3. Self-Paced Courses on African American History

Self-Paced Courses

Self-Paced Courses offer graduate-level online instruction in American history by eminent historians. Courses are available to watch or listen to on your own time and at your own pace, with no deadlines or expiration dates, and can also be used by educators to obtain professional development credit. Each Self-Paced Course includes lectures by a leading historian, digital labs and pedagogy sessions, primary sources and in-depth readings, and a series of short quizzes to review your knowledge. Courses are $29.99 for K–12 educators in our Affiliate School network and $39.99 for the general public.

Led by Professor James G. Basker, Barnard College 

This course restores to view the lives and writings of a wide array of African Americans in the period 1760 to 1800. Drawing on rare and long-forgotten texts, the course focuses on both prominent and lesser-known individuals and makes visible the contributions and collective experience of African Americans in the founding era. 

Learn more about “Black Lives in the Founding Era”

Black Women’s History
Led by Professor Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College

This course focuses on African American women’s history in the United States with certain aspects of Black women’s activism and leadership covered within the African Diaspora. Early lectures look at the experiences of Black women in the Founding Era.

Learn more about “Black Women’s History”

Lives of the Enslaved
Led by Professor Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin

This course approaches the institution of slavery in the United States through firsthand accounts from the enslaved perspective, including narratives, plantation records, podcasts, short films, and other media. It examines the ways in which human beings coped with captivity.

Learn more about “Lives of the Enslaved”

Race and Rights in America
Led by Professor Lucas Morel, Washington and Lee University

This course explores the diverse political philosophies of influential Black Americans, and examines the fundamental tension between human equality and government by consent, a tension present at the birth of the American Union in 1776.

Learn more about “Race and Rights in America”

Black Writers in American History
Led by Professor John Stauffer, Harvard University

Through exemplary works of literature, this course examines the writings of African American poets, novelists, and essayists, and considers how their perspectives have shaped history for all Americans. Early lectures examine the work of Phillis Wheatley.

Learn more about “Black Writers in American History”

Led by Professor James G. Basker, Barnard College

This course examines the anti-slavery writers and reformers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries whose passionate words—through poetry, fiction, sermons, slave narratives, and songs—formed the vanguard of a global movement and helped end American slavery.

Learn more about “The History of Anti-Slavery Writings”