African American Nonfiction

at least one clear paragraph for each of your two answers. See the Class Discussion Guidelines for expectations for this post and how it will be graded.


A. Though you are not required to use one of this week’s texts for your Impact Project, it is possible to do so; therefore, relate the best idea from a brainstorm you did to get started on the Impact Project to one of this week’s texts. (If you have yet to begin to brainstorm for the project, this is a great time to pause on this and go do that–then come back and answer this question! Tips for brainstorming can be found via the Impact Project assignment guidelines.) Even if the idea you come up with here is not something you might more forward to or only a part of an idea, elaborate on something that links the project to the readings we did this week.

B. 2020 was an important year for social justice in America. How can reading African American nonfiction from earlier in America’s history help us better understand movements like that one, despite how far in the past these texts were published?


C. Harriet Jacobs’ text is notable because it is the first woman-penned slave narrative that we know of–name an instance from our reading this week that is specific to her experience as a woman, explain why only a woman could have written it, and explain how those answers can connect to the literary history of the slave narrative–& how a text like Jacobs’ is important to that history.

D. Discuss the importance of literacy in William Wells Brown’s text–to Brown himself, first, and then how understanding that helps us understand the relationship between literacy and slavery better and why that is important to American literature.

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