Workshop Syllabi (Freetown and New Haven)

Freetown  Workshop |  New Haven Workshop

Freetown Workshop

Friday 28 December 
9:00am Visit to US Embassy 
1:00pm Lunch at Fourah Bay College 
2:00pm Lecture and discussion at Fourah Bay College: 

  • The Atlantic Slave Trade in Sierra Leone 
  • The History of Bunce Island 
  • The Sierra Leone Diaspora 
  • The Amistad Revolt – Impact in Sierra Leone and the US 


  • Alie. Chapters 1-4. The New History of Sierra Leone (2016). 
  • Opala. “Sierra Leone: A Brief Overview” 
  • Opala. “Bunce Island: An 18th Century Slave Castle in the Republic of Sierra Leone, West Africa” 
  • Opala. “Bunce Island: A British Slave Castle in Sierra Leone” 
  • Opala. “The Gullah: Rice, Slavery, and the Sierra Leone-American Connection” (USIS, 1987) 

Saturday 29 December 
1:00pm Visit and tour Bunce Island (all day) 

Sunday 30 December 
9:00am Lecture and discussion:

  • History of Freetown 
  • The Black Poor, Nova Scotians, Maroons, Recaptives 
  • The Prohibition of the Slave Trade 
  • The Crown Colony 


  • Alie. Chapters 5-8. The New History of Sierra Leone (2016). 
  • Opala. “Guide to Historic Freetown” (Bondesia Institute, 1997) 

1:00pm Lunch 
2:00pm Tour of Downtown Freetown 

Monday 31 December 
9:00am Lecture and discussion 

  • Sierra Leone Geography 
  • Peoples and Cultures of Sierra Leone 
  • The Sierra Leone Interior in the 19th Century 
  • The Sierra Leone Protectorate 


  • Alie. Chapters 9-12. The New History of Sierra Leone (2016). 
  • Clarke. Sierra Leone in Maps (1966). 

1:00pm Lunch 
2:00pm Meeting with Sierra Leone teachers regarding passports and visas 
7:00pm Tangain Festival at National Stadium 

Tuesday 1 January 
9:00am Lecture and discussion 

  • The Road to Independence 
  • Sir Milton Margai – First Prime Minister 
  • Albert Margai – Second Prime Minister 
  • The 1967 Elections 
  • The Rise of Siaka Stevens 


  • Alie. Chapters 13-15. The New History of Sierra Leone (2016). 

1:00pm Lunch 
2:00pm Lesson Planning 

Wednesday 2 January 
9:00am Lecture and discussion 

  • The Reign of Siaka Stevens 
  • “Seventeen-Year Plague of Locusts” 
  • Constitutional Changes 
  • The Momoh Government 
  • From Kleptocracy to a Failed State 


  • Alie. Chapters 16-17. The New History of Sierra Leone (2016). 

1:00pm Lunch 
2:00pm Strategy session for collaborative work 

Thursday 3 January 
9:00am Lecture and discussion 

  • The Rebel War :The RUF and the Descent into Anarchy 
  • International Intervention 
  • The Post-War Years 
  • The Future of Sierra Leone 


  • Alie. Chapters 18-20. The New History of Sierra Leone (2016). 
  • Opala. Sierra Leone: The Politics of State Collapse 
  • Opala. Sierra Leone: Hard Truths and Hidden Strengths 
  • Opala. What the West Failed to See in Sierra Leone (Washington Post, May 14, 2000) 
  • Opala. “‘Estatic Renovation!’ Street Art Celebrating Sierra Leone’s 1992 Revolution,” African Affairs 93 no. 371 (1994): 195-218. 

1:00pm Lunch 
2:00pm Visit to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary 

Friday 4 January 
Travel to Yagala Village 
Overnight stay in Kabala 

New Haven Workshop 

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition 
Yale University Summer 2019

Instructor: Professor K. N. Blain
Course Description:
This course examines the black struggle for freedom and justice in the United States from the period of the transatlantic slavery to the modern civil rights movement. Through a variety of secondary and primary sources, film and other multimedia, the course explores the varied strategies and tactics black people have employed to secure their political rights and freedom. Major course themes include gender, identity, agency and internationalism.

General Expectations:
This course will combine lecture and discussion. Participants will be expected to complete the readings for each class and come prepared to actively participate. This means that all participants must bring a copy of the assigned readings, along with notes on the readings, to each session.


