African American literature.

African American Literature, Response Paper 1


The problem of racial identity in the United States is one of the major themes we’ve discussed during class thus far. This problem manifests itself in African American literature as what we’ve come to call the Black subjectivity debate / dialectic. The debatable meaning of Black subjectivity in the United States stems from race’s instability as a social construct. For this paper, briefly discuss your understanding of what makes race problematic as a social construct and then demonstrate your understanding by comparing how two of the assigned readings we’ve discussed thus far differ in their interpretations of Blackness… despite both being written by African American writers. Your analysis must hinge on direct quotations and examples from the texts you decide to analyze. Only use assigned course texts as your sources for this paper.

Course Texts:

Gates, Henry Louis. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature
Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes were Watching God.

Paper guidelines:

Papers must use proper MLA citation style in formatting in-text parenthetical citations and works cited page. See the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) site for help with MLA: (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.). In addition to MLA, papers should be formatted as follows:

  • 12-point font
  • Times New Roman
  • 1-inch margins
  • Double-spaced
  • MLA style in-text parenthetical citations throughout paper when quoting sources
  • MLA style works cited page at the end of the paper
  • Page numbers and your last name in the upper right-hand corner of every page
  • 5-7 pages in length (This means at least 5 full pages of text, not 4.5 or 4.75)
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