How have people of African descent defined themselves in the United States? How does the evolution of their identities over time provide us with insights into past and current social and political movements? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Black identity drawing on examples from the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Students explore the ways Black identity has been shaped by cultural continuities from Africa and the African Diaspora, systems of oppression, and the struggle for freedom, full citizenship, and democratic participation in the United States. Critical race theory forms the foundation for understanding Black identity as an alternative source of power and critique to anti-black racism. Students examine identity through the lens of cultural, social, and political movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, Black at, Afrofuturism, Hip-Hop and Youth Identity, Black Feminism, and the Civil Rights Movement. This course helps students build their awareness of how cultural identity is developed and its relationship to social change and activism.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
WHAT STUDENTS DO
Learning is an active process at One Schoolhouse. Students design, create and apply. And, they engage with classmates and connect with their teachers through discussions, video conferences, and projects. Specifically, in this class students will:
MEET A TEACHER FOR THIS COURSE
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SECOND SEMESTER?
Students wishing to pursue a Black Identity project may enroll in the course for the full year. For students continuing into Semester II, the course shifts into personalized, project-based work, where students engage in deep, sustained inquiry; authentic and iterative research; critical analysis; and rigorous reflection, revision, and assessment as they journey through a self-designed, long-term activism, design, or research project on the topic of their choosing. Guided by a One Schoolhouse teacher, students pursue individual study/self-assessment or collaborative seminar/peer-review. Pathway options from which students choose include:
Upon completion of their inquiry-driven project, students will have gained academic maturity and expanded their ability to engage in a diverse and changing world. They will be able to draw and defend conclusions from theoretical underpinnings, contextual background, and mathematical analysis or source evaluation. Finally, they will have created and tested something useful of their own design or will be able to defend a position based on their own research.
This course is approved by the NCAA.
One Schoolhouse is fully accredited with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges through December 1, 2025; we are an approved online publisher for the University of California.
Teresa Leary Handy
BA Spelman College
AM University of Chicago
MAT University of Memphis
Ed.D. University of Memphis