Alexandre Kimenyi

Ethnic Studies l00
Ethnic America
GE (area D)/Advanced Study/Race and Ethnicity

AMD.562B Office Hours: MWF 12.00-12.50

e-mail: or


1. David Schaeffer 1999. Racial and Ethnic Groups in America , 9th Edition.
2. Cameroon Wedding, Vega and Mark. 2003. Ethnic America. Kendall/Hunt

Course Description:

This course is about the experience of the 4 major minority groups of the United States namely Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans and Asian Americans.
1. The course provides a historical background to each of the four major minority groups of this
country .
2.Through readings, films, lectures, and discussions students understand the concerns,
desires and interests of the major ethnic groups which are easily distinguishable
because of their color or physical features.
3.Students learn how these groups are discriminated against and oppressed.
4.It forces to look at the alternative solutions to those problems in the government (policy
makers), academicians, community activists and the concerned people themselves.
5.You learn about these people from their own experiences (their own writings) and guest
6.You get acquainted with their various contributions to the development and progress of this
country (science, culture and technology).

Besides the introduction to the experience of these minority groups in the United States, an integral approach: historical, comparative, descriptive, prescriptive and theoretical is used in order for the students to fully understand and appreciate this experience.


The purpose of the course is (a) to make students learn and understand diachronically and synchronically how, various existing institutions and certain groups and individuals, have contributed to race and ethnic relations in the United States, (b) to expose students to competing theories on race and ethnicity, (c) to acquire critical thinking, .(d) to teach students to improve their writing skills, and (e) to enable students to make their own contributions in the search of the right solution(s) in improving relations in this pluralistic society.


l.This course has been approved for Advanced Study. Therefore, five papers
have to be written. These papers must meet three levels of adequacy:
observational adequacy, descriptive adequacy and explanatory adequacy.
2.You may use some of the following approaches: descriptive, prescriptive, theoretical,
comparative or historical.
3.The thesis of your essay should be clearly stated and focused. The essay has to be informative,
show evidence of research and comprehension of issues, concepts and competing theories in
Ethnic Studies and originality in analysis, interpretation and explanation.
4.Three papers will be corrected and discussed in the classroom.
5.These papers should be six-pages long (maximum), typed and double-spaced.
6. There will be an exam consisitng of multiple short essay questions to test the understanding of
concepts, issues and theories.

Course Outline:

Week One: Comparative Study of Pluralistic Societies: Genesis of pluralism Schaeffer Part 1.
Week Two: Concept of Culture: Lecture and Schaeffer. Kimenyi (Anatomy of Culture:
Video: American Tongues
Week Three: African Americans: All the chapters from Schaeffer's on African Americans;
Annual Editions Articles on African Americans.
Historical background: Middle Passage, Slave Codes, Emancipation, Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Civil Rights Movement
Week Four: African-American Leaders: Harriet Tubman, Frederic Douglas, Sojourney Truth,
W.E.B DuBois, Booker T.Washington, Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph, Rev. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X. Chap.7
Week Five: African-American Civil Rights Organizations: NAACP, CORE, Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, the Nation of Islam, SNCC. Chap.7
Videos: Blacks and the Constitution V-1930, Ethnic Notions V-1425,
Week Six: .American Indians: Schaeffer's chapters on Native Americans; Annual Editions Articles on American Indians
Historical background: The Peopling of America, the Monogenetic and Polygenetic
Hypothesis, Ethnic Diversity.
Week Seven: The Removal Act, Resistance, Massacres, Life on Reservations.
Video: In the White Man's Image
Week Eight: Broken Treaties, Court decisions, etc.
Video: More than bows and arrows.
Week Nine: Mexican-Americans. Read Schaeffer and Kendall/hunt
The birth of Mexico, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Genesis of the Chicano ethnicity
Week Ten: Bracero programs, Nativist Movements, Bilingual programs and Immigration reform
Week Eleven: Videos: Arturo Madrid, Richard Rodriguez
Week Twelve: Asian-Americans
Week Thirteen: Chinese and Japanese. Schaeffer Chap.12
Gold Rush, Chinese Exclusion Act, The Gentlemen's Agreement, Internment.
Week Fourteen: Hawaiians, Filipinos and Koreans. Schaeffer Chap.11
Videos: Guilty by reason of race (Japanese Internment); Act of War v.3440 (Overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy)
Week Fifteen: the 1965 Immigration Act, "the Boat People"
Global Solutions to ethnic and racial problems in America.


Paper #1: General. Which one of the following metaphors best describes racial and ethnic relations in the United States: (i) melting pot, (ii) salad bowl, (iii) mosaic, (iv) grocery bag, (v) stew can, (vi) kaleidoscope, (vii) fabric, (viii) landscape, etc? Due February 16
Paper #2:African Americans : In-class essay. Topic to be announced.
Due March 16
Paper#3:Paper on Native. Many academicians claim that Native Americans were victims of genocide. Did they really undergo a genocidal experience? To answer this question you have to understand both the UN and academic definition of genocide. You can use any approach: prescriptive, descriptive, comparative, historical, theoretical. Due April 13.
Essay # 4: In Class Exam: The exam consists of multiple short essay questions about defining
and explaining terms, concepts, theories, issues, etc.
May 4.
Paper #5: Is the Asian-American Success, a myth or reality?
Due the day of the final.


Class Attendance and Participation: 10%; b. 5 essays: 18% each --->90%

Grading system

A: 100%-93%
A-: 92%-90%
B+: 89%-87%
B: 86%-83%
B-: 82%-80%
C+: 79%-77%
C: 76%-73%
C-: 72%-70%
D+: 69%-67%
D: 66%-63%
D-: 62%-60%