni 2.24
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.4
Unit 2 23 - 2.25
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.25
IF 8 - Unit 2 23
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.26
Unit 2 23 - 2.26
Unit 2 23 - 2.27
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.27
WIF 8 - Unit 2 22
Unit 2 23 - 2.28
Unit 1 22 - Topic 2.28
Unit 2 22 -Topic 2.29
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.30
Unit 2 22 - Topic 2.31

Unit 3

Unit 3: The Practice of Freedom (5 Weeks)

* Reconstruction and Black Politics

* The Color Line: Black Life in the Nadir

* Racial Uplift

* The New Negro Renaissance

* Migrations and Black Internationalism

Instructional Focus: Reconstruction and Black Politics

3.1 The Reconstruction Amendments

SOURCES

§ The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S.                           Constitution, 1865, 1868, and 1870 (from the 13th, sections

   1–2; 14th, sections 1, 3, and 4; 15th, sections 1–2)

§ Engraved portrait of five African American legislators from           Reconstruction Congresses, early 1880s

Learning Objective:

Explain how the Reconstruction Amendments impacted African Americans by defining standards of citizenship.

Essential Knowledge:

  • During Reconstruction (1865–1877), the federal government sought to reintegrate the former Confederate states and to establish and protect the rights of free and formerly enslaved African Americans, granting them citizenship, equal rights, and political representation in American government.

  • The 13th Amendment (1865) officially abolished slavery, or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime. 

  • The 14th Amendment (1868) defined the principle of birthright citizenship in the United States and granted equal protection to all people, overturning the Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) Supreme Court decision and related state-level Black codes.

  • The 15th Amendment (1870) prohibited the federal government and each state from denying or abridging a citizen’s right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” thereby granting voting rights to Black men.

Source Notes

§ The engraved portrait from the early 1880s depicts Hiram R.         Revels (Mississippi), James T. Rapier (Alabama), Blanche K.           Bruce (Mississippi), Joseph H. Rainey (South Carolina), and           John R. Lynch (Mississippi).

§ Senator Hiram Revels (of African and Indigenous ancestry) was     the first African American to serve in either house of the               United State Congress. James Rapier founded Alabama’s             first Black-owned newspaper and became Alabama’s second       Black representative. Blanche K. Bruce, born enslaved, was           the first African American elected to serve a full term in the           U.S. Senate. Joseph Rainey, born enslaved, was the first               African American to serve in the House of Representatives           and to preside over a debate in the House, and the longest-         serving Black lawmaker in Congress during Reconstruction.         John Lynch, born enslaved, was elected as the first African           American Speaker of the Mississippi House of                                 Representatives, and he went on to be the only African                 American in the following century to represent Mississippi in       the U.S. House of Representatives.

Unit 3: The Practice of Freedom (7 weeks)

* Reconstruction and Black Politics

* Uplift Ideology

* The New Negro Resistance

* Art, Literature, and Music

* Migrations, Pan-Africanism, and Black Internationalism

* AP Extended Essay

Weekly Instructional Focus: Reconstruction and Black Politics 

 

Topic 3.1: Reconstruction and Its Discontents 

This topic explores the Reconstruction amendments that defined Black citizenship and Black leadership in the post­-emancipation period. Students may analyze historical texts from writers such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. 

3.2 Social Life: Reuniting Black Families

SOURCES

§ Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery database (teachers can     select different or additional advertisements based on their         local community or student interest)

   ◆ Clarissa Reed, ad in the Southwestern Christian Advocate,            New Orleans, LA, 1883

   ◆ Elizabeth Brisco, ad in The Christian Recorder,

       Philadelphia, PA, 1864

§ Marriage certificate with tintypes of Augustus L. Johnson and       Malinda Murphy, 1874

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African Americans strengthened family bonds after abolition and the Civil War.

Essential Knowledge:

  • After emancipation, African Americans were able to locate kin separated by the domestic slave trade. They relied on newspapers, word of mouth, and help from the Freedmen’s Bureau as they traveled to find lost family and friends.

  • Thousands of formerly enslaved African American men and women sought to consecrate their unions through legal marriage when it became available to them.

Source Notes

§ Founded in 1852, The Christian Recorder, the official                     newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (the           first Black denomination in the U.S.), is the oldest continuously     published African American newspaper in the U.S.

Topic 3.2: Health and Education for Freedpeople 

This topic explores freedpeople's efforts to acquire educational and healthcare resources immediately after abolition and the institutions that supported these efforts. Students may review historical photographs of freedpeople's schools and hospitals and a selection from a scholarly text by an author such as Heather Williams. 

