Through the city’s history, St. Louis residents and their leaders have established laws, policies, and practices that have privileged certain groups at the expense of others. Race has often been part of that equation. This course examines moments of social crisis in St. Louis history-up to the present day-when residents have mobilized, resisted, or ignored efforts to address race-based inequalities. We consider how St. Louis’s religious communities in particular have understood the city’s racial codes and how they have positioned themselves in relation to movements for social change. Along the way we explore slavery, property and housing restrictions, interstate construction, hiring practices, and gun violence. In addition to course reading assignments and film screenings, students will visit three religious sites to encounter and analyze the intersections of race, religion, and power in present-day St. Louis.
It is a great course if you want to learn about St. Louis history. There is a lot to be learned about the interplay between race, religion, and social justice within St. Louis.
— Fall 2016
The site visits to different religious sites within the city was very helpful. Being able to speak with religious leaders on the things that we had been learning in class gave a third dimension to the course study.
— Fall 2016