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ERIC Number: EJ832761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb-27
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Teaching African-American History in the Age of Obama
Millward, Jessica
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n25 pB20 Feb 2009
When the author proposed a spring course on major topics in African-American history, drawing a large enrollment was her chief concern. She had previously taught the course under a different title at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a campus with a sizable African-American presence among students and faculty members. She now teaches at a college whose African-American student population is about 2 percent and that continues to feel the impact of California's Proposition 209, which ended affirmative action in public education more than a decade ago. She believes that African-American history is a topic that all students should find intriguing; but without a "built in" audience, she suspected that she would have to rename the course to capture the imagination of a broad spectrum of students. Hoping to draw students caught up in the general excitement of the past year, she changed the title from what had been "Black History, 1619 to the Present" to the "postracial" "Major Topics in African-American History from Slavery to the Presidency." She submitted the course well before November 4, 2008, determined to keep the title regardless of the outcome of the election. And then something profound happened. Barack Obama was elected president. In this article, the author describes how Obama's presidency raises new questions for her African-American history course.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Proposition 209 (California 1996)