What can the study of the Black family in U.S. history and culture tell us about the past and about our present? This seminar examines the history of marriage and family from slavery to freedom. It is designed with the idea that there is no one singular representative experience, but rather a multitude of voices and perspectives that comprise this history. Readings will consider the historical processes and constraints shaping Black family life in the U.S. alongside themes of resistance, adaptability, and resilience. Over the course of the semester, we will explore historians’ responses to contemporary narratives about the pathology of the Black family after the Civil War.