African American History

Enrollment Message:

How have African Americans shaped the culture of the United States throughout history? Tracing the accomplishments and obstacles of African Americans from the slave trade through emancipation, and to the modern African diaspora, you will learn about the political, economic, social, religious, and cultural factors that have influenced African American life. In African American History, you’ll come face to face with individuals who changed the course of history and learn more about slavery, racism, and the Civil Rights Movement. You will also explore how the history of African Americans influences current events today. Prerequisites:  None

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to...

  • Describe the eight major physical regions of Africa, as well as its relationship to the major bodies of water that surround it
  • Recognize the scientific evidence of Africa as the cradle of civilization
  • Explain the contributions and major characteristics of Egyptian society to Africa’s place as the origin of modern civilization
  • Discuss how the West African kingdoms of Ghana and Mali established themselves and contributed to the economic and cultural development of the region
  • Describe the development of the slave trade within Africa and the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade
  • Discuss how slavery developed in the different geographic areas of the North American colonies
  • Identify how the Revolutionary activities happening in the colonies affected African Americans
  • Discuss how Black Americans participated in the Revolutionary War and how that participation affected them
  • Analyze how revolutionary ideals affected the anti-slavery movement
  • Explain how slavery changed in the Northern and Southern states after the Revolutionary War
  • Describe the emergence of the cotton culture in the South, including how it fueled the economy of the United States
  • Analyze the environment in which free blacks were living, including where they settled and the difficulties they encountered
  • Describe the role of black women in the abolitionist causes, as well as three influential male abolitionists
  • Explain four key factors that led the United States to civil war
  • Describe Abraham Lincoln’s attitude toward slavery and emancipationand how that changed over the course of the 1860s
  • Explain how the Fugitive Slave Laws, Underground Railroad, and the Dred Scott decision fueled the tension between the North and South about slavery
  • Describe the role of black Americans generally, as well as key African-American leaders, before and during the Civil War
  • Identify the ways that freed African Americans dealt with economic and social change during the Reconstruction period, including employment and education
  • Explain the role of the black church in the creation of community and political leaders
  • Describe the reaction of white Americans to the end of the war, including violence and imposition of black codes
  • Explain how the Reconstructions Acts and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments affected the African-American community
  • Describe segregation and how the Plessy v. Ferguson decision contributed to preserving it
  • Explain the role that violence played in the lives of African Americans, including race riots and lynching, during this period
  • Analyze the reasons behind the migration of African Americans to Africa, the western United States, and Southern cities, and the effects of these migrations
  • Express how the justice system was applied to African Americans, especially in the South
  • Compare and contrast the two philosophies of African-American progress, represented by Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
  • Describe the reasons behind the Great Migration
  • Identify the reasons behind the race riots between 1906-1923
  • Analyze the differences between the mission of the NAACP and the UNIA
  • Explain the roots of the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age and identify a few of the major artists associated with it
  • Describe the reasons behind the resurrection of the Ku Klux Klan and the changes in the organization during the 1920s
  • Explain some of the causes of the Great Depression and why African Americans were heavily impacted
  • Analyze how President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First and Second New Deal affected African Americans
  • Describe the state of segregation in the military at the beginning of World War II and what steps were taken during the war to integrate the military
  • Describe the steps the NAACP took during the 1930s to challenge racial inequality in schools, and explain how Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, impacted segregation in the 1950s
  • Describe what nonviolent resistance is and how African Americans used it in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, including the role of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Describe a few of the grassroots efforts toward progress, including sit-ins, freedom rides, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
  • Analyze the Little Rock desegregation challenge and how it reflected the white backlash to the progress of African Americans
  • Discuss how the legal changes in the 1960s offered more opportunities for African Americans
  • Analyze how the black power and black nationalism grew out of the civil rights movement and the reasons behind inner city violence during the late 1960s
  • Trace the development of an increased political voice of African Americans from the local to the national level, including those who ran for president
  • Identify how No Child Left Behind, the Welfare Reform Act, and affirmative action affects the lives of African Americans
  • Analyze the ways in which African Americans have not yet reached economic equality with white Americans
  • Explain how incarceration and police brutality continue to be an important issue in the
  • African-American community and the nation at large
  • Discuss the challenges and divisions exposed by the 2016 election, along with the protests and reactions that occurred afterward

Course Outline:

Unit 1: Africa

Unit 2: Slavery in America from Early Colonies to Independence

Unit 3: The Expansion of Slavery

Unit 4: African Americans and the Civil War

Unit 5: Freedom and Reconstruction

Midterm Exam

Unit 6: The Jim Crow Era

Unit 7: African Americans in the Early Twentieth Century

Unit 8: The Great Depression and World War II

Unit 9: Protest and Struggle in the Civil Rights Era

Unit 10: To the Present

Final Exam

Resources Included: Online lesson instruction and activities, opportunities to engage with a certified, online instructor and classmates, when appropriate, and online assessments to measure student performance of course objectives and readiness for subsequent academic pursuits.

Additional Costs: None

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue diplomas. A final score out of total points earned will be submitted to your school mentor for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements:

Lightweight devices such as Apple iPads, Google Chromebooks, and tablets have limited support for Java which still appears in a small percentage of FLVS courses. FLVS has worked to de-Flash its courses. Students may need extra work-around steps or alternate browsers to engage with some portions of select courses or may be required to utilize text-alternatives for some interactive objects. FLVS recommends students have a Windows or Mac based computer available to complete coursework in the event that your selected mobile device does not meet the needs of the course. Fully supported Operating Systems for FLVS courses include Windows (7 or higher), Mac OS X (10.8 or higher), and MacOS (10.12 or higher). Supported Browsers include the most recent versions of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari on devices that support Java and HTML5. Browsers need to be up to date, and some FLVS courses may require installation or enabling of the following Plug-ins: JavaScript enabled, Cookies enabled, Java installed.

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: Basic technology skills necessary to locate and share information and files as well as interact with others in a Learning Management System (LMS), include the ability to:

  • Download, edit, save, convert, and upload files
  • Download and install software
  • Use a messaging service similar to email
  • Communicate with others in online discussion or message boards, following basic rules of netiquette
  • Open attachments shared in messages
  • Create, save, and submit files in commonly used word processing program formats and as a PDF
  • Edit file share settings in cloud-based applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Save a file as a .pdf
  • Copy and paste and format text using your mouse, keyboard, or an html editor’s toolbar menu
  • Insert images or links into a file or html editor
  • Search for information within a document using Ctrl+F or Command+F keyboard shortcuts
  • Work in multiple browser windows and tabs simultaneously
  • Activate a microphone or webcam on your device, and record and upload or link audio and/or video files
  • Use presentation and graphics programs
  • Follow an online pacing guide or calendar of due dates
  • Use spell-check, citation editors, and tools commonly provided in word processing tool menus
  • Create and maintain usernames and passwords

Additional Information: None


School Level: High School
Standards: Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards (2019),National Council for the Social Studies
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location:
NCES Code: 04107
MDE Endorsement Code: CC - History
MMC Minimum Requirements: EDP/Career Interest Elective

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: eDL
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Plus