JOMC 342.1 Syllabus
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JOMC/AFAM 342.1: The Black Press and U.S. History

Fall 2006
Carroll Hall 11
2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Professor Harry Amana
219 Carroll Hall						    	
Hours: MW 10-11, 1-2 /3:30-4	          		
TTh: by appointment						    	URL:
African-American Periodicals in UNC-CH Libraries

Examination Questions

Catalog description: The Black Press and U.S. History JOMC 342 3 credits. A chronological survey of the African-American press in the United States since 1827. Emphasis is on key people and issues during critical eras in the African-American experience.

Outside Readings:
Articles are contained on Electronic Reserves under "JOMC 342."
Dissertations and masters theses also are in The Park Library.

Internet Sites: Some sites on the weekly syllabus are a part of the required reading for the course. Other sites provide materials for original research. They include, for example:

Course Objective: The course will trace the development of the black press from its beginning in 1827 to the present, using major events in African American history as a backdrop. Primary emphasis will be on the development of the modern black press since World War I. We will look at black newspapers and magazines as cultural depositories and historical documents that recorded the philosophical debates, problems, solutions, concerns, growth and development of the African-American community in the United States.

Course Structure: The classes are made up of lectures and discussions based on the required and reserve readings, periodic handouts, films and Web sites. Students are responsible for having read all materials assigned on the daily syllabus. Even though all materials assigned on the daily syllabus may not be covered or discussed in class, the instructor assumes that students will have read all materials and that they understand all of the materials unless they ask questions during class.

Internet Communication: Some material will be sent to students via email on the Internet, or through the course listserv. All students officially registered for the class are included on the listserv with their UNC-CH email address. Students who wish to use another email address must notify the instructor immediately.

Undergraduate Research Report (40 percent)

Students are required to examine microfilm or original copies of a black newspaper or magazine, review any literature on the paper or magazine, and write a detailed report on their observations and findings. Report topics should be chosen early -- no later than Oct. 11. Undergraduate students are required to write a 7- to 10-page report.

Graduate Research Paper (40 percent)

Students are required to examine microfilm and original copies of black newspapers and magazines, review the literature on the black press, and develop a well-conceived research project. Any research method is acceptable, and models may be drawn from your textbooks and readings in the reserve file. Graduate students are required to write a 20- to 25-page research paper.

Research projects are due Nov. 20. Papers received by Nov. 22 will be accepted with a one-grade reduction. Papers will not be accepted after Nov. 22. Graduate students may also be required to make a class presentation on their research.

Take-Home Midterm Examination (25 percent)

There will be a take-home examination due on Oct. 4.
Questions will be given via the class listserv on Oct. 2. Hard copies will be available on the counter outside my office in Carroll Hall. Completed exams must be typed, double-space. Questions will be taken from a list of questions that will be posted on a link on my Web site throughout the semester as we finish each segment of the course. Students are encouraged to prepare for the examination by forming small study groups.

Take-Home Final Examination (35 percent)

This is a required examination due Thursday, Dec. 14 by 3 p.m.
The exam will be posted on the class listserv Wednesday, Dec. 13, by noon. Hard copies will be available on the counter below my Reporting Suite mailbox on the second floow in Carroll Hall. Completed exams must be typed, double-space. The exam may cover everything examined in the course during the semester. Examination questions will be taken from the list of questions posted on my syllabus Web link throughout the semester as we complete study on each topic. Students are encouraged to study in small groups to prepare for this examination.

Final Grades

Grades for this course will be determined as follows:

	A = 95 or above      B+= 89-91        C+= 79-81      D+= 69-71
	A-= 92-94            B = 85-88        C = 75-78      D = 65-68
                             B-= 82-84        C-= 72-74      D-= 62-64

Writing Standards -- Student writing will be judged by the usual School of Journalism and Mass Communication standards. Factual errors result in automatic failures; significant points will be loss for spelling, typographical, grammatical and punctuation errors. Of course, points will be added for exceptional research and writing. Papers with significant spelling, grammar or punctuation errors will not receive a grade above C-, regardless of the quality of the analysis or ideas presented in the paper.

Students should consult The Writing Center site, MLA Format at: before writing their research papers. The Center's staff is also available for consultation, but you must register early.

