Books by Floyd W.
A Turbulent Voyage: Readings in African
American Studies /
Acres and a Mule: The Rape of Colored Americans
* * *
in US Politics
PS 303, Race in
U.S. Politics Fall Semester 2003
CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
of Political Science & Public Administration
Professor Floyd W. Hayes, III
is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the
idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over.
We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but
only remember that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer.
We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner,
or that Thomas Jefferson had mulatto children, or that Alexander
Hamilton had Negro blood, and simply remember the things we
regard as creditable and inspiring.
difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history
loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect
men and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.—W.
E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880
Buttressed by their belief that their God had
entrusted the earth into their keeping, drunk with power and
possibility, waxing rich through trade in commodities, human and
non-human, with awesome naval and merchant marines at their
disposal, their countries filled with human debris anxious for
any adventures, psychologically armed with new facts, white
Western Christian civilization during the fourteenth, fifteenth,
sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, with a long, slow, and
bloody explosion, hurled itself upon the sprawling masses of
colored humanity in Asia and Africa….For the West to disclaim
responsibility for what it so clearly did is to make every white
man alive on earth today a criminal. —Richard
Wright, White Man, Listen!
became white—the people who, as they claim, “settled” the
country became white—because of the necessity of denying the
Black presence, and justifying the Black subjugation.
No community can be based on such a principle—or, in
other words, no community can be established on so genocidal a
men—from Norway, for example, where they were
Norwegians—became white: by slaughtering the cattle, poisoning
the wells, torching the houses, massacring Native Americans,
raping Black women….But this cowardice, this necessity of
justifying a totally false identity and of justifying what must
be called a genocidal history, has placed everyone now living
into the hands of the most ignorant and powerful people the
world has ever seen: And
how did they get that way?...By deciding that they were white.
By opting for safety instead of life.
persuading themselves that a Black child’s life meant nothing
compared with a white child’s life.
By abandoning their children to the things white men
could buy. By
informing their children that Black women, Black men and Black
children had no human integrity that those who call themselves
white were bound to respect.
And in this debasement and definition of Black people,
they debased and defamed themselves. —James
Baldwin, “On Being ‘White’…and Other Lies”
ways so embedded that it is rarely apparent, the set of
assumptions, privileges, and benefits that accompany the status
of being white have become a valuable asset—one that whites
sought to protect and those [blacks] who passed sought to
attain, by fraud if necessary. Whites
have come to expect and rely on these benefits, and over time
these expectations have been affirmed, legitimated, and
protected by the law.
though the law is neither uniform nor explicit in all instances,
in protecting settled expectations based on white privilege,
American law has recognized a property interest in whiteness
that, although unacknowledged, now forms the background against
which legal disputes are framed, argued, and adjudicated.—Cheryl
Harris, “Whiteness as Property”
racism I mean the self-deceiving choice to believe either that
one’s race is the only race qualified to be considered human
or that one’s race is superior to other races.—Lewis
R. Gordon, Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism
OF THE COURSE:
This course investigates the impact of
race(ism) on US political development.
Hence, the broad purpose of this course is to encourage
students to think and write critically about the manner in which
white supremacy, as a modern global system of thought and
practice, came to function as the keystone in the making and
maintenance of America. We
will examine the manner in which modern Western ideas of racial
superiority and inferiority legitimized the strategies of
conquest, colonialism, genocide, enslavement, and land
expropriation in the establishment of the United States as a
We will explore how whiteness has operated as
the invisible norm in American political culture, a transparent,
yet ubiquitous frame of reference so pervasive that even today
most whites consider themselves absolved from race matters.
We will investigate how white intellectuals have
constructed the national identity as white, excluding any direct
reference to African Americans and other people of color.
We will examine closely how white supremacy operates to
protect the power, privileges, profits, and pleasures that
Finally, we will examine critically a number
of contemporary public policy issues and the manner in which
America continues to deny racial justice to African Americans
and other people of color. In the last analysis, we will want to answer the following
questions: What does it mean for Americans to speak and write
about such lofty principles as freedom, justice, and equality,
but then to devalue these values (historically and presently) by
denying them to African Americans and other native populations?
