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Twenty African Americans Who Changed History


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Course Description

America was a vast wilderness when the first Africans arrived as a source of labor. As ever-greater numbers of African people were brought into the colonies, first as servants and then as enslaved men and women, the colonies were able to grow and flourish precisely because of their labor. Great numbers of unwilling workers were required, and these workers owned nothing, not even the clothes on their backs or the fruits of their labor.

 

This course examines the circumstances into which these African Americans were brought or born, and the obstacles they faced. It will begin with Francisco Menendez, who owned not even his own name, and go on to James Amistead, without whom British rule of the colonies might not have ended when it did. We'll look at the lives of those who documented, in painful detail, the horrors of slavery, such as Harriet Jacobs and William Wells Brown; we'll look at those who transcended their own status as slaves to attend and even found institutions of higher learning, such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois.

 

And we'll examine the Civil Rights Movement from its beginnings, through the eyes of visionaries such as Lucy Craft Laney and Mary McLeod Bethune, women who understood the necessity of education as a way for oppressed people to rise above their circumstances. We'll see American life through the eyes of men and women like Thurgood Marshall and Daisy Lee Gatson, who fought and ended school segregation, and people like Medgar Evers, who died for the cause.

 

The twenty men and women included in this course knew firsthand the wrongs that had to be set right, and they dedicated their lives to creating a better America, not only for themselves, but for those who would come after them.

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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1. In a Harsh Land

America at its beginning, was a vast wilderness, that was seen as a promising source of income for those who settled it, primarily the Spanish, who settled in Florida. 40 Total Points
  • Review Article: African-American History
  • Take Poll: Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1 - In a Harsh Land

Lesson 2. Francisco Menendez and James Armistead. The Mose Militia and the Battle of Yorktown

The American colonies continued to grow, and when the English established Charles Town in 1670, in what is now South Carolina, the slave trade also expanded rapidly. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: James Armistead
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2 - Francisco Menendez and James Armistead: The Mose Militia and the Battle of Yorktown

Lesson 3. Benjamin Banneker. Speaking Truth to Power

Benjamin Banneker, born in 1731, descended from both enslaved Africans and an English woman who had been indentured to a tobacco farmer. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Benjamin Banneker
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3 - Benjamin Banneker: Speaking Truth to Power

Lesson 4. Harriet Jacobs and William Wells Brown. The Slave Narrative from Two Perspectives

In America during the long years of slavery, learning to read and write was dangerous for not only enslaved people, but also for any person who tried to teach them. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Harriet Jacobs; William Wells Brown
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4 - Harriet Jacobs and William Wells Brown: The Slave Narrative from Two Perspectives

Lesson 5. Frederick Douglass. Truth Is of No Color

Frederick Douglass was born in Maryland in 1818, his mother an enslaved black woman, his father a white man rumored to be his master. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Frederick Douglass; Frederick Douglass Papers
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5 - Frederick Douglass: Truth Is of No Color

Lesson 6. George Washington Carver. Economic Stability through Botany

George Washington Carver was born into slavery during the Civil War, most likely in 1864, to a couple in Missouri owned by a man named Moses Carver. 34 Total Points
  • Review Article: George Washington Carver
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6 - George Washington Carver: Economic Stability Through Botany

Lesson 7. Lugenia Burns Hope and Ida B. Wells. The Beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement

The end of the Civil War, which brought freedom for slaves in the South, was a time of great promise for African Americans. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Ida B. Wells; Lugenia Burns Hope
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7 - Lugenia Burns Hope and Ida B. Wells: The Beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement

Lesson 8. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois. from Conciliation to Rejection

Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in Virginia in 1856, the son of a black woman and a white man who may have lived at a nearby plantation. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Booker T. Washington; W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Take Poll: African American History
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8 - Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois: From Conciliation to Rejection

Lesson 9. Lucy Craft Laney and Mary McLeod Bethune. Paving the Way for "The Educated Negro"

When the end of the Civil War brought freedom for nearly four million slaves in the South, freed slaves suddenly found themselves with no means of support. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Lucy Craft Laney; Mary McCloud Bethune
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9 - Lucy Craft Laney and Mary McLeod Bethune: Paving the Way for 'The Educated Negro'

Lesson 10. Thurgood Marshall and Daisy Lee Gatson. The Battle for Integrated Schools

Born in Maryland in 1908, Thurgood Marshall was the grandson of a slave. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Daisy Lee Gatson Bates; Thurgood Marshall
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10 - Thurgood Marshall and Daisy Lee Gatson: The Battle for Integrated Schools

Lesson 11. Medgar Evers. One Martyr to the Cause

Evers was born in 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi, and he was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Medgar Evers; The Legacy of Medgar Evers
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11 - Medgar Evers: One Martyr to the Cause

Lesson 12. Septima Clark and Carter Woodson. The Queen Mother and the Father of Black History

Because there were no public high schools that would accept black students, her parents worked hard to afford the $1.50 a month for tuition at Avery, and Clark graduated in 1916. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Carter G. Woodson
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12 - Septima Clark and Carter Woodson: The Queen Mother and the Father of Black History

Lesson 13. Mabel Keaton Staupers and Alvin Poussaint. Toward Equality in Medicine

Years later, with a growing black population in and around the city, more black nurses were needed to care for black patients, as hospitals were strictly segregated. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Alvin Poussaint; Mabel Keaton Staupers
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 13 - Mabel Keaton Staupers and Alvin Poussaint: Toward Equality in Medicine

Lesson 14. Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed

Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924. When she was three, she was sent to live with her grandmother in Barbados, where she received her early education. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Shirley Chisholm
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 14 - Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed

Lesson 15. Conclusion. From the Depths to the Heights

The majority of African Americans owe their very existence to African people who did not come to this country voluntarily. 84 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: African American Scientists; Famous African Americans
  • Take Poll: Influential African Americans
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 15 - Conclusion: From the Depths to the Heights
  • Complete: The Final Exam
577
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Twenty African Americans Who Changed History
Course Number: 8900289
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: General Education
CEU Value: 0.3 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know the contributions of Francisco Menendez and James Armistead.
  • Know the contributions of Benjamin Banneker, Harriet Jacobs and William Wells Brown.
  • Know the contributions of Frederick Douglass and George Washing Carver.
  • George Washington Carver
  • Know the contributions of Lugenia Burns Hope and Ida B. Wells
  • Know the contributions of Booker T. Washington.
  • Know the contributions of Lucy Craft Laney and Mary McLeod Bethune.
  • Know the contributions of Thurgood Marshall and Daisy Lee Gatson.
  • Know the contributions of The Queen Mother and the Father of Black History, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 
 

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