AIH276 - African American History From Slavery to Black Lives Matter

Unit details


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Clare Corbould


Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online:

1 x 1-hour class (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


Students in this unit will learn about the history and culture of African Americans, a significant minority group in the world’s superpower.

Throughout the unit, we will address two related questions:

1. how is it that in a nation based on the world’s first and most expansive assertion of democracy and rights there is such glaring inequality based on race?

2. How have African Americans shaped their own experiences given these circumstances?

Topics will include:

  • the Atlantic slave trade and the experience of slave transportation
  • labour, religion, family, and community from the colonial era to the “antebellum” period
  • the role of free black people and slaves in the American Civil War
  • the meanings of freedom and the early roots of the civil rights movement
  • mobility and violence during the era of Jim Crow segregation
  • leadership and grassroots organising in the Civil Rights movement
  • Black Power and Black Feminism and
  • “post-racial” America up to Black Lives Matter.

The primary and secondary materials, including in assessments, will enable students to follow interests in black culture, eg music and fiction, and/or politics including issues such as mass incarceration and police brutality.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
ULO1 Describe the history of African Americans in colonial America and the United States, right up to the very recent past, and identify key historical events and ideas that contribute to continuing racial inequalities today GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
ULO2 Identify the kinds of data and evidence one can use to determine event and ideas, past and present in African American history

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship

ULO3 Analyse and explain in oral and written form the tensions between myths about United States exceptionalism and the persistence of racism and inequality

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO4 Analyse and explain in oral and written form the forms of resistance and/or accommodation individuals and groups use in response to oppression

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving

ULO5 Identify, analyse and evaluate the legacies, in the United States and beyond, of slavery and other forms of racialised violence

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO8: Global citizenship


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Quizzes 800 words
or equivalent
20% Ongoing
Assessment 2 - Essay  1200 words
or equivalent
30% Week 6
Assessment 3 - Essay 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via AIH276
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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