5-7 pages, double spaced, with numbered pages. You must have a strong thesis and arguments with evidence form the primary texts.
Throughout this semester, we have discussed the various ways in which African American writers have used literature to make connections between race, difference, identity, and freedom. Since the midterm, we have given significant attention to the impact of the post- Civil Rights Movement on films and writings by African American artists. In particular, we have noted how the passing of the Civil Rights Bill in 1964 and subsequent movements such as the Black Power and Black Feminist movement have informed the themes, construction of characters, and the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, class, and history—especially the history of slavery—in writings by contemporary black writers. For your final examination, consider the various and sometimes conflicting ways in which four of the authors we have covered since the midterm interrogate the impact of racism on African Americans. To frame your discussion, you may consider some of the following, as appropriate for the texts you will discuss:
The history of slavery: what did you learn about slavery while reading neo-slave narratives: miscegenation, interracial relationships, treatment of slaves, violation of values of freedom, liberty, and justice.
Impact of racism, sexism, and class on construction of African American identity: masculinity and femininity, western cultural standards
Narrative strategies and figurative language: folktales, Black vernacular, biblical references, symbols
Butler, Octavia. Kindred
Gaines, Ernest. A Gathering of Old Men
Morrison, Toni. The Song of Solomon
Jones, Edward P. The Known World
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