We will spend the next ten weeks together examining some the ways in which race, ethnicity, and religion overlap and inform one another within African American communities. But before we begin our journey of exploration, we need to ask ourselves, what do these terms and concepts mean (both to African Americans as well as others) and how have they been used in the United States? According to social theorists Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “Racial categories and the meanings of race are given concrete expression by the specific social relations and historical context in which they are embedded.” In this course, we will explore how “racial categories” and the “meanings of race” have been used to define African Americans and also how African Americans determine racial categories for themselves and others. In this course we will be looking at the multiple ways in which race, ethnicity, and religious identities overlap for African Americans, and how African American men, women, and children negotiate their way through the complex meanings that are inscribed on them and to those that they ascribe to themselves.
This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.
Private College or University Institution Type
Syllabus Resource Type
Undergraduate Course Class Type
2006 Date Published
Religious Studies Discipline
Catholic, General Comparative Traditions, Islam, Protestant Religous Tradition
Class/Power, Gender/Women/ Sexuality, Race/Ethnicity Topics