Session One

Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

12pm-1pm: Lunch and Introductions
1pm-4pm: Lecture and In-Class Activities
-Guest Lecture by 
Sasha TurnerQuinnipiac University


  • Jennifer Morgan, “Women in Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade” in Transatlantic Slavery:

    Against Human Dignity, pp. 56-66.

  • Anne C. Bailey, African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade, Ch. 5: “European and American Agency

    in the Atlantic Slave Trade,” pp. 115-151.

  • Excerpt from Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market in Chad

    Williams, Kidada Williams, and Keisha N. Blain, eds., Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism,

    and Racial Violence, pp. 39-45.

  • Excerpt from Stephanie Smallwood, Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American

    Diaspora in Charleston Syllabus, pp. 46-51.

  • Phillis Wheatley, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” (1768) in Manning Marable, ed.,

    Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology, pp. 7-8.

  • Excerpt from Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, in Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology, pp. 9-17.

Session Two

The Aftermath of Slavery

9am-12pm: Lecture
12pm-1pm: Lunch
1pm-4pm: In-Class Activities
-Guest Lecture by 
David BlightYale University


  • Tera W. Hunter, To ‘Joy My Freedom, Ch. 1: “‘Answering Bells is Played Out’: Slavery and the Civil War” & Ch. 2: “Reconstruction and the Meanings of Freedom,” pp. 4-43.
  • Excerpt from Thomas C. Holt, Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction in Charleston Syllabus, pp. 131-137.
  • Frederick Douglass, “What the Black Man Wants” (1865) in Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology, pp. 122-128.

Session Three

The Law and Politics of Jim Crow

9am-12pm: Lecture and In-Class Activities


  • Tera W. Hunter, To ‘Joy My Freedom, Ch. 5: “The ‘Color Line’ Gives Way to the ‘Color Wall,’” pp.98-129.
  • Excerpt from Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) in Charleston Syllabus, pp. 161-166.
  • Booker T. Washington and the Politics of Accommodation in Let Nobody Turn Us Around, pp.174-181.
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “W.E.B. Du Bois and ‘The Talented Tenth’” in Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West, eds., The Future of the Race, pp. 115–132.
  • Anne Valk and Leslie Brown, eds., Living With Jim Crow, Ch. 1: “Growing Up a Girl in the Jim Crow South,” pp. 17-51.

Session Four

The Civil Rights Movement

9am-12pm: Lecture 12pm-1pm: Lunch 1pm-4pm: In-Class Activities -Guest Lecture


  • Charles Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom, Ch. 1: “Setting the Stage”; Ch. 2: “Testing the Limits”; and Ch. 3: “The Roots of An Organizing Tradition,” pp. 7-83.

  • Danielle L. McGuire, Ch. 7: “Sex and Civil Rights” in At the Dark End of the Street, pp. 174-201.

  • John D’Emilio, “‘No Force on Earth Can Stop This Movement,’ 1955-1957,” in Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin, pp. 223-248.

  • Fannie Lou Hamer, Testimony Before the Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention, 1964 in Charleston Syllabus, pp. 223-225.

  • “Rosa Parks, Jo Ann Robinson, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955–1956” in Let NobodyTurn Us Around, pp. 352-361.

  • Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963).

Session Five

The Rise of Black Power

9am-12pm: Lecture
-Guest Lecture by 
Jeffrey O.G. OgbarUniversity of Connecticut12pm-1pm: Lunch
1pm-4pm: In-Class Activities
-Guest Lecture by 
Brittney YancyUniversity of Connecticut-In-Class FilmThe Black Power Mixtape


  • Excerpt from Akinyele Umoja, We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement in Charleston Syllabus, pp. 262-267.

  • Michael L. Clemons and Charles E. Jones, “Global Solidarity: The Black Panther Party in the International Arena” in Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party, pp. 20-39

  • Stephen Ward, “The Third World Women’s Alliance: Black Feminist Radicalism and Black Power Politics” in The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights – Black Power Era, pp. 119-144.

  • Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet” in Let Nobody Turn Us Around, pp. 404-413.

  • Tracye Matthews, “‘No One Ever Asks, What a Man’s Place in the Revolution Is’: Gender and the Politics of the Black Panther Party, 1966-1971,” in Charles E. Jones, ed., The Black Panther Party: Reconsidered, pp. 267-95.

  • “Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense” in Let Nobody Turn Us Around, pp. 445-456.

  • Angela Davis, “I Am a Revolutionary Black Woman” in Let Nobody Turn Us Around, pp. 459-463.

Closing Session: Trip to DC//Visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture(NMAAHC)