3.3 Black Codes, Land, and Labor

SOURCES

§ Picture postcard of a North Carolina Convict camp, c. 1910

§ Juvenile convicts at work in the fields, 1903

§ Circular No. 8 from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and         Abandoned Lands, 1866

Learning Objectives:

Explain how Black codes undermined the ability of African Americans to advance after the abolition of slavery.

Essential Knowledge:

  • In 1865, Union General William T. Sherman issued Special Field Orders No. 15, which aimed to redistribute about 400,000 acres of land between South Carolina and Florida to newly freed African American families in segments of 40 acres.

  • In 1865 and 1866, during Presidential Reconstruction, many state governments enacted Black codes—restrictive laws that undermined the newly gained legal rights of African Americans and controlled their movement and labor. Black codes aimed to restore the social controls and surveillance of earlier slave codes.

  • Black codes restricted the advancement of African Americans in various ways, including limiting their options for property ownership and requiring them to enter into unfair labor contracts. Many annual labor contracts provided very little pay. Those who tried to escape a labor contract were often whipped, and those without a labor contract could be fined or imprisoned for vagrancy.

  • One set of Black codes disrupted African American families by allowing Black children to be taken by the state and forced to serve unpaid apprenticeships without their parents’ consent.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how new labor practices impeded the ability of African Americans to advance economically after the abolition of slavery.

Essential Knowledge:

  • President Andrew Johnson revoked Special Field Orders No. 15, and confiscated plantations were returned to their former owners or purchased by northern investors. As a result, African Americans were evicted or shifted into sharecropping contracts.

  • Through sharecropping, landowners provided land and equipment to formerly enslaved people or indigent White people; as part of this exchange, the farmers were required to return a large share of the crops to the landowner, making economic advancement very difficult.

  • Through crop liens, farmers who began with little or no cash received food, farming equipment, and supplies, borrowing against the future harvest. Their harvested crops often did not generate enough money to repay the debt, leading the farmers into a vicious cycle of debt accumulation.

  • Through convict leasing, Southern prisons profited by hiring out African American men imprisoned for debt, false arrest, or other minor charges to landowners and corporations. Prisoners worked without pay under conditions akin to those of slave labor.

Topic 3.3: Violence and White Supremacy 

This topic explores Black responses to white retaliation against strides toward Black political and social advancement during and after Reconstruction. Students may explore the manifestations of racial terrorism physically (e.g., through lynching), socially, and in discriminatory policies through historical texts, by writers such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Claude McKay. 

3.4 The Defeat of Reconstruction

SOURCES

§ Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court ruling, 1896

Learning Objectives:

Explain how Reconstruction era reforms were dismantled during the late 19th century

Essential Knowledge:

  • After the election of 1876 and the Compromise of 1877, some states began to rewrite their state constitutions to include de jure segregation laws.

  • Black voting was suppressed through measures such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses.

  • African Americans were endangered by acts of racial violence (e.g., lynching) and retaliation from former Confederates, political terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, and others who embraced white supremacist doctrine.

  • With the Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896, the doctrine of “separate but equal” became the legal basis for racial segregation in American society. In practice, the decision legalized separate and unequal resources, facilities, and rights.

Topic 3.4: Reuniting Black Families 
This topic traces African Americans' efforts to reconstruct their families in the 1860s and 1870s, including their searches for lost kin separated by slavery and their decisions to consecrate families through marriage. Students may explore these efforts through a primary source, such as a newspaper ad, or a scholarly source by writers such as Heather Williams and Tera Hunter. 

Instructional Focus: The Color Line: Black Life in the Nadir

3.5 Disenfranchisement and Jim Crow Laws

SOURCES

§ Segregated water fountains, n.d.

§ Segregated restrooms, c. 1960

§ Excerpt from A Red Record by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 1895             (selection from chapter 1)

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the introduction of Jim Crow laws impacted African Americans after Reconstruction.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Jim Crow laws were local and state-level statutes passed primarily (but not exclusively) in the South under the protection of the Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

  • Jim Crow laws limited African American men’s right to vote and enforced the racial segregation of hospitals, transportation, schools, and cemeteries for Black and White citizens.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the responses of African American writers and activists to racism and anti-Black violence during the nadir.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American studies scholars refer to the period between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of World War II as the “nadir,” or lowest point of American race relations. This period included some of the most flagrant public acts of racism (including lynching and mob violence) in U.S. history.

  • African American journalists and writers of the era highlighted the racism at the core of Southern lynch laws that sought to justify the rampant, unjust killing of Black people.

  • African American activists responded to attacks on their freedom with resistance strategies, such as trolley boycotts. Activists relied on sympathetic writers in the press to publicize the mistreatment and murder of African Americans.

Source Notes

§ Jim Crow–era segregation restrictions would not be                       overturned until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and          1960s.

