This interdisciplinary survey course explores the rich history, aesthetics, and politics of African American culture from its very genesis to the present day: in other words, from West African cultural traditions to Hip Hop. We will examine cultural forms -- literature, music, visual art, and more -- to engage broad questions about the many meanings and resonances of African American culture in historical and contemporary contexts (in the U.S. and around the world). Readings, lectures, screenings, and discussions will be used to build the necessary intellectual framework and critical vocabulary to have informed dialogue about culture's relationship to issues of race, class, gender, justice, sexuality, and geography. In this course, we will explore the topic of humanism as it applies to Black/African American life. By building a critical vocabulary, we will engage in an informed dialogue about humanism's relationship to race, gender, justice, and more. This course goal is to examine the challenges and affirmations of Black humanity.