“I am America,” Muhammad Ali once said. “Only, I’m the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals my own—get used to me!”
It seems like a lot of folks are having trouble recognizing the America they’re seeing these days. Maybe ethnic studies can help with that.
Through the novels, poems, and films we’ll take up in this course, we’ll take a comparative look at various visions of America that have flashed up from those parts less recognized. This “America” might be the name of a nation or an empire, of a dream of freedom or a house of bondage, of a destination or a point of departure, but it will never be less than a site of struggle. Outside the classroom, the struggle goes on, so we’ll do our best to keep up.