§ Rayford W. Logan, a Pan-Africanist and historian of the post-       Reconstruction period, named this period “the nadir.”

§ Born into slavery, Ida B. Wells-Barnett became a journalist,           civil rights advocate, and feminist active in the late 19th and         early 20th centuries. Her writings described how lynching             aimed to terrorize African Americans from seeking any form of     advancement

Weekly Instructional Focus: Uplift Ideology 

Topic 3.5: Racial Uplift 

This topic explores ideas and strategies for Black social, political, and economic advancement within Black communities. Students may explore the speeches and writings of leaders such as Booker T. Washington and Henry McNeal Turner. 

3.6 White Supremacist Violence and the Red Summer

SOURCES

§ “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay, 1919

§ Interactive map from Visualizing the Red Summer

§ Photograph of destruction in Greenwood after the Tulsa Race     Massacre, 1921

Learning Objectives:

Describe the causes of heightened racial violence in the early 20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Between 1917 and 1921 there was a proliferation of racial violence incited by white supremacists. The acute period of tensions in 1919 is known as the “Red Summer.”

  • In the summer of 1919, a global flu pandemic, competition for jobs, and racial discrimination against Black World War I veterans all contributed to a rise in hate crimes across the country. More than 30 urban race riots occurred that summer.

  • In 1921, a mob of White residents and city officials incited the Tulsa race massacre, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Tulsa race massacre destroyed more than 1,250 homes and businesses in Greenwood, also known as “Black Wall Street,” which was one of the most affluent African American communities in the U.S.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African Americans responded to white supremacist attacks in the early 20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African Americans resisted white supremacist attacks on their communities through political activism, published accounts, and armed self-defense.

  • Racial discrimination and violence, coupled with a lack of economic opportunities in the South, spurred the beginnings of the Great Migration.

Source Notes

§ James Weldon Johnson, an African American writer and               activist, coined the term “Red Summer.”

§ In “If We Must Die,” Jamaican poet Claude McKay, a key             figure in the Harlem Renaissance, encouraged African                   Americans to preserve their dignity and fight back against           anti-Black violence and discrimination.

§ The U.S. Senate did not classify lynching as a hate crime until       2018, and it did not become a federal law until March 2022.         The brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955                     demonstrates the longevity of lynching as a tactic of white           supremacist violence.

Topic 3.6: Black Suffrage and Women's Rights 
This topic explores Black women's advocacy for justice and political inclusion at the intersection of race and gender in the late 19th century. Students may explore a speech or text from leaders such as Anna Julia Cooper and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. 

3.7 The Color Line and Double Consciousness in American Society

SOURCES

§ Excerpts from The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, 1903     (selections from “The Forethought,” “Of Our Spiritual                   Strivings,” “Of Alexander Crummell” and “The Afterthought”)

§ “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1895

Learning Objectives:

Explain how W.E.B. Du Bois’s groundbreaking text The Souls of Black Folk (1903) portrays Black humanity and the effects of racism on African Americans in the early 20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The symbol of “the Veil” in The Souls of Black Folk represents African Americans’ separation from full participation in American society and struggle for self-improvement due to discrimination.

  • The metaphor of the “color line” refers to racial discrimination and legalized segregation that remained in the United States after the abolition of slavery. Du Bois identified “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”

  • “Double-consciousness” refers to the internal conflict experienced by subordinated groups in an oppressive society. Double-consciousness gave African Americans a way to examine the unequal realities of American life.

  • Double-consciousness resulted from social alienation created through racism and discrimination. However, it also fostered agency, adaptation, and resistance.

Source Notes

§ Each chapter of The Souls of Black Folk opens with verses of       spirituals, which Du Bois calls “Sorrow Songs.”

§ The Souls of Black Folk responded to the proliferation of             lynching

Topic 3.7: HBCUs and Black Education 

This topic introduces the founding of autonomous Black educational institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Students may examine historical photographs of these institutions and a text on Black education by Carter G. Woodson. 

Instructional Focus: Racial Uplift

3.8 Uplift Ideologies

SOURCES

§ “The Atlanta Exposition Address” by Booker T. Washington,         1895

§ “How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping” by Nannie             Helen Burroughs, 1900

§ “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson and J.       Rosamond Johnson, 1900

Learning Objectives:

Describe strategies for racial uplift (or social advancement) proposed by African American writers, educators, and leaders at the turn of the 20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Leaders such as Booker T. Washington advocated for industrial education and training as a means of economic advancement and independence.

  • Educators and activists called for women’s education and suffrage to promote greater inclusion of Black women in American society.

  • African American literature, poetry, and music, such as the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” encouraged African Americans to take pride in their heritage and cultural achievements.

