Citizenship & Freedom is a pioneer venture in education. This seminar about civil rights history is being offered online to students and non-students everywhere, individually or in groups, whether they seek continuing education or full academic credit.

Citizenship & Freedom is not a “MOOC.” It's a fee-based online seminar for college credit or continuing education. Freedom is not free, but quality education should be affordable and sustainable. Beginning in January 2014, this course can be taken for fees beginning at $200.


Taught by Taylor Branch, a renowned civil rights historian, this course will explore the watershed civil rights era through personal stories of its conflicted characters, from sharecroppers to U.S. presidents.

Citizenship & Freedom: The Civil Rights Era has been developed as a joint project of the University of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland’s Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT), and Taylor Branch . The Director of Instructional Technology is Paul Walsh. The Associate Instructor is Dr. Jelani Favors.


For the spring semester, the 14-week online seminar begins January 28, 2014. Classes meet each Tuesday from 5:30-8:00PM (US EST). Registration continues until the first day of class.

The full course is scheduled to be offered again in the fall of 2014. A shorter, refresher course for teachers is being explored for the summer of 2014.


Registered students receive coded access to the weekly, interactive seminar. They can participate live. Alternatively, they can review each class by on-demand retrieval.


The short career of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lasted only from 1954 until his assassination in 1968 at 39 years of age, but it marked a transformational period in U.S. history. Its collateral impact has spread worldwide, and challenges from the King Years still reverberate in contemporary politics.


This course will explore a decade of historical landmarks: the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1960 Sit-ins, the 1961 Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, plus the black power movement, conflicts over the Vietnam War, the Poor Peoples’ Campaign, and a rising conservative movement in politics

The weekly online seminar will feature live appearances and specially taped interviews by surviving participants such as Rep. John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Diane Nash, Bob Moses, and Julian Bond. Along with Dr. King himself, their contrasting models of leadership give today’s students a rare chance to learn of history made by young people roughly their age. The struggle over racial segregation frames deep, persistent issues of citizenship, equality, race, democratic governance, and violent vs. nonviolent methods.

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A Special Invitation from Joseph S. Wood, Provost, University of Baltimore

Recently the University of Baltimore hosted singer, actor, and human rights activist Harry Belafonte as the featured guest in the online course, Citizenship & Freedom: The Civil Rights Era, taught by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch and associate instructor Dr. Jelani Favors.

To view the archived video from the Belafonte/Branch seminar, PC users click here, MAC users click here.

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