Race, Racism, and Law

Description: Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour. Throughout American history, race relations have been inextricably linked to law. Both perpetuation of racism and struggle against it have involved various legal institutions, especially U.S. Supreme Court. Lawyers on all sides have often played pivotal roles in establishing legal standards defining political, economic, social, and psychological status of African Americans (and other racial and ethnic minorities). Historical overview and in-depth examination of selected major highlights of these legal developments, including Constitutional sources of racism, legal foundations establishing and eliminating slavery, major Supreme Court decisions before and during civil rights era, and contemporary legal retreat from civil rights protections. Examination of legal processes and legal profession in broader historical and political context. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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