Source Notes

§ In a speech known as “The Atlanta Exposition Address,”               Booker T. Washington, a formerly enslaved education leader,       appealed to a conservative audience and suggested that             Blacks should remain in the South and focus on gaining an           industrial education before political rights. He debated                 strategies for Black advancement with W.E.B. Du Bois, who           promoted a civil rights agenda.

§ Nannie Helen Burroughs was the daughter of enslaved                 people and an educator, suffragist, and church leader. She           helped establish the National Association of Colored Women       in 1896 and founded a school for women and girls in                     Washington, D.C., in 1909.

§ James Weldon Johnson, a writer, lawyer, diplomat, and the           son of Bahamian immigrants, wrote the poem, “Lift Every             Voice and Sing.” His brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, set the         poem to music and it became known as the Black national           anthem. The poem acknowledges past sufferings, encourages     African Americans to feel proud of their resilience and                   achievements, and celebrates hope for the future.

Topic 3.8: Labor and Economics 
This topic examines the nature of Black labor and Black businesses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Students may examine the simultaneity of exploitative post-slavery labor systems (e.g., sharecropping and convict leasing) and the advent of Black inventions and businesses through a scholarly text and visual analysis of photographs. 

3.9 Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Rights and Leadership

 

SOURCES

§ Excerpts from A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of         the South by Anna Julia Cooper, 1892 (“Our Raison d’Etre”         and “Womanhood: A Vital Element in the Regeneration of a         Race”)

§ Banner used by the Oklahoma Federation of Colored                   Women’s Clubs, c. 1924

Learning Objectives:

Describe ways that Black women promoted the advancement of African Americans.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Black women leaders advocated for the rights of Black women during the women’s suffrage movement of the early 20th century.

  • Black women’s leadership was central to rebuilding African American communities in the generations after slavery. Black women entered the workforce to support their families and organized labor unions with the goal of fair treatment.

  • Black women leaders created women’s clubs that countered race and gender stereotypes by promoting the dignity, capacity, beauty, and strength of Black women.

Source Notes

§ Anna Julia Cooper, author of A Voice from the South: By a           Black Woman of the South (1892), was the daughter of an             enslaved woman and her enslaver. Cooper became a                     champion for Black women’s rights and education. Her work         details the inequities that Black women have experienced             and the incomplete picture of U.S. historical narratives that           exclude the voices of African Americans and specifically Black     women.

§ Black women’s clubs and regional federations came together       in 1896 to form The National Association of Colored Women       (1896). Churchwomen also formed denominational                         organizations at the state and national levels, as was the case       of Black Baptist women like Nannie Helen Burroughs.

Weekly Instructional Focus: The New Negro Renaissance 

Topic 3.9: The New Negro Movement 

This topic explores new visions for Black identity that emerged around artistic and literary expression and social thought. Students may explore the influence of the New Negro Movement on the political ideas of subsequent movements through text by a writer such as Alain Locke. 

3.10 Black Organizations and Institutions

SOURCES

§ Advertisement for Madam C.J. Walker products, 1906–1950

§ Photograph of a convention of Madam C.J. Walker agents at       Villa Lewaro, 1924

§ Clock used by the Citizens Savings and Trust Company,

   1920–2013

 

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African Americans promoted the economic stability and well-being of their communities in the early 20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • As a response to their ongoing exclusion from broader American society, many African Americans created businesses and organizations that catered to the needs of Black citizens and improved the self-sufficiency of their communities. 

  • Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company, founded in 1904, is the oldest, continuously operating African American–owned bank in the U.S. Originally known as the One Cent Savings Bank, it became the first African American–owned bank in the U.S. to become a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve System.

  • African Americans continued to transform Christian worship in the U.S. and created their own institutions. The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) was founded in 1816 as the first Black Christian denomination in the U.S., and after Reconstruction the number of Black churches increased significantly.

  • Black churches served as safe spaces for Black organizing, joy, and cultural expression. Black churches created leadership opportunities that developed Black activists, musicians, and political leaders.

  • African American inventors and entrepreneurs like Madame C.J. Walker, the first woman millionaire in the U.S., developed products that highlighted the beauty of Black people, fostered Black economic advancement, and supported community initiatives through philanthropy.

Topic 3.10: Black Expression
This topic explores diverse perspectives on the flourishing of African American artistic and expressive forms. Students may examine the influence of "New Negro" themes in the writings on art by figures such as Langston Hughes, George Schuyler, and Zora Neale Hurston. 

