The course will survey African American history from the African background to the outbreak of the Civil War. The origins and development of Afro-American society, culture and politics will be explored from the perspective of African-Americans themselves: slave and free, North and South. We will begin by examining the cultural and demographic background of African-born slaves and the system of the Atlantic slave trade. We will then consider the expansion of racial slavery and the emergence of the "free Negro" class. The development of the black family, black communities, and black institutions (i.e., church, school, press) will also be traced. Other issues to be discussed include the American Revolution and slavery, New World slave systems, slave resistance, and abolitionism. Throughout, the enduring dilemma of race relations functions as a central theme.