Does America’s racist political culture call into
question the United States as a democratic polity?
Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future
Reparations. New York: Routledge.
The Racial Contract. Ithaca: Cornell University
Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary
Imagination. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other
Side of Racism. New York: Worth Publishers.
Nationalism, Black Interests: Conservative Public Policy and the Black
Wayne State University Press.
COURSE OUTLINE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS
READING (Not Required)
Society. New York: HarperCollins.
The Diversity Advantage.
New York: Lexington Books.
Age of Unreason. Harvard Business School Press.
and Leith Mullings. 2000. Eds.
Let Nobody Turn Us Around:
Voices of Resistance, Reform, and Renewal. Lanham: Rowman
of Nations. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
End of Work. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America.
Boston: Little, Brown & Company.
New York: Bantam Books.
SECTION B: WHITE
SUPREMACY AS THE UNNAMED POLITICAL SYSTEM: THE RACIST CONTRACT
W Aug. 27
F Aug. 29
Contract, Chap. 1
M Sept. 1
Holiday: No Class
W Sept. 3
Contract, Chap. 2
F Sept. 5
Contract, Chap. 3
SECTION C: CONSTRUCTING
THE WHITE REPUBLIC: DECONSTRUCTING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
M Sept. 8
W Sept. 10
America, Chap. 1
F Sept. 12
America, Chap. 2
M Sept. 15
America, Chap. 3
America, Chap. 4
F Sept. 19
America, Chap. 5
M Sept. 22
America, Chap. 6
W Sept. 24
America, Chap. 7
F Sept. 26
READ: Racist America, Chap. 8
SECTION D: THE
POLITICAL CULTURE OF WHITENESS: RACIST EVASIONS AND NATIONAL
M Sept. 29
READ: Playing in
the Dark, Preface
W Oct. 1
READ: Playing in
the Dark, Chap. 1
F Oct. 3
READ: Playing in
the Dark, Chap. 2
M Oct. 6
READ: Playing in
the Dark, Chap. 3
MID-TERM EXAMINATION DUE
W-F Oct. 8-10 FALL
SECTION E: WHITENESS
AS PROPERTY: POWER, PRIVILEGE, PLEASURE, AND PROFITS
M Oct. 13
W Oct. 15
Privilege, Part I, Chap. 1
F Oct. 17
Privilege, Part I, Chap. 2
M Oct. 20
Privilege, Part I, Chap. 3
W Oct. 22
Privilege, Part II, Chap. 1
F Oct. 24
READ: White Privilege, Part II, Chap. 2
M Oct. 27
Privilege, Part II, Chap. 3
THOUGHT PAPER DUE
W Oct. 29
Privilege, Part II, Chap. 4
F Oct. 31
Privilege, Part III, Chap. 1
M Nov. 3
Privilege, Part III, Chap. 2
W Nov. 5
Privilege, Part III, Chap. 3
F Nov. 7
Privilege, Part III, Chap. 4
WHITE SUPREMACY, NEOCONSERVATISM, AND
THE ASSAULT ON RACIAL JUSTICE
M Nov. 10
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Introduction
W Nov. 12
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 1
F Nov. 14
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 2
M Nov. 17
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 3
THOUGHT PAPER DUE
W Nov. 19
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 4
F Nov. 21
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 5
M Nov. 24
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 6
W Nov. 26-28
M Dec. 1
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 7
W Dec. 3
READ: White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chap. 8
F Dec. 5 READ:
White Nationalism, Black Interests, Chaps. 9 and 10
M Dec. 8
FINAL EXAMINATION (8:00-11:00 AM)
are expected to read thoroughly and think seriously about all
assignments before coming to class and be prepared to discuss
them effectively in class.
Indeed, this course will emphasize active discussion as
the major pedagogical strategy employed in this class.
Therefore, you should develop personal syntheses of class
discussions and readings. This course will test your ability to integrate these bodies
of knowledge and to communicate this learning both through
speaking and writing. Hence,
simply memorizing isolated facts and regurgitating them are
insufficient in regard to class discussions, examinations, the
research paper, and grading.
intent is to challenge you to demonstrate the ability to think
analytically, independently, and critically about the subject
matter of this course. The
aim is to encourage you to formulate and defend your own
arguments thoughtfully, intelligently, and persuasively.