3.11 HBCUs and Black Education

SOURCES

§ Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, 1875

§ George Washington Carver with students in his laboratory at       Tuskegee Institute, 1902

§ Howard University class in nursing, 1915

§ Omega Psi Phi members with baskets of canned food for             charity, 1964

Learning Objectives:

Describe the founding of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the role White philanthropists played.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Discrimination and segregation in education led African Americans to found their own colleges, the majority of which were established after the Civil War.

  • The first wave of HBCUs were private colleges and universities established largely by White philanthropists. Wilberforce University (Ohio, 1856), founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was the first university fully owned and operated by African Americans.

  • Later HBCUs were established as land-grant colleges with federal funding. The Second Morrill Act (1890) required that states either demonstrate that race was not a factor in admission to educational institutions or create separate institutions for Black students. As a result, 18 HBCUs were established.

  • In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, HBCUs emphasized two education models for learning and professional training across a range of careers: a liberal arts education (e.g., at Fisk University) and a vocational-industrial model (e.g., at Tuskegee Institute).

  • HBCUs were the primary providers of postsecondary education to African Americans up until the Black campus movement of the 1960s.

Learning Objectives:

Explain how the creation of HBCUs in the United States impacted the educational and professional lives of African Americans nationally and internationally

Essential Knowledge:

  • The founding of HBCUs transformed African Americans’ access to higher education and professional training, which allowed them to rise out of poverty and become leaders in all sectors of society.

  • HBCUs created spaces of cultural pride, Black scholarship, and innovation, and helped address racial equity gaps in higher education.

  • Black Greek-letter organizations emerged in colleges and universities across the United States, not only at HBCUs but also at predominantly White institutions. In these organizations, African Americans found spaces to support each other in the areas of self-improvement, educational excellence, leadership, and lifelong community service.

  • The Fisk Jubilee Singers, a student choir at Fisk University, introduced the religious and musical tradition of African American spirituals to the global stage during their international tours.

  • HBCUs comprise only 3% of America’s colleges and universities but count 40% of Black members of Congress and 80% of Black judges among their graduates.

 

Source Notes

§ Cheyney University (originally, the Institute for Colored Youth,     Pennsylvania, 1837) was the first HBCU founded. Howard             University, in Washington, D.C., was named after the head of       the Freedmen’s Bureau, General Oliver O. Howard.

Topic 3.11: Everyday Life in Literature
This topic explores everyday life during the Harlem Renaissance as portrayed by an author such as Jean Toomer. 

Instructional Focus: The New Negro Renaissance

3.12 The New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance

SOURCES

§ Excerpt from The New Negro: An Interpretation by Alain               Locke, 1925

§ “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” by Langston             Hughes, 1926

Learning Objectives:

Describe ways the New Negro movement emphasized self-definition, racial pride, and cultural innovation.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The New Negro movement encouraged African Americans to define their own identity and to advocate for themselves politically in the midst of the nadir’s atrocities.

  • The New Negro movement pursued the creation of a Black aesthetic, which was reflected in the artistic and cultural achievements of Black creators.

  • The New Negro movement produced innovations in music (e.g., blues and jazz), art, and literature that served as counternarratives to prevailing racial stereotypes. These artistic innovations reflected the migrations of African Americans from the South to urban centers in the North and Midwest.

  • The New Negro movement encompassed several political and cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a flourishing of Black literary, artistic, and intellectual life that created a cultural revolution in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s.

Source Notes

§ The New Negro movement began in the late 19th century,           evolving and assuming various and often contradictory forms,     ranging from Booker T. Washington’s accommodationist               strategies to Marcus Garvey’s claims that his movement was         the embodiment of the New Negro. Alain Locke redefined           the trope in terms of an aesthetic movement.

§ Black aesthetics were central to self-definition among African       Americans. In The New Negro: An Interpretation, Alain Locke       encourages young Black artists to reject the burden of being       the sole representative of a race. He emphasizes that the             value of creating a Black aesthetic lies not in creating tangible     cultural artifacts but rather in a shift of the “inner mastery of         mood and spirit” (in “Negro Youth Speaks”).

§ Locke became the first African American Rhodes scholar in           1907.

Topic 3.12: Black Identity in Literature 
This topic explores aspects of Black identity, including colorism, through the literary works of Harlem Renaissance authors, such as Nella Larsen and Wallace Thurman. 

3.13 Photography and Social Change

SOURCES

§ Images from W.E.B. Du Bois’s exhibit at the 1900 Paris                   Exposition:

   ◆ Five Female Negro Officers of Women’s League,

       Newport, RI

   ◆ Cadets at Haines Normal and Industrial Institute,

       Augusta, GA

   ◆ City and Rural Population. 1890

   ◆ A Series of Statistical Charts Illustrating the Condition of               the Descendants of Former African Slaves Now Resident in           the United States of America

§ Images from James Van Der Zee’s “Portfolio of Eighteen               Photographs, 1905-38”

   ◆ Miss Suzie Porter, 1915

   ◆ Garveyite Family, Harlem, 1924

   ◆ Swimming Team, Harlem, 1925

   ◆ Harlem Couple, 1932

 

Learning Objectives:

Explain how African Americans used visual media in the 20th century to enact social change.

