Prompt for Essay on Slave Narratives, All Classes Dr. Jenkins
Directions: CHOOSE ONE of the prompts below and write a three-to-five-page essay on it. Define your topic, develop your topic with specific examples and details, quote from primary sources, and give an intelligent reflection upon and analysis of your topic. Double-space your paper; use Times New Roman, twelve-inch font, use one inch margins, give your paper a title, number your pages, include a Work Cited(s) Page, and adhere to the rules of written, edited Standard English.1. Your class has discussed the general characteristics of slave narratives and has seen three documentaries on slave narratives. Based on class materials and your independent research, explain and describe how slavery sought its best to destroy the black family, but the black family remained intact despite slavery’s best efforts to destroy it.
2. The word “Nigger,” hereafter referred to as the “N” word, is one of the most detestable racial epithets in the English language. White slave “masters” routinely called their slaves the “N” word, slaves called each other the “N” word. Today, blacks often refer to each other using either the “N” word or its blood brother, “Nigga.” One of William
Faulkner’s characters says in The Sound and the Fury, “When people act like niggers, no matter who they are, the only thing to do is treat them like a nigger.” Mark Twain, moreover, uses the “N” word extensively in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But Maya Angelou says the “N” word should never be used because it has such a loaded
history. Assume you are either a high school or college teacher and your class has to read a text that includes several references to the “N” word. How would you handle the use of this explosive word without sacrificing the integrity of the literary text? In your introduction, you may also want to consider how popular cultural ideologies the “N” word.
3. Historically, in American society, the tall, thin white female with blonde hair and blue eyes has been considered the ultimate standard of beauty. African features—for example, coarse hair; big lips; broad noses; large hips, thighs, and breasts; and dark skin—have been deemed unattractive and unappealing. Persons of African descent have also been labeled ignorant and lazy. Despite the negative images white American society has projected on black people, white slave “masters” and overseers had no problems have sexual relations with and producing many children with black women. Write a paper in which you seek to explain this phenomenon, which I call “sexual hypocrisy.”
4. This year, 2019, represents four hundred years since black people were brought to America to set up permanent residence. Unfortunately, the news media have not given much coverage to this event. Why? Why do things that affect black people are never given the same consideration and respect in America as things that affect white people?5. Do black Americans still suffer from the legacy of slavery? How? Why? If you answer in the affirmative, tell what should be done to help ease the pain blacks experienced during slavery—for example, should reparations be given? In this essay, please explain how whites still benefit from white privilege.