Honor Code: Students are reminded that a failure to do all of their own research and writing would be a violation of the University Honor Code and could result in disciplinary action by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For comprehensive information on the university's Honor System, go to

To learn how to avoid plagiarism, students should go to the university's Honor System Plagiarism site at:, or to The Writing Center's Plagiarism site at:


Introduction to The Black Press and U.S. History

Aug. 23
Web Sites:
Black publications in UNC-CH Libraries:
Black media online:

1827-1865 The early black press
Aug. 28, 30/(Labor Day Holiday Sept 4), 6, 11

Discussion Topics: W. E. B. DuBois' "double consciousness" and the black press. Abolition, emigration or integration? History and philosophy of the first editors. An examination of some ironies, themes and contradictions. The role of the black press. Frederick Douglass as writer and magazine editor. Women in the black press.
Hutton: Entirety
Pride/Wilson: pp. 1-73
Web Sites:
DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk, "The Forethought" and "Of Our Spiritual Strivings"
Douglass' "Fourth of July" speech:
Douglass' "Free Speech" speech:

1866-1898 Reconstruction and beyond
Sept. 13, 18, 20, 25

Discussion Topic: The northern migration and the emergence of the modern black press. The case of the N.C. Record and the Wilmington Riot of 1898.
Pride/Wilson: pp. 85-126
"Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice"
Web Sites:
"Wilmington Race Riots of 1898" panel transcript, Black Issues Forum, UNC TV:
Booker T. Washington's "Industrial Education for the Negro":
W.E.B. DuBois' critique of Washington's autobiography:
W.E.B. DuBois' "Talented Tenth":
Electronic Reserve: "Crisis, 16(3) - editorial": "Close Ranks" editorial by W.E.B. DuBois.

1898 - 1919 Into the 20th Century
Sept. 27/ Oct. 2, 4 (Midterm Exam!), 9
Discussion Topics: The move for integration and equality: "No Officers, No Fight." Robert Abbott and the Defender. The U.S. government and the black press.
Pride/Wilson: pp. 127-184
Handout: "Radicalism and Sedition Among the Negroes ...")
Web Sites:
Marcus Garvey's papers:

1920-1940 Between the wars
Oct. 11, 16, 18 (FALL BREAK, 5 p.m.)

Discussion Topics: The Harlem Renaissance. Variations on previous themes: nationalism, integration and socialism -- Garvey, DuBois, Randolph. The Associated Negro Press. Heros of the Depression: Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Haile Selassie. The National Newspaper Publishers Association.
Electronic Reserve: "Charles S. Johnson" (Opportunity)
Electronic Reserve: "A. Philip Randolph" (The Messenger)
Web Sites:
Electronic Reserve: "Robert S. Abbott" (Abbott's Monthly)
Clip from "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords"
Web Sites:
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords
Afro American beauty ads:
From the "Women in Journalism site: Marvel Cooke and The Crisis
1941-1945 The black press and WWII
Oct. 23, 25, 30/ Nov. 1
Discussion Topics: The "Double V" campaign. The black war correspondents. Editorial drawings of Charles Alston. Negro Digest and the beginning of Johnson Publications.
Pride/Wilson: pp. 185-197
Web Sites:
peruse This Is Our War excerpts:
Afro Reporter Ollie Stewart's stories on the invasion of France:
"The Art of Propaganda: Charles Alston's World War II Editorial Cartoons for the Office of War Information and the Black Press," Electronic Reserves
Charles Alston (editorial drawings). After you click on this link:
1946-1953 The black press after WWII
Nov. 6, 8, 13

Discussion Topics: Johnson Publication expands. The Korean War and the McCarthy era. Jackie Robinson and the black press. In the tradition of Wells: Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne.
"No Runs, No Hits, No Blacks," (On reserve, Undergraduate Library)
Web Sites:
Afro's history of Jackie Robinson:
From the "Women in Journalism" site: Ethel Payne's foreign assignments for the Defender, and Frances Murphy's rememberences of the Afro-American

1954-1964 The Civil rights era
Nov. 15, 20

Discussion Topics: The decline of the black press; the rise of Johnson Publishing. Role of the black press during the Civil Rights Movement.
Web Site:
Daisy Bates and the Arkansas State Press


1965-1970s A move toward nationalism and conservatism
Nov. 27, 29/ Dec. 4

Discussion Topics: The black press and Bakke.
Muhammad Speaks coverage of the Vietnam War; an overview of The Black Panther, Black Scholar, and Freedomways.
The "New Black" magazine survivors: Black Collegian, Black Enterprise and Essence.
Pride/Wilson: pp. 211-260
Stroman/Poindexter Folder (Bakke)
Web Sites:
Peruse the Muhammad Speaks sites: Excerpts at and the cartoons of Gerald 2X at
Peruse articles from The Black Panther at and illustrations of the paper's front cover at
1980s to the millennium
Dec. 6

Discussion Topics: The Kerner Commission Report. The future of the black press. The black press in North Carolina.
Readings: Pride/Wilson: pp. 261-268
Pride/Wilson: pp. 261-268
Kerner Commission Report, Chapter 15 ("The News Media and the Disorders") on Electronic Reserve