Essential Knowledge:

  • African American scholars, artists, and activists turned to photography to counter racist representations that were used to justify their mistreatment and Jim Crow segregation.

  • During the New Negro movement, African American photographers, seeking to create a distinctive Black aesthetic, grounded their work in the beauty of everyday Black life, history, folk culture, and pride in an African heritage.

  • W.E.B. Du Bois used photography to show what “the New Negro” looked like at the Paris Exhibition in 1900.

  • African American photographers, such as James Van Der Zee, recast global perceptions of African Americans by further illustrating the qualities of the “new negro.” They documented Black expression, labor, leisure, study, worship, and home life, and highlighted the liberated spirit, beauty, and dignity of Black people.

Source Notes

§ At the 1900 Paris Exposition, the Exhibit of American Negroes,     curated by W.E.B. Du Bois, displayed more than 300                     photographs of African Americans. The exhibit demonstrated     the diversity and achievements of African Americans. It                 included dozens of charts and infographics in English and             French with data grounded in demographic, scientific, and           sociological research on the status of African Americans. The       exhibit was visited by 45 million people and increased the             global reach of the New Negro movement.

§ James Van Der Zee is best known for his photographs of Black     Harlemites, particularly the Black middle class. He often used       props (including luxury items) and special poses to capture           the vibrant personalities of everyday African Americans and         leading figures such as Marcus Garvey and Mamie Smith.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Art, Literature, and Music 

Topic 3.13: The Harlem Renaissance in Art

This topic explores elements of visual art from the Harlem Renaissance through the work of artists such as Palmer Hayden, Lo'is Mailou Jones, Romare Bearden, James Van Der Zee, and Aaron Douglass. 

3.14 Envisioning Africa in Harlem Renaissance Poetry

SOURCES

§ “Heritage” by Gwendolyn Bennett, 1922

§ “Heritage” by Countee Cullen, 1925

Learning Objectives:

Explain how Harlem Renaissance poets express their relationships to Africa in their poetry.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Harlem Renaissance writers, artists, and scholars explored connections to and detachments from their African heritage as a response to the legacies of colonialism and Atlantic slavery.

  • Some Harlem Renaissance poets used imagery to counter negative stereotypes about Africa’s peoples and landscapes.

  • Some Harlem Renaissance poets explored the relationship between Africa and African American identity and heritage through personal reflection.

Source Notes

§ Gwendolyn Bennett and Countee Cullen were major writers of     the Harlem Renaissance.

Topic 3.14: The Rise and Fall of Harlem
This topic explores reflections on the rise and fall of Harlem and its impact on African American communities in the U.S. and abroad. Students may explore reflections on the newly fashioned identities, emerging post-slavery folk traditions, or continuing effects of institutional racism from a writer, such as Ralph Ellison, Manuel Zapata Olivella, and James Weldon Johnson. 

3.15 The Birth of Black History

SOURCES

§ The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson, 1933

Learning Objectives:

Explain why New Negro renaissance writers, artists, and educators strove to research and disseminate Black history to Black students.

Essential Knowledge:

  • New Negro renaissance writers, artists, and educators believed that U.S. schools reinforced the idea that Black people had made no meaningful cultural contributions and were thus inferior.

  • New Negro writers, artists, and educators urged African Americans to become agents of their own education and study the history and experiences of Black people to inform their future advancement.

  • Writers, artists, and intellectuals of the New Negro renaissance refuted the idea that African Americans were people without history or culture and created a body of literature and educational resources to show otherwise. The early movement to place Black history in schools allowed the ideas of the New Negro renaissance to reach Black students of all ages.

Source Notes

§ The son of formerly enslaved people, Carter G. Woodson             became the founder of what is now the Association for the           Study of African American Life and History (ASALH); created         Negro History Week, which became Black History Month;             and published many works of African American history that           started with African origins through the early 20th century.

Topic 3.15: Music and the Black National Anthem

This topic explores the musical genres that African Americans innovated in the early 20th century and the use of music for social and political purposes. Students may explore the contemporary prominence of what is known as the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" through sources by James Weldon Johnson and lmani Perry. 

3.16 Genealogy of the Field of African American Studies

SOURCES

§ “The Negro Digs Up His History” by Arturo A. Schomburg, in       The New Negro: An Interpretation edited by Alain Lock, 1925

Learning Objectives:

Describe the development and aims of the Black intellectual tradition that predates the formal integration of African American studies into American colleges and universities in the mid-20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Black intellectual tradition in the United States began two centuries before the formal introduction of the field of African American studies in the late 1960s. It emerged through the work of Black activists, educators, writers, and archivists who documented Black experiences.

  • Beginning in the late 18th century, the African Free School provided an education to the children of enslaved and free Black people in New York. The school helped prepare early Black abolitionists for leadership.

  • The Black Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Schomburg’s collection, donated to The New York Public Library, became the basis of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

  • The sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois’s research and writings produced some of the earliest sociological surveys of African Americans.

  • Anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston’s writings documented forms of African American culture and expression.

  • The historian Carter G. Woodson founded what became Black History Month in addition to publishing many works chronicling Black experiences and perspectives in history

Topic 3.16: Black in America: Reflections
This topic explores enduring themes in literature on Black experiences in the U.S. Students may examine a selection from Black writers, such as Paul Laurence Dunbar, W.E.B. Du Bois, and James Baldwin. 

Instructional Focus: Migrations and Black Internationalism

3.17 The Great Migration

SOURCES

§ Anonymous letter beckoning African Americans to leave the       South, 1920 (published in The Messenger, March 1920, in Call       and Response, 258)

§ The Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence, 1940–1941 (various       panels, in particular Panel no. 1)

§ Map of the Great Migration from 1916–1930

Learning Objectives:

Describe the causes of the Great Migration.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The Great Migration was one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history. Six million African Americans relocated in waves from the South to the North, Midwest, and western United States from the 1910s to 1970s.

  • Labor shortages in the North during World War I and World War II increased job opportunities in northern industrial cities, appealing to African Americans in search of economic opportunities.

  • Environmental factors, such as floods, boll weevils, and spoiled crops, had left many Black Southerners impoverished.

  • African Americans relocated in search of safety for their families. The dangers of unmitigated lynching and racial violence prompted many Blacks to leave the Jim Crow South.

  • A new railway system and the Black press made the Great Migration possible. Trains offered a means to travel, and the Black press provided encouragement and instructions for African Americans leaving the South.

Learning Objectives:

Explain the impact of the Great Migration on Black communities and American culture.

Essential Knowledge:

  • The effects of the Great Migration transformed American cities, Black communities, and Black cultural movements. The migration infused American cities such as New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles with Black Southern culture, creating a shared culture among African American communities across the country.

  • The Great Migration transformed African Americans from primarily rural people to primarily urban dwellers. Black Southerners forged new connections to their northern environment, such as engaging with nature for leisure rather than labor.

  • As underpaid and disempowered Black laborers began to leave the South, racial tensions increased. Employers often resisted the flight of African Americans and at times had them unjustly arrested.

Source Notes

§ In The Migration Series, artist Jacob Lawrence chronicles             African Americans’ hopes and challenges during the Great           Migration. His work is known for its social realism due to his         use of visual art to depict historical moments, social issues,           and the everyday lives of African Americans.

Weekly Instructional Focus: Migrations, Pan-Africanism, and Black Internationalism 

Topic 3.17: The Great Migration

This topic explores the scale and impact of African American migration in the century after the Civil War, including motivations to escape racial oppression and political and economic marginalization in the U.S. South. Students may explore sources such as newspapers and photographs, the art of Jacob Lawrence, or scholarly texts, such as one from Isabel Wilkerson. 

3.18 Afro-Caribbean Migration

SOURCES

§ “Restricted West Indian Immigration and the American                 Negro” by Wilfred A. Domingo, 1924 (published in                         Opportunity, Oct. 1924, pp. 298–299)

Learning Objectives:

Describe the reasons for the increase in Black Caribbean migration to the United States during the first half of the 20th century.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Afro-Caribbeans were affected by the decline of Caribbean economies during World War I and the expansion of U.S. political and economic interests in the region, and they came to the U.S. for economic, political, and educational opportunities.

  • Caribbean migrations to America increased due to U.S interventions in the region, including the U.S. acquisition of the Panama Canal (1903), the U.S. occupation of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (starting in 1915– 1916), and the U.S. purchase of the Virgin Islands (1917).

Learning Objectives:

Describe the effects of AfroCaribbean migration to the U.S. in the early 20th century and the migration’s effect on African American communities.

Essential Knowledge:

  • More than 140,000 Afro-Caribbean immigrants arrived between 1899 and 1937. Most settled in Florida and New York.

  • The arrival of Afro-Caribbean immigrants to African American communities sparked tensions but also created new blends of Black culture in the United States.

