History 604

University of Virginia
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Civil Rights in U.S. and Virginia History

Instructor:
William G. Thomas

The course begins with segregation, traces its legal and social origins, and covers the development of the NAACP's legal strategy to destroy segregation, the impact of World War II on the civil rights movement, the political organization of Harry F. Byrd in Virginia, how the Byrd organization policies abetted segregation, and massive resistance in Virginia to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The course also treats these subjects in the context of the Civil Rights Movement as a whole in United States history. We will examine the local perspective on these national and state events through the eyes of participants and the course focuses on understanding the relationship between national and local events in history.


Course Syllabus

Week 1 - VSEN presentations
"Course Introduction and Welcome"
"The Origins of Segregation 1890s: Social and Legal"
Assignment:
Interviews: Edwilda Allen Issacs
Vera Allen
Readings: Welke, Barbara Young, Recasting Liberty Harvard University Press, 2001
(ch. 9, pp. 323-375) HE2757 .W45 2001
Wynes, Charles, Race Relations in Virginia University Press of Virginia, 1961
(ch. 8 pp. 120-134) E 185 .93 .V8W9 1961

Week 2 - Weekly Discussion Section
“Constitutions and Disenfranchisement and Segregation Law”
Assignment:
Race and Place Political Materials

Week 3 - VSEN presentation
"The Byrd Organization in Virginia Politics: Interview with Professor Ron Heinemann"
Assignment:
Readings: Wilkinson, J. Harvie III. Harry Byrd and the Changing Face of Virginia Politics, 1945-1966. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1968. (chapter 2, pp. 23-62) F 231 .2 .W5
Key, V. O., Jr. Southern Politics in State and Nation. New York, 1949. (chapter tba) F 215 .K45 1984

Week 4 - Weekly Discussion Topic
“Virginia Politics and African American Issues”
Assignment:
Race and Place Charlottesville Reflector

Week 5 - VSEN presentation
"Student Strike 1951: Inequality in the Schools"
Assignment: Interviews: Edwilda Allen Issacs, Vera Allen
Readings: Smith, Bob. They Closed Their Schools: Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951-64. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965. (chapter 6) LA380.P74 S6 1965a

Week 6 - Weekly Discussion Topic
“World War II and Civil Rights”
VSEN Presentation
Film: Virginia Fights: World War II
Assignment: Readings: Smith, J. Douglas, "When Reason Collides with Prejudice," in The Moderates' Dilemma (pp. 22-50) Myrdal, Gunnar, An American Dilemma, Vol. II (Harper, 1944), (chapter 45 997-1026). E 185.6 .M95 1944a v.2


 





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