Amid the recent events for the Black Lives Matter movement, University of Georgia students are actively discussing ways to continue educating themselves on racial history and injustice.
Jess Brown, a 2019 UGA graduate, shared a list of fall 2020 courses to “further our education on race, privilege and inequality” on Instagram. Brown also compiled a list in a Google Document with course descriptions and recommendations, while allowing other students to add to it.
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Doc updated 6/18 with courses in departments including BUSN, ECON, ENVE, HDFS, JRLC, and MUSI! If Black voices and experiences are currently missing from your department’s course offerings this Fall (ex: Art History!!) please consider bringing this issue to your professors and department chairs.⠀ ⠀ It is a privilege to learn about racism rather than to live through it. To my non-Black friends, it is essential to educate ourselves about the issues that the Black community has faced and continues to face. Education is not confined to the walls of a university but if you have the privilege of attending UGA, please consider enrolling in one of these classes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ This is a list of classes available for enrollment in the Fall 2020 semester. Classes were selected based on their course descriptions and are at the undergraduate level. As I am one person, there is a good chance I have overlooked many courses. If you would like to add a course, please message me or go to the link in my bio and comment on , https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MPyRyCtpb4l0HXSSCFmHV0x7KLBAjbldYls8JQLHA6I/edit?usp=sharing⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ It’s also important to note that most of these classes center Black experiences in America, specifically, as Black experiences around the world are diverse. Feel free to add/comment additional courses that cover African communities and Non-Black POC and their experiences. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ UGA students, please share with your peers and friends. We all have the responsibility to learn and, from that education, take action in our lives and in our communities. These courses are just one way to further your education. This post was inspired by and utilized much of the language from the following posters:⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ • Virginia Tech @dannifaust ⠀⠀⠀⠀ • William & Mary @davydfernandez ⠀⠀⠀⠀ • Rutgers @gilliandauer ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • Kent State @mpawrites⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • Ohio State @jaretwaters⠀⠀⠀ • Cornell @cornellstudents4blacklives ⠀⠀⠀ #blacklivesmatter #universityofgeorgia
“It is a privilege to learn about racism rather than to live through it,” Brown said in the Instagram post. “Education is not confined to the walls of a university but if you have the privilege of attending UGA, please consider enrolling in one of these courses.”
Brown said students at other schools making similar posts, such as Virginia Tech and William & Mary, inspired her own. Her goal is to spread awareness and encourage students to use their privilege of education by receiving a college education to push the Black Lives Matter movement forward, she said.
The list extends throughout various departments, including African American studies, English and geography. On the Instagram post, Brown noted the courses taught by Black professors by bolding those titles.
Ashreeti Sharma, a rising sophomore economics major, saw Brown’s post and said she wants these classes to be a requirement for all UGA students.
“It’s important to bring long term change out of this movement to make sure our efforts don’t go in vain,” Sharma said. “By making these courses a requirement, it would be a big step towards bringing that change.”
Brown said she would also like a class on race and equality to be mandatory for UGA students.
“There is no field that is immune to racism because those fields are comprised of people who were raised on these systems of oppression,” Brown said. “And every University has the power to construct their own degree requirements and decide what is important in those four years.”
One of the professors mentioned in the post and recommended by commenters is Diane Batts Morrow, an associate professor in the department of history. Morrow teaches Introduction to African American Studies with an emphasis on traditional African societies and African American history.
“African American history is American history, but many times we look at it from the sidelines of the whole American history,” Morrow said. “So, what I like to do is introduce students to the whole African American experience from their perspective.”
Morrow views her course as a way to gain academic and cultural knowledge about African American history. It is also a course about citizenship and the chance to utilize citizenship to bring substantial change by being aware and responsible, Morrow said.
The students taking these suggested classes have the opportunity to listen and learn from those who are continually affected by historic and present oppression, Morrow said. With the material presented in class, she instructs her students to listen and learn more about the people who do not think like them to bring change to today’s issues, she said.
“African American history is American history, but many times we look at it from the sidelines of the whole American history. So, what I like to do is introduce students to the whole African American experience from their perspective.”
– Diane Batts Morrow, associate professor in UGA’s history department
Other UGA students who have been introduced to Brown’s Instagram post are just now having these classes brought to their attention, such as Sharma.
“I wasn’t aware of all of these classes that were offered, and seeing this made me feel hopeful and optimistic,” Sharma said. “I feel that everyone should take one of these courses so we can reflect on our experiences growing up and approach these issues more successfully in the future.”