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Students are to select two readings that have been covered in the class, and choose a specific issue to analyze and explore within their’ essays. Some of the issues that have already been covered in the readings include racial discrimination, segregation, mass incarceration, voting rights, income inequality, poverty, sexism, access to equal education, unethical medical practices, lack of equal access to health care, White mob violence of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Black on Black violence, and the police shootings of countless African Americans. Students are to examine and analyze the similarities as well as the differences between two texts that they chose to write about. The writing assignment should consist of 1000–1500 words. Writing minimum requirement: 4–6 pages (double-spaced). The essay itself must consist of an introduction, 3 or more fully developed body paragraphs and a concl usion along with a separate works cited page. The assignment must be written in MLA format. Students need to include at least 10 sources for this assignment: seven academic journal articles, two books, and one dissertation or one Master thesis. Before turning in this written assignment, an annotated bibliography must be submitted first. In advance, students should consider these categories of analysis when writing their’ essays:

How are the authors using language in the texts? How do the authors use language to communicate certain ideas to the reader? What words jump out at you from the texts? Why? What type of atmosphere do the authors create in these texts? What stands out to you in these pieces of writing? Who is the intended audience in both texts? Where is the setting in these stories or writings? Describe something that stands out to you in the settings between the two stories or writings? Where do you think these events are taking place? What are some of the points that the authors raise in their stories or pieces of writing? Why are these writings important to understanding the Black experience? What do we learn about history and society from reading these texts? Do we learn anything new or important about African American people and their’ culture from these texts? What do you think was the authors’ purpose for writing these stories? What do the authors want us to learn or take away from their stories? What are the authors’ purpose in writing these texts? What specifically are the authors trying to communicate to the audience through their writings? What do the authors want their’ audiences to take away from their stories or pieces of writing? How do these stories or pieces of writing help us to address deeper societal issues like racial discrimination, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, gentrification, income inequality, mass incarceration, unethical medical practices in prison, poverty, voting rights, access to equal education, lack of equal access to health care, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Black on Black violence, and the police shootings of countless African Americans in the present day? Do the authors provide any solutions to these deeper societal issues in their writings? If you feel the authors failed this objective, do you have any solutions to these deeper societal issues? In final, how do these writings help us to learn more about the human experience?



Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustava Vassa, the African, Written by Himself.

Phillis Wheatley’s “On Being Brought from Africa to America”, “To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State of North-America, & c.”; and Benjamin Banneker’s Letter to Thomas Jefferson.

Prince Hall’s “A Charge, Delivered to the African Lodge”, on June 24, 1797; Absolom Jones’s A Thanksgiving Sermon; and Richard Allen’s “An Address to Those Who Keep Slaves and Approve the Practice”.

Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself.

Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask”; and Nella Larsen’s Passing.

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