Black Lives Matter Syllabus is the intellectual property of instructor Frank Leon Roberts. This means that material compiled in this syllabus should not be duplicated without proper citation and attribution. Duplicating this syllabus verbatim or nearly-verbatim (i.e. its description, subject headings, weekly topics, or configuration of reading material) without proper attribution is an act of intellectual dishonestly.
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Roberts, Frank Leon Roberts. Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance, and Populist Protest. 2016. Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, New York, NY. Microsoft Word File.
Roberts, Frank Leon Roberts. (2016). Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance, and Populist Protest. [Syllabus]. New York, NY: Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University.
New York University
Summer Session II, July 5-August 11TH
Professor Frank Roberts
Tues & Thurs: 5:30-8:30PM
Course Hashtag: #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus
From the killings of teenagers Michael Brown and Vonderrick Myers in Ferguson, Missouri; to the suspicious death of activist Sandra Bland in Waller Texas; to the choke-hold death of Eric Garner in New York, to the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida and 7 year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit, Michigan—-#blacklivesmatter has emerged in recent years as a movement committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies.
This intensive interdisciplinary seminar links the #blacklivesmatter” movement to four broader phenomena: 1) the rise of the U.S. prison industrial complex and its relationship to the increasing militarization of inner city communities 2) the role of the media industry in influencing national conversations about race and racism and 3) the state of racial justice activism in the context of a neoliberal Obama Presidency and 4) the increasingly populist nature of decentralized protest movements in the contemporary United States. In this course we will be mindful of an important distinction between #blacklivesmatter (as an emergent movement that has come into existence within roughly the past three years) vs. a much older and broader U.S. movement for black lives that has been in existence for several centuries (which can be traced back to at least the first slave uprisings in the antebellum south). Part of our goal then, we be to think about how the former has been influenced by the latter and to what ends. Among the many topics of discussion that we will debate and engage this semester will include: the moral ethics of black rage and riotous forms of protest; violent vs. nonviolent civil disobedience; the hyberbolic media myth of “black on black” crime; coalitional politics and the black feminist and LGBTQ underpinnings of the #blacklivesmatter movement; the similarities and differences between the blacklivesmatter movement and the U.S. civil rights movement; and the dynamics of political protest among the millennial and post-millennial generations.
All additional readings and media material: BlackLivesMatterSyllabus.Com
Film Screening: Stay Woke (Dir. Lauren Grant, Prod. Jesse Williams, 2016)
July 7: Black Lives Matter, The Movement for Black Lives, and the Deep Democratic Tradition
In-Class Viewing: http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/
July 12: “Ok, Ladies Now Lets Get In #Formation”: Black Lives Matter’s Protest Populism
Screening: Beyonce, Lemonade (Excerpts)
Select three of the following short thought pieces:
Special Guest: Candace Benbow (Author, #LemonadeSyllabus)
July 14 Historicizing #BlackLivesMatter and the Movement for Black Lives
July 18 The Prison Industrial Complex: Reform or Abolition?
July 21 The Prison Industrial Complex: Reform or Abolition?
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
July 25 But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Lives Matter’s Queer Critiques
“Queerness on the Frontlines of Ferguson.” MSNBC Original.
Special Guest: Michael Roberson, Center for Religion and Economic Democracy
July 28 Nobody: Causalities of America’s War on the Dispossessed
Marc Lamont Hill, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
August 2 #SayHerName: Black Women, Intersectionality and Black Feminist Critique
Combahee River Collective, A Black Feminist Statement
August 4 Mediated Mobilization and the Future of Black Community Organizing
Special Guest: Charles Davis,
August 9 Beyond “The Lesser of Two Evils”: #BlackLivesMatter, Election 2016, and the Future of the American Left
Eddie Glaude, “America Is Suffering a Crisis of Imagination.” In Time, Feb. 24, 2016.
Areva Martin, “Black Lives Matter Could Play Disruptive, Crucial Role in 2016 Election”
Democracy Now, “We Endorse No One: Black Lives Matter & the 2016 Presidential Race”
Special Guest: TBA
View: The Dream Defenders SQUAD2016 Initiative