Aug 12, 2020  
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



3 Credit Hours

Student Level:

This course is open to students on the college level in either the freshman or sophomore year and to area high school vocational students.

Catalog Description:

LIT2531 - African American Literature (3 hrs.)

This is a survey course of African-American poetry, prose, drama, and oral tradition from 1619 to the present.

Course Classification:



ENG2211 Composition I or instructor approval.

Controlling Purpose:

This course is designed to help the student increase their knowledge concerning American literature by Black American writers from pre-slavery days to contemporary America through various literary genres.

Learner Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course the student will have developed a general familiarity with African American literature from a variety of literary periods and genres.  Students will utilize general literary terminology as they discuss, analyze, and interpret various types of literature.

Unit Outcomes for Criterion Based Evaluation:

The following outline defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period.  Instructors may add other material as time allows.

Unit 1:  Roots of Slavery

Outcomes:  Identify geographic roots of African Americans.

  • Geographically locate the African countries where slavery originated.
  • Identify terms related to slavery and its roots
  • Discuss the Triangle trade.

Unit 2:  Slavery in america

Outcomes: Identify characteristics of slave narratives.

  • Geographically identify the slave states.
  • Understand early poetry written by slaves.
  • Understand slave narratives.

Unit 3:  Oral Tradition

Outcomes: Identify authors and works from eras of African-American literary tradition.

  • Understand and articulate clearly the African roots of African American folklore.
  • Relate this knowledge to African American literature and identify the commonalities.

Unit 4:  Slave Songs and Spirituals

Outcomes:  Identify Kansans’ and others’ contribution to African American literary tradition.

  • Identify specific themes in the music.
  • Identify specific genres of the music.

Unit 5:  Civil War and Reconstruction

Outcomes: Identify literary elements of fiction, poetry, drama, and essays during the period.

  • Understand the ramifications of slavery and how it divided America.
  • Articulate the beliefs of the abolitionists.
  • Identify African Americans who participated in the Civil War.
  • Relate the results of the Civil War and how it affected America.

Unit 6:  The Harlem Renaissance

Outcomes:  Expound upon political/social beliefs of major African American scholars and essayists.

  • Formulate the basis for the Great Migration.
  • Understand the African American participation in WWI.
  • Identify authors writing during the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Appreciate the art and music that accompanied the Harlem Renaissance.

Unit 7:  Social Changes and Civil Rights

Outcomes:  Prepare a written literary analysis of a work from the period.

  • Understand and articulate the themes of the writers of the 40’s.
  • Understand and articulate the themes of the writers of the 50’s.
  • Understand and articulate the themes of the writers of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Understand and articulate the writings of the Black Power Movement and the Black Arts Movement.

Unit 8:  Contemporary America

Outcomes:  Relate these writings to historical periods and events.

  • Tie together the origins of the African in America and where the African American is today.
  • Understand and articulate recent themes in African American literature.
  • Identify themes in contemporary African American poetry, fiction, nonfiction and rap.

Projects Required:

As assigned by instructor


Contact the bookstore for current textbook.

Attendance Policy: 

Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Maximum class size:

Based on classroom occupancy

Course Time Frame:

The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.

Refer to the following policies:

402.00 Academic Code of Conduct

263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades

403.00 Student Code of Conduct

Disability Services Program:

Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.