This course will trace the African American journey through a 400-year struggle for survival and dignity, exploring slavery, emancipation, segregation, migration and the civil rights and post-civil rights movements. We will examine the ways in which African Americans, beginning with the racialization of slavery at Jamestown, Va., in 1619, adopted strategies to survive in, cope with, adjust to and struggle against systems of oppression throughout our nation’s history, working both inside and outside American institutions to pursue their goals of citizenship, identity and inclusion. We will discuss the African American community of Bronzeville in 20th-century Chicago as a case study of these strategies and conclude with a consideration of contemporary American race relations and the ongoing impact of our racial past upon our lives today.

Joe Patterson ’69 received the 2019 Gertrude Breithaupt Jupp M-D’18 Outstanding Service Award for alumni service at his 50th Reunion. As a real estate management entrepreneur in greater New York City, he has over 30 years of corporate experience in global asset management and domestic real estate investments for Guardian Life, CIGNA, HSBC, and GE. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration in real estate finance from The Wharton Graduate School (University of Pennsylvania). While at Lawrence, he received the inaugural Martin Luther King Award. He also earned All-Midwest Conference Football Team selections plus All-American honors as a co-captain in addition to gaining NFL recognition in 1970 as a contracted draft selection of Coach Vince Lombardi and the Washington Redskins. As a member of the undefeated Midwest Conference Championship 1967 Football Team, he was inducted into the Viking Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017 for a second time after his sole induction in 1999. As a Certified Property Manager and vice president, global corporate real estate operations at HSBC, he earned the inaugural Award for Excellence for a complex and highly profitable sales leaseback transaction in Upstate NY. After serving one term as an alumni trustee on the LU Board of Trustees, he began service as a member of the Board of Directors of the School of Visual Arts of NYC in 2000. Throughout the years of his real estate career, he has tirelessly promoted diversity of students on college campuses and public high schools, creating support programs to ensure successful experiences and achievement for all.

Jerald Podair is a professor of history emeritus and the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence University, where he specializes in 20th-century United States history. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of seven books, including The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States and two books about civil rights in America, The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis and Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer. He is the recipient of the Allan Nevins Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians for “literary distinction in the writing of history,” and the first two-time winner of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship. He is currently writing Promised Lands: A History of the American People in the Twentieth Century, a comprehensive history of the American century written for a general audience, to be published by Princeton University Press.


Sunday, July 17, 2022 to Friday, July 22, 2022
History; Diversity & Inclusion