Kelson Maynard
Credit: US History

Since all of us residing in the United States of America are governed by the constitution of the U.S.A., and since the first ten amendments to that constitution prescribed individual as distinct from states rights, it is imperative that we direct our analytic, reflective, and synthetic thought upon these documents as they apply or do not apply in the actions, reactions, and interactions between our communities and the larger national community on both the collective and the individual levels.

The domain that this course will cover is United States History. This will include an overview of U.S. history, the structure and function of U.S. government, and culture and political conflict. At the end of this course students will be able to demonstrate mastery of the following cognitive skills: research methodology, point of view writing, critical thinking, and working in groups.

I Introductions
a) course participants
b) course rationale
II Introduction of course
a) philosophy of course
b) methodology of course
III Why study history?
IV Civil and human rights
a) what are civil rights?
b) what are human rights?
c) similarities and differences
V The struggle for freedom and civil rights
a) the Declaration of Independence and civil rights
b) the Constitution and civil rights
c) the Bill of Rights
VI The supreme court and civil rights
a) the Dred Scott decision
b) the Plessy vs Ferguson decision
c) the Brown vs the Board of Education decision
VII Civil Rights applied today
a) the judicial system
b) the educational system
c) the social system
VIII Conclusions

The requirements for this course are:
•compliance with the school's attendance policy 20%
•weekly three page critical analysis/summary 20%
•research paper of between 7-10 pages 20%
•development of a class portfolio 20%
•preparation for and participation in class 20%

The methodological approaches to instruction will include the following:
•reading and discussion of primary and secondary source materials
•small group activities
•group and individual summaries and critical analyses
•peer review and peer sharing
•lecture and note taking

Instructional resources:
The Challenge of Blackness. Lerone Bennett, Jr.
African-Americans and the Living Constitution. John Hope Franklin and Genna Rae McNeil. Edited
Shades of Freedom: Racial Politics and Presumptions of the American Legal Process. A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
The Constitution of the United States of America
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Audio Visuals, Trips, Guest Speakers