This course explores the role of the courts in the experience of racial minorities in the United States. Primarily, but not exclusively, the course examines the courts' impact on African Americans. Where race is concerned, the courts have figured prominently in some of America's proudest and most shameful moments. Slavery, segregation, affirmative action, political representation, and the criminal justice system are some of the topics addressed. The course considers some of the ways in which certain legal, political and policy debates are defined, informed and constrained by the historical arc of racial inequities in American law and politics. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2020-21).