History 246


Course Description

IAS 246/History 246  begins with  a survey of Africa from the birth of humankind through the development of transcontinental trade networks laying the foundation for the Atlantic slave trade. We will then explore the colonization of the "New World"  with a specific emphasis on the institutionalization of slavery throughout the original 13 colonies and subsequent states of North America. Because the broad scope and depth of this course and because of the diversity of African and American peoples, we will inevitably leave a great deal unexplored. However, a primary aim of the course is to provide you with the knowledge and skills upon which to build long after the quarter has ended. History 246/IAS 246 will also give you an opportunity to improve your skills in critical inquiry.


Major themes include the Nile Valley civilizations, iron working; migration and trade networks of African peoples; early African states; the rise of Islam; the arrival of Europeans; domestic slavery and the internal slave trade; and the beginnings of the international slave trade. We will also explore how historians draw on a variety of sources -- oral traditions, linguistic analyses, written texts, and archaeological evidence -- to study the recent and distant past of African Americans


We will approach early African American history in three ways. First, lectures will provide a narrative that will connect themes under consideration. Second, readings and films will contribute further information about these themes, all of which are designed to inculcate alternative interpretations to the standard master narrative. Finally, class discussions will give you the opportunity to digest and critique the content of lecture, film and reading materials and to express your own interpretations and opinions.




tut15  nubprince3 nubiannobles

Pharoah Tutankhamun and Queen Ankhesenamun, New Kingdom Nubian Nobles


General Resources African American History Resources

African American History Digital Library: Library of Congress

University of Texas: Maps of African Countries

African American History Timelines


Class PowerPoint Presentations

Nubian Civilization

Nok Culture

Human Trafficing: The Slave Trade

African Diaspora

Black English


American Colonialism

Imperialism and Resistance


Week One

Evolution: Fact and Theory

Overview of Major Discoveries

Human Evolution

Hominid Fossils: History with Pictures and Descriptions

Hominid Archaeology: with Pictures and Descriptions

Origins of Modern Humans


Week Two

Egyptian Chronology

Egyptian and Nubian Chronology

Black Kingdoms of the Nile

Nubian Women as Queens: University of Syracuse

Origins of the Roman Script

Origins of the modern western alphabet

The Nubian Language

Classification of African Languages


Week Three

Trade and Mideval West African Kingdoms

Northeastern University: Linguistic Evidence for Human Migration

Nok Culture:

Trade and the Spread of Islam in Africa

Muslim Spain

Interactive Map


Week Four

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: image collection

Doctrine of Discovery

Trade and Mideval West African Kingdoms

Ancient Chinese Explorers

African Contact on Earliest Chinese Exploration of World

Refutation of discovery of America Theory

Pre-Colombian African Exploration and Contact

Africans In America Before Columbus

African Diaspora: following the route of the slave ships


Week Five

Dred Scott Case - National Parks Service

African American and Native Americans

Southern Black Church

Tousaint L' Ouverture

Schomberg African American Repository


Week Six

Africans in America: Slave Narratives

Chronology of Slavery and Racism

The Slave Community: Blassingame Pimary Documents


Week Seven

Slaves of Thomas Jefferson's Personal Histories

History of Jefferson's sons:

The DNA Evidence on Jefferson's Decendants

Africans in America

Slave Narratives: Federal Writer's Project


Week Eight

African American Mosaic (Library of Congress)

Big Dipper and Underground Railroad

History of the Underground Railroad

Dred Scott Reading


Week Nine

Lincoln Douglas debates

The Confiscation Debates in the House and Senate

Confiscation debates

Lincoln's Confiscation Proclamation


Week Ten

National Parks: African Americans in the Civil War



HIV/AIDS Supersite