RE: GE CLUSTER 20A, 20B: Interracial Dynamics Brenda Stevenson is my hero. First, she's the chair of the history department, which is bada*$. Second, she is a very engaging lecturer and has a great sense of humor. While I dreaded the sleep-inducing lectures of Decker and Ortiz (and the other one, whose name escapes me...really sweet lady but not memorable at all), I really looked forward to Stevenson's lectures, because she incorporated relevant media (movies, music, etc) and interacted with us as much as possible. One of the highlights of my freshman year (and probably of my entire career at UCLA) was when she dressed up as a Black Panther for class one day— afro, trench coat, and a "Free Weezy" t-shirt (maybe a Huey Newton one would have been more authentic, but Stevenson does an excellent job of relating to her students).Third and final, she is writing a book about the Latasha Harlins case— an incident that seems to get overshadowed by the Rodney King riots, but that is critically important to an understanding of race relations in Los Angeles. Judging by the quality of her article (which we had to read for this class), the book promises to be a very good one, and I can't wait to read it. In conclusion, Stevenson makes two quarters of GE 20 totally worth it. (Also, this is kind of irrelevant to her quality as a professor, but she's always working out in the Wooden Center, and she watches E! and other reality TV.. she's just so hip.. I want to be her when I grow up).
Fall 2023 - Definitely the best class I've taken at UCLA. Granted I'm only a third year transfer student and this was my first quarter, but I sincerely believe this was an excellent class. Students are graded based upon three elements: the midterm, the final paper, and participation. The midterm was very fair, and students are given a study guide with ID terms to review a week in advance. The test consists of several short answer questions and an essay question which is chosen from the three presented on the study guide. The final paper is the most challenging part of the course, but luckily the prompt and directions were given out at the start of the quarter. Nevertheless I started preparing my 10 primary and 10 secondary sources three weeks before it was due and still ended with an A in the class. Participation is taken randomly so make sure to attend every lecture. This is not difficult since even if you're mildly interested in the topic of African American History from 1600-1865 she elevates the material further with her immense passion. She is an incredible professor and that is why I'm so glad to be taking the sequel to this course which goes up till the present day. I cannot recommend Professor Stevenson enough and hopefully students reading this have the opportunity to be taught by her.