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What are primary documents? How do historians use primary documents to write history? 

What does Henry Louis Gates argue in “Black Studies at the Crossroads”? 

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DISCUSSION POST 1
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Initial discussion posts are due by the fourth day of the academic week (Saturday) at 11:30PM ET and at least two responses to fellow classmates are expected by the last day of the academic week (Tuesday) at 11:30PM ET.

What are primary documents?

Primary documents are first hand accounts from persons who were there when an event happened.

How do historians use primary documents to write history? 

A historian will take primary documents from the past and analyze them to tell the story of the past or to give a good argument as to what was being reported first hand at the time period in question. 

What does Henry Louis Gates argue in “Black Studies at the Crossroads”?

His argument was simply, in that era he was teaching in colleges did not accept Afro-American studies as a discipline. I believed Mr. Gates even said those colleges who did have these course were merely to see them fail. 

POST 2

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an activist in establishing Black history curriculums in colleges around the country. Harvard University professor and Director of black studies at Harvard University, Gates resume shows a dedication to enhancing the program and argues the importance of why it needs to be a funded department in all college intuitions.

     Professor Gates argued the legitimacy of studying black history and how it would benefit colored people and all other ethnicities. Gates described the “Crossroads” era we are currently in today determines if universities will recognize black history as legitimate and admit the program or will it fade away like some other insignificant programs that slowly vanish. Learning these fundamentals is just as important as other disciplines (JBHE 63). He stresses that for institutions to do this, they must have sufficient financial funding for research of black history.

    Is African American history or black studies a proven legitimate department in the field of study? I would argue that it is, reading through THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION; I commend Professor Gates. I never learned about black history in high school or after. Studying this is important because African Americans contributed to what America is today. Learning that black studies are one of the least funded programs in HBCUs is striking and absurd (JBHE 64).

    Professor Gates emphasizes the importance of black studies since being a teacher at Harvard in the 70s. This “Crossroads Era” will be the breaking point in determining if institutions recognize this as permissible and fund this discipline or slowly disappear. If institutions don’t comply with Gates, there can be a vast incomprehension of American history.

JBHE Foundation, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (Spring, 2007), pp. 58-64

AASP 201 Discussion Rubric

Criteria3 points2 points1 point 0 points
Answered question by the deadline with required 250-word minimum    
Cited required readings at least 3 times using the appropriate citation style method including footnotes    
Included no factual errors or misreading of the course materials    
Used quotations only for effect and comprised less than 20% of the post    
Included an explicit thesis statement    
Explained main points from the readings cited    
Provided 3 detailed examples to support his/her answer    
Provided 3 insights that furthered knowledge of the discussion topic    
Communicated the post clearly with good paragraph organization and no grammatical or spelling errors    
Clearly described and expressed his/her own conclusions    

Two Peer Responses – 10 points each weekly response, 5 criteria worth 2 points each:

Criteria2 points1 point 0 points
Completed peer response to a different Initial Post by the deadline with required 100-word minimum   
Communicated peer response clearly with good paragraph organization and no grammatical or spelling errors   
Accurately represented the student’s point of view   
Included no factual errors or misreading of the course materials   
Provided comments and questions that furthered discussion of the topic 

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