This is an overall GREAT class. Professor Nelson is actually brilliant, but also cares a ton about her students, which is a combination you rarely see. She lectures from Powerpoints, but it's not boring like Powerpoints usually are, and she doesn't post them online, so you pretty much have to go to class unless you are in the class with a really nice friend.
There is a midterm and a final, both the same format: 8 of 12 term IDs from the keywords she gives you at the beginning of every class and 2 of 3 short essays dealing with over-arching topics. You also have to submit a discussion question via email before each class, and then Professor Nelson pulls 5 or 6 discussion questions for the class to talk about. And there's a short paper on which I, and other people I know in the class, ended up not doing very well... so definitely ask a lot of questions about the paper if you don't understand what you're supposed to do.
It's a difficult class, there's no doubt about that. There's a lot of reading, and you basically have to do it all to know what's going on and to be prepared for the exams. It's really not burdensome, though, because Professor Nelson makes it relevant information that it benefits you to know in everyday life, not just in the classroom. Racial sociology is not at all my field of interest and I only took the class because I'm a soc major and it fulfills a major requirement. But I found myself invested in the class anyway, something I wasn't at all expecting.
I'd highly, highly recommend taking any class with Professor Nelson. She's a great teacher who will make you interested in whatever she talks about.