At times we may contest the interpretation of the authors
we read and discuss. The
political, social, economic, and cultural life experiences of
African Americans are complex and complicated, allowing for
differing and competing explanations.
I urge you to forego the usual anxiety about always having to
discover and articulate the "right" answer to
questions posed. Multiple
and sometimes competing explanations or interpretations may be
more appropriate than a single all-encompassing one.
Our task, in the final analysis, is to develop the
ability to think, speak, and write intelligently and critically
about race(ism) in American politics.
This kind of critical reflection and discussion also can
be a formula for changing ourselves and for changing society.
character of class dialogue enhances the process of learning
about political life. Political
dialogue also encourages the development and refinement of
skills needed to practice political knowledge in complex and
diverse social settings—the ability to keep an open mind, to
stand in another person's shoes, to make decisions with others,
and to make compromises while maintaining integrity.
Ideas should be openly discussed and debated so that
people can choose which ones they will endorse or reject.
Hence, it is important that all class members actively
participate in class discussions.
accomplish these objectives, students will be divided into
discussion groups that will review and analyze each day’s
reading assignment. Following
this, there will be a general class discussion of the reading;
each group will present to the class the major points of its
deliberation. Groups should be careful to describe the
reading’s subject, theme, or issue; state the author’s
purpose and thesis or argument; briefly summarize the
assignment’s key points, identifying the evidence used to
support the thesis or argument; provide constructive criticism
when appropriate; and raise questions in the reading for class
order to maintain continuity and improve the learning process,
discussion groups should point out the present reading’s
relationship to previous reading assignments.
An important learning mechanism, class discussion also
can result in problem identification and handling, political and
cultural change, resisting cultural imperialism and enslavement,
and societal renewal and advancement. It enhances mutual understanding and respect.
In the absence of communication, misunderstanding, rage,
resentment, and cynicism can become the order to the day.
this course suggests, we live in a period of rapid, uncertain,
and often chaotic change. My
educational philosophy is both simple and complex, drawing
strongly from The Hidden Curriculum by Benson R. Snyder:
"We are confronted with the necessity of educating students
without either the students or their education becoming
is the practice of liberation.
I view learning as a struggle for knowledge, wisdom, and
understanding in order to prepare for a future of freedom.
I will challenge you not so much to agree or disagree with me as
to grow intellectually, personally, and socially.
Don’t be afraid to learn something new, and be prepared
to take intellectual risks.
The classroom needs to become a setting in which to
create an environment where you can discover who you are and
where you are encouraged to be more of who you already are.
Free your mind! Think
independently and critically!
Act audaciously in the world!
what passions may we surrender with assurance that we will
expand rather than diminish the promise of our lives?
The quest for knowledge that enables us to unite theory
and practice is one such passion.
To the extent that professors bring this passion, which
has to be fundamentally rooted in a love for ideas we are able
to inspire, the classroom becomes a dynamic place where
transformations in social relations are concretely actualized
and the false dichotomy between the world outside and the inside
world of the academy disappears.
Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of
university student own and use a dictionary as well as a good
writing handbook. There
are numerous writing guides.
I find the following quite helpful.
MLA Style Manual and Guide for Scholarly
Publishing, New York: The Modern Language Association of
posted 30 December 2005
* * *
Report of the
on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Based on the
examination of currently available primary and
secondary documentary evidence, the oral histories
of descendants of Monticello's African-American
community, recent scientific studies, and the
guidance of individual members of Monticello's
Advisory Committee for the Robert H. Smith
International Center for Jefferson Studies and
Advisory Committee on African-American
Interpretation, the Research Committee has reached
the following conclusions:
DNA study was conducted in a manner that meets the
standards of the scientific community, and its
scientific results are valid.
