American slavery was a national crime. Every state in colonial America enslaved black people. However, the North’s profit from—indeed, dependence on—slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret. This course reveals the history of the slave trade and slavery in the American North. We grapple with New England in particular as we examine the lives of the enslaved people in places that feel incredibly “close to home.” From there, we will explore how after the Civil War, structural racism and white supremacy manifested in the policy, housing, education, and policing systems of northern cities and states. This course covers the false promises of the Great Migration and the myth of an equal North in the face of Jim Crow South. Ultimately, this class uses history to combat the idea that slavery and racism are regional.
Max Enrollment: 15
Prerequisites: None. A course in African American History recommended (AFR 209 or AFR 210).
Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies
Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall
Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall