Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies

Black and white photographs of Zora Neale Hurston, Alvin Ailey, Langston Hughes, and Jacob Lawrence.

Four prominent participants in the Harlem Renaissance (clockwise from top left): Zora Neale Hurston, Alvin Ailey, Jacob Lawrence, Langston Hughes. (Photos by Carl Van Vechten, via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection: LC-USZ62-79898, LC-USZ62-92018, LC-USZ62-42503, LC-USZ62-114410)


MIT Course Number

21M.630J / 21A.114J / 21H.106J / 21L.008J / 21W.741J / 24.912J

As Taught In

Fall 2009



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This class is an interdisciplinary survey that explores the experiences of people of African descent through the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. It connects the experiences of African Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns. Activities include lectures, discussions, workshops, and required field trips that involve minimal cost to students.

Related Content

Sandy Alexandre, Christopher Capozzola, and Thomas DeFrantz. 21M.630J Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies. Fall 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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