Angola to Obama



As a teacher, and an African American, and a college major in African and African American Studies, I feel a deep responsibility to offer the course outlined below. The recent course of political events has young people more excited than I can ever remember about history, government, politics and African American history.

With that said, I hope you will give strong consideration to my proposal.

Click play to view the proposal in video format, or scroll down to read the proposal text.

Course Title: Angola to Obama: The Story of Africans in America.

Prerequisites: Completion of World History

Special Notes: This course will be offered as a “distance education” course. It will include websites, discussion boards, virtual lectures, and online presentations. Students should take this one semester elective (1/2 credit) in addition to their regular course load. Students should also expect to meet once per week for two-three hours during non-school hours (ex: Saturday morning, Tuesday evening, etc.)

Unit One: From Chieftain to Chattel

The capturing and enslaving of Africans and the subsequent intercontinental transportation and coercion of labor is the event that defines and creates all future experiences in America for Africans. This unit examines the “where, when, how,” and most importantly “why” questions surrounding the genesis of American slavery.

Unit Two: A Peculiar Institution

The institution of slavery is perhaps the most misunderstood and misperceived of all historical American relationships. Slavery has eternally knotted the hearts, minds, and souls of Americans. This unit attempts to untie those knots and study the complex relationships between: slaves and slave owners, slave owners and non-slave owners, slaves and abolitionists, slave states and free states, and most importantly… slaves and other slaves.

Unit Three: Free at Last, but will it last?

The Emancipation Proclamation has been praised as the greatest Presidential Act in American history; it has also been criticized as a desperate effort by a failing Administration. Without question, the period of American history between Emancipation and the Election of 1876 was pivotal in shaping American policies that still affect us today.

Unit Four: This Land is your Land; it is not my Land?

No time period in United States History has produced more great literature or been more greatly debated than the Jim Crow South. This unit examines the spawning and growth of racism in America in addition to studying the issues of educating, policing, and accepting a race of slaves in a democratic society.

Unit Five: The Movement

The Civil Rights Movement was certainly one of the most exciting, dangerous and revolutionary periods in the history of our nation. This unit tries not to be about names and dates… but instead about ideas and ideologies. Students will view the middle of the twentieth century from ethical, moral, legal, and political perspectives.

Unit Six: Breakdowns and Breakthroughs

The second half of the Twentieth Century and the beginning of the Twenty First is a period of division in the African American culture. Some become superstar celebrities, multi millionaires, even President of the United States; while others live in the worst poverty that Americans have ever seen. This unit examines education, politics, policy and business in regard to the progress of the African American community.


Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery – Na’im Akbar [appx $10]
Coming of Age in Mississippi – Anne Moody [appx $15]
Democracy in America — Alexis de Tocqueville (free online)
Souls of Black Folks – WEB Dubois (free online)
My Bondage and Freedom – Fredrick Douglass (free online)
The Negro in Our History – Carter G Woodson (free online)
Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington (free online)

Thank you for giving consideration to this proposal. I would enjoy any discussion or dialogue relating to this course and its potential.

John H. Merritt
Middle School Director
Crossroads College Preparatory School
Site Director, Aim High St. Louis
Phone: 314-367-8085 ext. 216
Email: gro.perpegellocsdaorssorc|nhoj#gro.perpegellocsdaorssorc|nhoj

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