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ETHS 370 Black Thought

This course will explore the cultural, intellectual, and political knowledge produced by Black people in the United States and within the African Diaspora and how this knowledge continues to define, expand, and challenge the textured experiences of Black life in America and the world. Students will be exposed to a genealogy of Black thinkers, artists, activists, and critics who view the production, analysis, and dissemination of knowledge as necessary responses to structures of social, political, and economic domination and oppression. Students will also consider the extent to which knowledge has shifted meanings of blackness across time and space as well as in response to specific structures and events (slavery, colonialism, liberation, neoliberalism). Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 5, 2017 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Comparatively examine selected Enlightenment philosophies and the politicized interplay with Black philosophical paradigms, in order to effectively engage with micro- and macro- modes of knowledge production.
  • Describe the historical genealogy of Black philosophical paradigms in the United States and their concomitant impact of the social, political, economic, and cultural structuring of African American existence.
  • Examine Western philosophical paradigms that preceded the emergence of Black intellectual paradigms in order to comparatively interrogate the impetus embodying black philosophical movements and traditions.
  • Obtain a competent understanding of the history and development of Black intellectual paradigms.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

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.

Fall 2022

Section Title Instructor
01 Black Thought Robinson, James Alexander Books Course details