  • Afro-Caribbean migration to the U.S. increased the religious and linguistic diversity of African American communities, as many of the new arrivals were Catholic, Anglican, and Episcopalian and hailed from non-English-speaking islands.

  • Afro-Caribbean intellectuals also contributed to the radicalization of Black thought in the 20th century by infusing their experiences of Black empowerment and autonomy into the radical Black social movements of the time.

Source Notes

§ Africans and their descendants born in the West Indies first           arrived in what became the U.S. in the 17th century, when             enslaved people from Barbados, Jamaica, and other British         colonies in the Caribbean were brought to British North               American colonies to work on plantations. In the early 19th           century, in the wake of the Haitian Revolution, formerly                 enslaved people found refuge in cities like New Orleans,               Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.

§ Prominent early 20th-century, Afro-Caribbean immigrants              include Claude McKay (Jamaica), Arturo Schomburg (Puerto        Rico), and Marcus Garvey (Jamaica).

Topic 3.18: Afro-Caribbean Migration to the U.S.
This topic examines the wave of Afro-Caribbean migration to the U.S. and the influence of changing demographics on African American political thought. Students may explore this process through a figure like Arturo Schomburg or an excerpt from the writings of Wilfred A. Domingo. 

3.19 The Universal Negro Improvement Association

SOURCES

§ “Address to the Second UNIA Convention” by Marcus                 Garvey, 1921

§ Marcus Garvey at his desk, 1924

§ Marcus Garvey in Harlem, 1924

Learning Objectives:

Describe the mission and methods of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).

Essential Knowledge:

  • Marcus Garvey led the largest pan-African movement in African American history as founder of the UNIA. The UNIA aimed to unite all Black people and maintained thousands of members in countries throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.

  • Marcus Garvey’s Back-to-Africa movement popularized the phrase “Africa for the Africans” and founded a steamship company, the Black Star Line, to repatriate African Americans to Africa.

Learning Objectives:

Describe the impact of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA on political thought throughout the African diaspora.

Essential Knowledge:

  • Marcus Garvey inspired African Americans who faced intense racial violence and discrimination to embrace their shared African heritage and the ideals of industrial, political, and educational advancement and self-determination through separatist Black institutions.

  • Marcus Garvey outlined the UNIA’s objective to achieve Black liberation from colonialism across the African diaspora. This framework became the model for subsequent Black nationalist movements throughout the 20th century. The UNIA’s red, black, and green flag continues to be used by advocates of Black solidarity and freedom worldwide.

Source Notes

§ The UNIA’s newspaper, Negro World, cofounded by Garvey’s       wife, Amy Ashwood, circulated in over 40 countries.

Topic 3.19: Marcus Garvey and the UNIA
This topic explores the influence of Marcus Garvey and the founding of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) on the Black political sphere in the early twentieth century. Students may examine political ideas in a speech from Marcus Garvey or a debate between Garvey and other African American leaders. 

Topic 3.20: The Pan-African Congresses
This topic explores the political concept of Pan-Africanism, including its roots in the collective experiences of Afro­ descendants throughout the world and response to European colonialization in Africa. Students may explore contrasting perspectives on Pan-Africanist approaches through texts from authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois or George Schuyler. 

Unit 3
IF 1 - Unit 3 23
WIF 1 - Unit 3 22
Unit 3 23 - 3.1
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.1
Unit 3 23 - 3.2
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.2
Unit 3 23 - Topic 3.3
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.3
Unit 3 23 - 3.4
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.4
IF 2 - Unit 3 23
WIF 2 - Unit 3 22
Unit 3 23 - 3.5
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.5
Unit 3 23 - 3.6
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.6
Unit 3 23 - 3.7
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.7
IF 3 - Unit 3 23
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.
Unit 3 23 - 3.8
WIF 3 - Unit 3 22
Unit 3 23 - 3.9
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.9
Unit 3 23 - 3.10
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.10
Unit 3 23 - 3.11
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.11
IF 4 - Unit 3 23
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.12
Unit 3 23 - 3.12
WIF 4 - Unit 3 22
Unit 3 23 - 3.13
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.13
Unit 3 23 - 3.14
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.14
Unit 3 23 - 3.15
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.15
Unit 3 23 - 3.16
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.16
IF 5 - Unit 3 23
WIF 5 - Unit 3 2
Unit 3 23 - 3.17
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.17
Unit 3 23 - 3.18
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.18
Anchor 157
Anchor 158
Unit 3 22 - Topic 3.20

Unit 4

Unit 4: Movements and Debates (7 Weeks)

* Anticolonial Movements and the Early Black Freedom Movement

* The Long Civil Rights Movement

* Black Power and Black Pride

* Black Women’s Voices in Society and Leadership

* Diversity Within Black Commun