HIST 4112 The Historical Geography of Black America

HIST 4112 The Historical Geography of Black America (also ASRC 4112) (HNA)

Tuesday and Thursday: 11:40-12:55 plus Independent Research

Dr. Christy Hyman

This course provides students with a challenging and interdisciplinary examination of race and space in North American history. It engages public history and critical geographic study through the lens of African Diasporic place-making from the early national period to the present day.  How did Afro-descendant people in North America come to know the landscape and fashion communities around wilderness, swamps, urban cores and other “undesirable” areas? What material elements of black spaces came to define what is meant by slums and ghettos?  This course illustrates how ongoing struggles that Black communities face with displacement and gentrification are part of a long history that developed alongside territorial expansion and nation building that charted uneven paths to prosperity based on race, gender, and class. This course is timely given that there are about 1,912 sites listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places Database as having significance to “Black” heritage and will help students develop their facilities for assigning meaning to these identified sites and what place these spaces have in the understanding of American history.

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Photo of Edmund Pettus Bridge
Photo taken by C. Hyman in Selma, Alabama, October 2022