African American Literature

Paper length: Your paper should be 3-4 pages long. Be detailed but concise. Edit out unnecessary words and redundancies. A sample close reading essay is available via Canvas. Objectives: Provide a close reading of primary sources demonstrating the reading strategies we’ve used in class. The purpose of close reading is to suspend personal judgment and examine a text in order to uncover and discover as much information as we can from it. In close reading we ask not just “what does this say?” but also “how does it say it?” Close reading takes us deeper into a reading,below its surface to the deeper structures of its language, syntax and imagery, then out again to its connections with the whole poem as well as other events and ideas. Instructions: Select one of the questions listed below. 1) How does Richard Wright use his own life to “represent segregation” in his autobiographical writings- “Black Boy”(141) and “Ethics of Living Jim Crow”(132)? How does autobiography allow Wright to confront the complexities and injustices of Jim Crow?