Course Materials for Anti-Black Racism Course Now Available to Public

Materials for the new virtual Pitt course that educates students about anti-Black racism in the U.S. and around the globe are now available for anyone to access, thanks to interest from people across the University of Pittsburgh and beyond.

“Many people asked us about this course, even as we were discussing it during the summer,” said Ann E. Cudd, provost and senior vice chancellor at Pitt. “I’m proud of and thankful for the faculty who put this course together. It’s been a tremendous success so far, and I look forward to hearing from the students who have now completed the course.”

Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance,” is built from the expertise of Pitt faculty and Pittsburgh area activists. The course explores established scholarship focused on the Black experience and Black cultural expression, as well as the development, spread and articulations of anti-Black racism in the United States and around the world. This fall, first-year students at Pitt were automatically enrolled into the course,

Cudd said the course’s asynchronous nature, allowing it to be accessed at any time, makes it particularly convenient.

The class grapples with three key areas of inquiry: the roots, ideology and resistance to anti-Black racism. It spans the Transatlantic slave trade to social unrest and activist movements seen today.

It also examines how race is interwoven into other topics, including ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and nationality. A variety of scholarly disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, the arts, science and public health are used to explore these themes to help students understand how anti-Black racism functions in U.S. society.

“We hope that this course is a first step in helping students to recognize and challenge anti-Black policies and practices when they encounter them, and to develop strategies to be anti-racist in their everyday lives,” said Yolanda Covington-Ward, chair of the Department of Africana Studies in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, who led a committee of faculty and students to develop the course.

“Our faculty were very careful to outline a set of objectives and outcomes they were aiming for,” Cudd said. “They want students to understand the concept of race and the social constructs involved with race and how they affect anti-Black racism outcomes. We’d like our students to examine and articulate their own personal beliefs and opinions about race, and think about how those beliefs affect the way we interact with people, so we can build an anti-racist society.”