The DNA study,
combined with multiple strands of currently
available documentary and statistical evidence,
indicates a high probability that Thomas Jefferson
fathered Eston Hemings, and that he most likely was
the father of all six of Sally Hemings's children
appearing in Jefferson's records. Those children are
Harriet, who died in infancy; Beverly; an unnamed
daughter who died in infancy; Harriet; Madison; and
Many aspects of
this likely relationship between Sally Hemings and
Thomas Jefferson are, and may remain, unclear, such
as the nature of the relationship, the existence and
longevity of Sally Hemings's first child, and the
identity of Thomas C. Woodson.
implications of the relationship between Sally
Hemings and Thomas Jefferson should be explored and
used to enrich the understanding and interpretation
of Jefferson and the entire Monticello community.—Monticello
* * *
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: A Brief Account
Jefferson (April 13, 1743 –
July 4, 1826) was the principal author of the
Declaration of Independence
(1776) and the
Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
President of the United States
(1801–1809) and founder of the
University of Virginia
(1819). He was an influential
Founding Father and
an exponent of
Sarah "Sally" Hemings (Shadwell,
Albemarle County, Virginia,
circa 1773 –
1835) was a
slave owned by
through inheritance from his wife. She was the
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson by their father
John Wayles. She was notable because most
historians now believe that the widower Jefferson
had six children with her, and maintained an
extended relationship for 38 years until his death.
When Jefferson's relationship and children were
reported in 1802, there was sensational coverage for
a time, but Jefferson remained silent on the issue.
Four Hemings-Jefferson children survived to
adulthood. He let two "escape" in 1822 at the age of
21 and freed the younger two in his will in 1826.
* * *
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American
Gordon-Reed (law, New York Law Sch.) presents a
lawyer's analysis of the evidence for and against
the proposition that Jefferson was the father of
several children born to his household slave Sally
Hemings. Gordon-Reed is not concerned with Jefferson
and Hemings as much as she is with how Jefferson's
defenders have dealt with the evidence about the
case. Her book takes aim at such noteworthy
biographers as Dumas Malone, who has been quick to
accept evidence against a liaison and quick to
reject evidence for one.—Library
* * *
Thomas Jefferson's Betrayal—Bill Moyers—02 July
12—Jefferson himself was an aristocrat whose
inheritance of 5,000 acres, and the slaves to work
it, mocked his eloquent notion of equality. He
acknowledged that slavery degraded master and slave
alike, but would not give his own slaves their
freedom. Their labor kept him financially afloat.
Hundreds of slaves, forced like beasts of burden to
toil from sunrise to sunset under threat of the
lash, enabled him to thrive as a privileged
gentleman, to pursue his intellectual interests, and
to rise in politics.
Even the children born to him
by the slave
Sally Hemings remained slaves, as did their
mother. Only an obscure provision in his will
released his children after his death. All the
others—scores of slaves—were sold to pay off his
Jefferson possessed "a happy talent for
composition," but he employed it for cross purposes.
Whatever he was thinking when he wrote "all men are
created equal," he also believed black people were
inferior to white people. Inferior, he wrote, "to
the whites in the endowments both of body and mind."
To read his argument today is to enter the pathology
of white superiority that attended the birth of our
did he state the case, and so great was his standing
among the slave-holding class, that after his death
the black abolitionist
David Walker would claim Jefferson's argument
had "injured us more, and has been as great a
barrier to our emancipation as any thing that has
ever been advanced against us," for it had ". . .
sunk deep into the hearts of millions of the whites,
and never will be removed this side of eternity."
So, the ideal
of equality Jefferson proclaimed, he also betrayed.
He got it right when he wrote about "Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness" as the core of our
human aspirations. But he lived it wrong, denying to
others the rights he claimed for himself. And that's
how Jefferson came to embody the oldest and longest
war of all—the war between the self and the truth,
between what we know and how we live.
So enjoy the
fireworks and flags, the barbecues and bargain
sales. But hold this thought as well: that behind
this Fourth of July holiday are human beings who
were as flawed and conflicted as they were inspired.
If they were to look upon us today, they most likely
would think as they did then, how much remains to be
* * *
his estate "disposed of" 600 slaves in his lifetime.
