Skip to main content

ETHS 303 The Politics of Racial Resistance and Protest in the United States

There have been various efforts by individuals and communities of color as well as Native communities to challenge institutional racism, state oppression, and other intersectional forms of domination along with their devastating impact on the parameters of everyday life, the human psyche, families, and American society. These individual acts of protest and social resistance movements continue to play a central role in the construction of politicized racial/indigenous identities and they also inform our understanding of the histories of these communities as well as the structures of settler colonialism, enslavement, nation building, and white supremacy. This class will read personal acts of resistance alongside modern social movements, paying close attention to their relationships to and impacts on racial, ethnic, and indigenous identity; social consciousness; power and agency; and revolutionary freedom in the United States. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze the impact of personal protest and social resistance movements of people of color/indigenous people and their impact on social, cultural, and policy development in the United States.
  • Define various structures of oppression implemented in the United States such as settler colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy while understanding their intersectional contexts; social, economic and political origins; and related developmental factors.
  • Survey and assess specific acts of indigenous/people of color resistance and collective social movements that occurred from the 17th century onward and their relation to structural and intersectional oppression and domination currently in place in the United States today.
  • Identify particular social, economic, and political factors that influence the development of individual and collective resistance with contemporary uprisings and rebellions being used as case studies for further analysis.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Spring 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 The Politics of Racial Resistance and Protest in the United States Ordonez, Magaly Books for ETHS-303-50 Spring 2024 Course details for ETHS-303-50 Spring 2024