How did people of African descent express themselves in the context of slavery? What did they write about? What kinds of items did they create? This course will explore the cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic knowledge produced by people of African descent before 1865 and how these works continue to shape conceptions of liberation in contemporary Black life. Students will engage materials by Black thinkers, artists, activists, and critics, from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, who use creativity to ruminate on freedom and black liberation in diverse media, including autobiography, painting, speech, photography, performance and food culture.