You are expected to attend class on time and prepared and to treat your fellow classmates with respect and openness. Race continues to be one of the most divisive issues in American political life. We will ask hard question in this course and challenge one another to think critically about what race is and how it functions. Respectful engagement of your peers is a vital component of your participation.

Please do not use your cellphones in class or use your computers for anything other than class-related work.

Academic Integrity

This class requires you to follow the Duke Community Standard, remembering that it entails acting honorably and cultivating a culture of integrity. All of the work that you turn in for this course must be your own, according in accordance with the Duke Community Standard and the University’s academic policies. The University has created a video and a web-tutorial on plagiarism. If I suspect anyone of plagiarism, I am obligated to report it to the Duke University Office of Student Conduct. Plagiarism will result in failure of the particular assignment. It can result in failure of the course and/or suspension from Duke University.


Email is the best method of communications for short, simple, and direct questions. Otherwise, I prefer you to set up an appointment and meet face-to-face. I use email as a means of communicating with the class and with individual students. Emails sent to your Duke address are considered to be required reading for this course.

Readings and Materials

The only required book for the course is Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Haymarket 2016). All readings are posted on Sakai, as well as a few streaming films. You should always have the readings with you in class, as we will discuss them. You are responsible for bringing hard copies of the texts posted to our site.


This course is structured as a workshop seminar; therefore, your attendance and participation are crucial to both you and your classmates. Arriving more than 15 minutes late or unprepared to participate (i.e. half-asleep, without requested materials, etc.) qualifies as an absence.

Plan to attend every class meeting. I will allow three absences for the course, before I begin to lower your final course grade. Each further absence will result in the lowering of your final course grade by one-third of a grade (e.g. an A becomes A-, B+ becomes B, &c.). Upon your third absence, I will send a brief note to your Dean notifying her of the circumstances.

If you miss class, you are responsible for knowing what went on and obtaining any handouts or other assignments, information or materials from your classmates.