African American Literature to 1940

Part I:  Research questions. (Google and read about these landmark events/decisions and answer these questions.) 1. The Dred Scott decision & the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.      (a)  Briefly discuss each of these landmark events and explain how they are connected. 10 pts 2.  Plessy v. Ferguson & Brown v. Board of Education. 10 pts      (b) Briefly discuss each of these landmark events and explain how they are connected. 10 pts 3. The Fifteenth Amendment & the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.     (c) Briefly discuss each of these landmark events and explain how they are connected.  10 pts   Part II: 4. In “To the University of Cambridge, New England,” Phillis Wheatley refers to her country of origin as “the land of errors, and Egyptian gloom.” After reading her other poems, do you believe she is sincere in her assertion? Why or why not? What exactly is she trying to do? Refer to at least two other poems to prove your point.  20 points    5. What kind of identity of himself does Equiano present in his narrative? Is he African, European, or both? Use the text to buttress your argument.  10 points.    6. Frederick Douglass’s Narrative was published in 1845. Today the book is still read by many and used in college courses (in such departments as English, African American Studies, and others). To you, what is compelling about his story? Refer to the text and the video The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, Episode 2 ( or search for the video on  20 pts.  (Hint: Are there any issues he discussed that are still relevant today in 2020?) 7.  Booker T. Washington, W.E.B Du Bois, and the Post-Reconstruction: Booker T. Washington and W.E. B. Du Bois: compare/contrast their views regarding civil/civic rights and education. To receive credit, your arguments must be specific, for example by referring to the two leaders’ respective texts (Upon from Slavery and The Souls of Black Folk), using quotations from the texts, etc.  If you want, you can side with one of them and argue why he was right in his position given the context of the Post-Reconstruction.  20 pts N.B.: For Part II, to get full credit you must use at least two quotations from the respective texts.

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