Engaging with classic and current scholarship, autobiographies, diaries, travel literature, music, poetry and film, we will examine when, where, how and why particular stereotypes about black women were created, and by whom. We will simultaneously discuss how black women grappled with race, class, gender, and sexuality and struggled to create lives and images that reflected their own understanding of liberty, power, equality, rights, citizenship, and self. Using primary and secondary sources, we will study the past through the words of those who lived it and sharpen our ability to evaluate, analyze, and interpret the arguments of leading scholars. Instead of attempting to understand all of black women's history, or even every image that exist in the US context, we will focus on interrogating certain images (and certain time periods) more closely than others. This class is thus organized thematically as opposed to chronologically and is not meant to be an exhaustive examination of African American Women's History.