The History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement




About this course: 

The objective of this course is to examine the modern Civil Rights Movement. As traditionally understood, this period began with the May 17, 1954, “Brown vs. Board of Education” Supreme Court decision and ended with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This course will expand this time frame and seek to place this movement in the context of global developments and the broad sweep of United States History. Assigned readings consist of historical and autobiographical texts. Lectures will contextualize the readings by placing the material and its significance within the overall history and culture of Americans.

Format: online; asynchronous

Optional synchronous sessions (through Zoom):
Discussion with Dr. Ula Taylor and John Mundell
Tuesday, November 16th from 10-11am Pacific Time

Recommended Materials: 

  • Access to a computer with internet connectivity
  • Coming of Age in Mississippi: the Classical Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South by Anne Moody (Mass Market Paperback, originally published in 1968)
  • A Kanopy account for video streaming. If you do not have a Kanopy account, you may be able to register for free through your local public library or by logging in with a University login. More information can be found below.

Additional details about accessing content in this course:
This course includes a series of media and reading materials. The media materials include lecture videos, which can be accessed directly on the course pages, and third-party videos, which are available on the video streaming service Kanopy. If you don’t have a Kanopy account, you can set one up using a membership in your local library or using the CalNet ID, if you still have access to it.

The reading materials include book excerpts which can be purchased or rented at various online sites or in your local libraries. The course also includes external readings that are linked from the course pages. Some of these will prompt you for a subscription log-in, such as the New York Times or Washington Post articles. However, all external sites will allow you to access a certain number of articles for free.

Ula Taylor  earned her doctorate in American History from UC Santa Barbara.  She is the author of The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam, The Veiled Garvey: The Life and Times of Amy Jacques Garvey, co-author of Panther: A Pictorial History of the Black Panther Party and The Story Behind the Film and co-editor of Black California Dreamin: The Crisis of California African American Communities.  Her articles on African American Women’s History and feminist theory have appeared in the Journal of African American History, Journal of Women’s History, Feminist Studies, SOULS, and other academic journals and edited volumes. In 2013 she received the Distinguished Professor Teaching Award for the University of California, Berkeley.  Only 5% of the academic senate faculty receive this honor and she is the second African American woman in the history of the University to receive this award.