The African American Freedom Struggle, 1890-1974 module (HY42038)

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Module code


  • Level 4
  • Semester 1
  • 24 places
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 50% Examination 50%

This module will offer you a detailed analysis of the American civil rights movement from 1945 through to 1970 through the study of primary and secondary source material. We will explore the varied debates and divisions that existed within the civil rights movement and the role of Martin Luther King in the movement.

Indicative content:

  • The Roots of the Civil Rights Movement
  • World War II and Early Civil Rights Protest
  • The Brown decision and School Desegregation
  • The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Film screening - The Lynching of Emmett Till
  • Martin Luther King - His Early Life and Career
  • SNCC and the Sit-In Movement
  • The Freedom Rides
  • The Movement in Albany, Georgia
  • The Movement in Birmingham, Alabama
  • The Civil Rights Jail Experience
  • The 1964 Freedom Summer
  • Violence and Non-Violence in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Women and Gender in the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Selma Campaign and the 1965 Voting Rights Act
  • The Disintegration of the Movement - Towards Black Power and Self-Defense, 1965-1968
  • Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam
  • Chicago, the Poor People's Campaign and the Assassination of Martin Luther King
  • The Black Panther Party


HY41031 and HY40038/HY40039


Dr Zoe Colley


This module has a total of 35 contact hours, comprising of 10 x two-hour seminars, 10 x one-hour workshops and one two-hour film screening. There is also additional time for discussion of assessed work with individual students.


This module is assessed as follows:

  • one 3,500 word research essay (35%)
  • one presentation (15%)
  • one 2-hour examination (50%)


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This module is available on following courses: