Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late-20th Century

Course Description

"Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late 20th-Century" explores the ups-and-downs of various social movements during the 1960s and 70s. Much of this course will focus on histories not covered in K-12 education. For example, while the legacy of 1960s activism lives on in popular memory, as names like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers have become iconic – even controversial – in the American mainstream. Still, others remain lesser-known but equally important in shifting the course of history and challenging racial politics in the U.S.

This course examines the histories of radical social movement organizations and individuals from the Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Native American communities as well as women of color feminisms and the Queer liberation movement. We will explore their greatest achievements along with their deepest pitfalls and ponder the teachings these experiences can offer us today. Topics range from free school lunch programs and mobile healthcare facilities to international decolonizing alliances. You will utilize primary sources – film, theater, photography, paintings, and manifestos – to learn about this history from the perspective of those who took part in the movements. We will conclude the course with creative projects by you and your classmates.

In "Black Panthers, Brown Berets" we will cover theories such as settler-colonialism, decolonization, intersectionality, Black feminism, and others. In this course, we will draw extensively from primary sources such as archives, television, radio, and film as a way to engage you in how historians construct narratives. We will also engage in extensive community conversations and group work.

By the end of this course you will:

• Describe the contours (i.e., their rise, their platforms, and their pitfalls) of various late 20th-century radical social movements.
• Develop the tools to read, write, and conduct primary-source research like a historian by looking at original documents and texts from these social movements.
• Direct linear relationships between the struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and the struggles of movements today.
• Make historical connections between various movements and understand the complexities of individuals and groups who participated in multiple movements such as Asian and Asian American women who participated in both the Asian American Movement and the Third World Women’s Movement.

Throughout the class, you are encouraged to reflect on your own embodied experiences and how you move through the world. Ask yourself: What does it mean that I get to learn this history? What is my responsibility in learning this history? How do I responsibly carry this history and knowledge forward into the world? Finally, you will understand that this four-week course is not exhaustive of the movements, actors, and events that took place in the radical late 20th-century movement landscape. You are encouraged to continue reading and learning about the histories that interest them beyond the course.


This course has no prerequisites--all are welcome!


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 11, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 12:15P-3:05P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Jonathan Cortez
Course Number: 10076