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Write an essay in which you compare the interventions of two movements (options #1-3 below) of the African Diaspora in a dialogue with each other. Choose two readings from each movement, and briefly engage with analyses from one work of African Diasporic scholarship (#4). Focus on producing a theme-driven essay, not a plot/argument summary. Make thoughtful in-depth arguments about the texts using quotations as supporting evidence and elaborating your own analyses.
1. New Negro Movement
– Langston Hughes, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain and Let America Be America Again – Zora Neale Hurston, How it Feels to be Colored Me
– Robin Kelley, Keepin It (Sur)real: Dreams of the Marvelous
– Selections from Black, Brown, and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora – Tongo Eisen-Martin, Heaven is All Goodbyes
– Aim Csaire, Discourse on Colonialism
– Ngg wa Thiongo, The Language of African Literature
4. African Diasporic scholarship
– Brent Edwards, The Uses of Diaspora
– Robin Kelley, How the West Was One
– Bernice Johnson Reagon, African Diaspora Women: The Making of Cultural Workers – Poetry Foundation, An Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance
Suggested Thematic Questions
– How do these movements redefine artistic freedoms, creative innovations, and responsibilities toward the authors communities and time periods?
– How do these movements identify the harms of colonialism, racism, and sexism? What kinds of solutions are suggested?
– What specific debates or differences may exist within and across people in each movement, and what could this say about the complexity of ideas and actions in the African Diaspora?
Length: First draft should be 3-4 double-spaced pages long, Final draft should be 5-6 double-spaced pages long.
Format: Type work in Times New Roman 12-point font, use 1 margins, and give footnote or endnote citations for your sources. Spell-check and proofread your work. Include a creative essay title and Works Cited page for the Final Draft.
Argument: Essay should have a focused argument with a distinctly articulated thesis statement that is elaborated throughout. Paragraphs should address the themes in relation to the texts. Paragraphs should
be clearly organized with topic sentences, original ideas that connect with each other, and supporting quotations from the sources listed above (no outside sources allowed).
Due Dates and Grade Breakdown
This assignment is worth a total of 25% of your final grade. Because the assignment consists of multiple steps, participation points will be given for each component towards a full potential grade of 100 points.
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