African American Rhetorics of Resistance

Fall 2017
Bethany Jacobs
ENGL 1102

As an SLS-affiliated course, African American Rhetorics of Resistance will focus specifically on the role of community in African American arts and letters. Black music, art, and literature is known for exploring racism, but it is equally invested in the power of joy and coalition. This labor has often centralized the role of community institutions, including the church, the school, the town hall meeting, and the protest rally. Our course will study African Americans who trumpet the role of community in the struggle for civil rights; who confront the relationship between race and climate change; who declare the necessity of anti-racist urban planning; who assert the interconnectedness of healthcare and racial justice. Exploring these factors will include getting to know Atlanta itself. From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Representative John Lewis, to R&B/hip-hop groups like TLC and OutKast, African Americans have done powerful Civil Rights work in Atlanta. As a student in this course, you will familiarize yourself with that work early in the semester, when you visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This museum will provide a crucial touchstone throughout the semester, as we consider the role of the black community in the struggle for African American liberation.

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