He was a slave trader. This explains his
opposition to the
African Slave Trade. Like many Virginians he
wanted to maintain prices in the slave market.—wjm
* * *
* * * *
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus
By Charles C. Mann
a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous
New Revelations of the Americas Before
Columbus, in which he
provides a sweeping and provocative
examination of North and South America
prior to the arrival of Christopher
Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched
but so wonderfully written that it’s
anything but exhausting to read. With
1493, Mann has taken it to a
new, truly global level. Building on the
groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby
The Columbian Exchange and, I’m
proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer),
Mann has written nothing less than the
story of our world: how a planet of what
were once several autonomous continents
is quickly becoming a single,
Mann not only talked to countless
scientists and researchers; he visited
the places he writes about, and as a
consequence, the book has a marvelously
wide-ranging yet personal feel as we
follow Mann from one far-flung corner of
the world to the next. And always, the
prose is masterful. In telling the
improbable story of how Spanish and
Chinese cultures collided in the
Philippines in the sixteenth century, he
takes us to the island of Mindoro whose
“southern coast consists of a number of
small bays, one next to another like
tooth marks in an apple.”
We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato,
tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have
disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue
to do so until we are finally living on one
integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth.
Whether or not the human instigators of all this
remarkable change will survive the process they
helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago
remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and
revelatory book, an open question.
* * *
The Persistence of the Color Line
Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency
By Randall Kennedy
Among the best things about
The Persistence of the Color Line
is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the
positions about Mr. Obama staked out by
black commentators on the left and
right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel
West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley.
He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr.
Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism
regarding whether blacks should back
Obama” . . .
finest chapter in
The Persistence of the Color Line
is so resonant, and so personal, it
could nearly be the basis for a book of
its own. That chapter is titled
“Reverend Wright and My Father:
Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”
Recalling some of the criticisms of
America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s
former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with
feeling about his own father, who put
each of his three of his children
through Princeton but who “never forgave
American society for its racist
mistreatment of him and those whom he
His father distrusted the police, who had
frequently called him “boy,” and rejected
patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished
Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never
called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his
father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic
The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black
By Roger W.
Jefferson's Pillow, Wilkins returns to
America's beginnings and the founding fathers who
preached and fought for freedom, even though they
owned other human beings and legally denied them
their humanity. He asserts that the mythic accounts
of the American Revolution have ignored slavery and
oversimplified history until the heroes, be they the
founders or the slaves in their service, are denied
any human complexity. Wilkins offers a thoughtful
analysis of this fundamental paradox through his
exploration of the lives of George Washington,
George Mason, James Madison, and of course Thomas
Jefferson. He discusses how class, education, and
personality allowed for the institution of slavery,
unravels how we as Americans tell different sides of
that story, and explores the confounding ability of
that narrative to limit who we are and who we can
become. An important intellectual history of
America's founding, Jefferson's Pillow will change
the way we view our nation and ourselves.
* * *
According to historian Scharff,
Thomas Jefferson’s “most closely guarded secrets,
the most fiercely maintained silences, all had to do
with the women he loved.” It stands to reason that
in order to fully understand a man as tremendously
gifted and as deeply flawed as Thomas Jefferson, one
must also understand and appreciate the women who
collectively formed the foundation of his life and
shaped the nature of his legacy. Although
Jefferson’s mother, daughters, granddaughters, wife,
and enslaved mistress were all fascinating women who
played distinct roles in his life and legend, they
were also creatures of their time and place, living,
enduring, and playing by the rules of a patriarchal,
male-dominated society. By studying these women
Scharff not only opens a window to the heart and
soul of one of our nation’s founders but also
resurrects their own contributions to our nation’s
The chapter on Sally Hemings does not add
much new information, but it certainly lays out the facts we
know in a comprehensive and well organized fashion. Much like
Professor Gordon-Reed, the author carefully explains the strange
dual-family existence that prevailed at Monticello, and how
servants integrated with the Jefferson family as they all lived
together. As regards the two daughters, they too emerge from the
historical darkness and we learn a great deal about them and
their important role in TJ's life and activities. As I read each
chapter, I learned all manner of things of which I had not been
aware, and I have read a lot of material on TJ. So women are
central to the story, but there is also an abundance of
additional facts and perspectives that very much enhance the
book. —Ronald H. Clark
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
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Negro Digest /
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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