Below is the description and reading schedule from the syllabus for a class I designed and am teaching during Summer Session 2015 at UC Davis, through the Humanities Program.
Humanities 002B: American Humanities Forum: Justice or “Just Us”: Policing and Race in the Black Humanities, from Slavery to the Present
Course Description and Objectives:
Protests that began in the summer and fall of 2014 (and that continue) over the killing of black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner by white police officers in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY have made the intersecting issues of police conduct and race relations highly visible. But the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter does not announce a new problem or movement—indeed, it follows a much longer history of anti-black racial discrimination by law enforcement that ranges from disrespectful misunderstanding to brutality and homicide. And current activism follows a much longer history of protest and resistance to racially discriminatory law enforcement.