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HUM 399: Prof. McIntosh: Topic Overview

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Slave Rescue Cases

In eighteenth-and nineteenth-century North America, slave rescue cases were a source of sensational reportage and popular heroism. Concealment in attics, ships, and even boxes; cross-dressing, wearing disguises, passing for white... Read More.

Dred Scott Case

 In 1846, the slave Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, sued Irene Emerson, the widow of Scott's former owner, Dr. John Emerson, a surgeon in the U.S. Army. Scott claimed he was free because Dr. Emerson had taken him from the slave state of ... Read More.

Fugitive Slave Laws

The U.S. Congress passed two fugitive slaves laws, the first in 1793 and the second in 1850. Each law set out the conditions under which escaped slaves could be caught and the procedures for returning them to their owners.   Read More.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

In the early twentieth century, African Americans in the South faced numerous public health problems, including tuberculosis, hookworm, pellagra, and rickets; their death rates far exceeded those of whites. Read More.

An Act to Provide Compensation to the Persons Sterilized Through the State's Eugenic Sterilization

Compulsory sterilization laws were in effect in the United States in thirty-three states from the beginning of the twentieth century through the 1970s. With their roots in the eugenics movement, forced sterilizations and sterilizations...  Read More.

Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a period between World War I and the Great Depression when black artists and writers flourished in the United States.   Read More.


Defined as an act of violence perpetrated for the purpose of punishment (usually torture and death) for an alleged crime carried out by an extralegal mob, lynching has a long history in the United States. Read More.


Because it refers neither to a single political ideology nor a clearly discernible philosophical tradition, Pan-Africanism is difficult to define. Many scholars avoid defining it, noting that black internationalism has varied...  Read More.

Central Intelligence Agency

World War II stimulated the creation of the first U.S. central intelligence organization, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), whose functions included espionage, special operations ranging from propaganda to sabotage, counterintelligence,..Read More.

Protest Movements

Protest movements have been of high interest to sociological research since the inception of the discipline in the mid-nineteenth century, during the periods of great industrial and urban development in Europe and North America.  Read More.

Radicals and Radicalism

The word "radical" is popularly used to designate individuals, parties, and movements that wish to alter drastically any existing practice, institution, or social system. In politics, radicals are often seen as individuals and/or parties reflecting.....Read More.


SPIES are individuals who covertly collect information otherwise not readily available. HUMINT (overt and covert human intelligence) has drawn much public and scholarly attention, although TECHINT....  Read More.