Black Matters is an interdisciplinary course that examines the notion of "blackness" as it transforms or circulates in time, as it is interpreted and behaves from different geographical locations, and as it manifests itself both because of and despite its temporal and geographical contexts. Focusing on the twentieth century—mainly the period from 1950 to 2000 (give or take a few years)—the course attempts to put into practice the ways in which the various subjects of history, literature, music, and theater arts are always in conversation with each other regarding "blackness" as both a unifying and sometimes divisive (but always important) matter of inquiry. Such focused attention on the multiple ways in which "blackness" can be and has been understood during the short span of fifty years will allow us to explore ways of debunking sustained myths and stereotypes surrounding "blackness" as a racial category or as a marker of identity in general. In this course, the work of debunking will be a process that begins with listening to lectures, participating in class discussions, creating a performance, writing perceptive and persuasive analysis papers, and attending field trips. Overall, we hope that in the course of this semester, we will all come to learn the stakes involved in studying the matter of "blackness" and why those very stakes continue to matter to related studies in aesthetics, gender, class, race, ethnicity, culture, and politics.