Ma Rainey. Archibald Motley, Jr. James Baldwin. Marvin Gaye. Shonda Rhimes (Scandal). LeBron James. Each of these individuals has been a critical part of an American cultural landscape in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The cultural work of each is also intertwined with larger political and social issues around race and the African American experience. In this seminar, we will analyze Black expressive culture (such as in music, art, literature, and television) and Black everyday culture (such as through hair, fashion, sports, and language). Focusing primarily on the twentieth century, we will situate Black culture within a historical context that includes segregation, discrimination, and racial violence, as well as organized protest, civil rights, and the politics of the hip-hop era. We will also regularly consider contemporary issues, including concerns tied to sports, student life, television, Detroit, and Ferguson, Missouri. In our explorations of the past and present, we will seek answers to two broad questions: What is the relationship between Black culture and the Black historical experience? What is the relationship between “Black” culture and “American” culture?