FSEM 100G4 | Race & Revolution


The U.S. Civil Rights Movement was a response to a world structured by rules, institutions, and beliefs centering around race. White supremacy may be a widely discredited notion today, but our world is still largely shaped by four centuries of unapologetic racial ideology, conquest, slavery, and colonialism. In this course, we will explore the life and work of James Farmer, an exemplary leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement who taught at Mary Washington during the 1990s, the historical background to the black freedom revolution, and its ongoing relevance to our contemporary dialogues, interactions, and policies about race in the U.S. We will investigate the history of the concept of race and its impact on how we perceive ourselves and the world.




Photo of Suzanne Sumner, Professor of Mathematics

Suzanne Sumner, Professor of Mathematics

Why would I, a mathematician, want to teach a course about race and the Civil Rights Movement? I offer this question as extra credit for students in my first-year seminar section, with the hint: “Maybe it runs in the family…” Aside from that one big reason, many smaller reasons abound. I love the interdisciplinary nature of the course – this first-year seminar epitomizes the best of a liberal arts education. I love the content of the course – the readings and films are fascinating and thought-provoking. I love how the University of Mary Washington honors James Farmer’s legacy as one of the great leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. And I love working with first-year students, helping them learn to navigate the college environment. This seminar will open your eyes and make you rethink everything you thought you knew about the Civil Rights movement!

Photo of Marion Sanford, Director of Multicultural Affairs/James Farmer Multicultural Center

Marion Sanford, Director of Multicultural Affairs/James Farmer Multicultural Center

Dr. Marion Sanford is the director of Multicultural Affairs/James Farmer Multicultural Center at the University of Mary Washington. She earned her B.S. degree in Psychology at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Professional Studies/Higher Education from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She has worked in the field of Student Affairs for almost 30 years. Dr. Sanford is committed to the goal of creating educational environments that broaden the understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice. She works to cultivate and facilitate multicultural dialogue and working relationships among students, student organizations, offices and departments; promote a sense of community on campus; and help build coalitions and alliances among University citizens. She considers her greatest accomplishments empowering students to be positive, effective agents of social change. In 2016, she was nominated for the ACPA Pillar of Inclusion Award. Dr. Sanford is a firm believer in giving back to her community, whether it is in her role as director of the James Farmer Multicultural Center as she strives to build relationships to establish a broader community network, within and external to the university; encouraging students and colleagues to engage in community service and civic engagement activities to advance the support and progress of various issues and causes; or personally assisting in whatever capacity necessary to advocate for and promote diversity and service. In her spare time, she is an avid reader and loves playing or watching tennis.