Week 10: Spring Break 

Week 11March 21, 2017. “The Problem of the Twentieth Century is the Problem of the Color Line”: Jack Johnson & Segregated Entertainment

March 23, 2017. “Writing History with Lightning”: Birth of a Nation and Silent Film


We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar 

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!

Sample Newspaper Articles on the Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries Fight of the Century

 Early Examples of Popular American Music 1898-1910 

Weekly Assignment 

  1. If you would like to set up a one-on-one meeting to discuss your final research project or anything related to class, please e-mail me.
  2. Due to Spring Break (March 10-March 19) your weekly assignment will not be due until Friday, March 24, 2017. In class this week, we will watch clips from Unforgivable Blackness and Birth of a Nation. You will be expected to take notes on both films. By Friday, submit 1-2 paragraphs putting one of the films into conversation with one of the week’s readings focused on a theme you noticed carried throughout this week’s content.
Dr. Rhae Lynn Barnes is a member of the Society of Fellows at USC and Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton (beginning 2018). She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University and B.A. at U.C. Berkeley. She is the co-founder of U.S. History Scene.