Category: slavery

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Resistance in Omar ibn Said’s Narrative

In every class, I choose to teach a few new texts that I have never read. Sometimes this will include one texts. Other times it will include more. For this semester, in my multicultural American literature course, I chose two new texts that I had never read before: Hala Alyan’s Salt Houses and Omar ibn Said’s 1831 narrative. I plan to write about each … Read More Resistance in Omar ibn Said’s Narrative

Reflections on EJI Legacy Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice

Every semester, I try something new in my classroom. Recently, I’ve been working on decentering my courses in various ways, specifically through the use of active learning assignments. These involve assignments such as my archives project  or creating more student centered discussion through the questions I pose in class. This summer, I taught a minimester course in early American literature. Essentially, we met 24 … Read More Reflections on EJI Legacy Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice

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Mediated Voices in Longfellow’s “Poems on Slavery”

Last semester, I added selections from Philip Freneau and Henry Wadsworth Longefellow to my syllabus. We only read about 3-4 poems from each author and explored them in relation to the trope of the “Vanishing American,” defining American, and the issue of slavery. As I do with most classes, I assign questions to small groups of students, 2-3 typically, give them time to answer … Read More Mediated Voices in Longfellow’s “Poems on Slavery”

“I play Monopoly with refugees”: Romans 13 and Immigration

Last week, while speaking in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Attorney General Jeff Session referenced Romans 13 as he defended the administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border. He said, “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of government because God has ordained them for the purpose … Read More “I play Monopoly with refugees”: Romans 13 and Immigration

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Literacy in Kyle Baker’s “Nat Turner”

In his preface to the graphic novel Nat Turner, Kyle Baker talks about his reasons for wanting to tell Turner’s story through the medium of comics. He states hat “[c]omic books/graphic novels are a visual medium, so it’s important to choose a subject with opportunities for compelling graphics.” The story of Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831 provides just that opportunity. More importantly, Baker wanted … Read More Literacy in Kyle Baker’s “Nat Turner”

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Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

Ever since I first encountered Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog, or the Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs,” I became intrigued by the issues Poe addressed through this Gothic story that takes place far away from American soil. The story first appeared in 1849, and we can read the story in an autobiographical manner, as some scholars have done. However, I would argue that we must also read … Read More Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop-Frog” and Slave Rebellion

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Frederick Douglass’ Rhetorical Rebuttals of Stereotypes

Over the past couple of semesters, I have taught Frederick Douglass’ What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? instead of teaching his narrative. I do this for a couple of reasons. One, I assign Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, and during discussions about Northup, I bring in Douglass’ narrative and Harriett Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl because … Read More Frederick Douglass’ Rhetorical Rebuttals of Stereotypes

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Literacy in Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”

Note: For this post, I will use Duffy and Jennings’ adaptation of Butler’s Kindred. I have read Butler’s novel, but it has a been a few years. The adaptation closely follows the novel. On Tuesday, I wrote about the ways that Damian Duffy’s illustrations convey just as much emotion to the reader as Octavia Butler and John Jennings’ words in the graphic novel adaptation of … Read More Literacy in Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”

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Conveying Emotion in Duffy and Jennings’ Adaptation of Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”

One of the key aspects of reading comics and graphic novels is paying attention not just to the words but also to the visual images that accompany them. Both the words and the images work together to create an experience that, to me, resembles a melding of a printed text and movie. When I read the March trilogy and The Silence of Our Friends, … Read More Conveying Emotion in Duffy and Jennings’ Adaptation of Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”

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Racial Signification in Frank Yerby’s “The Foxes of Harrow”

In “Reconstructions of Racial Perception: Margaret Mitchell’s and Frank Yerby’s Plantation Romances,” Mark C. Jerng argues that Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow “engages with the specific techniques of deploying racial signification in [Gone With the Wind], in particular by when race appears in the background and when it is foregrounded.” Jerng looks at the ways that Yerby challenges and reverses the racial associations … Read More Racial Signification in Frank Yerby’s “The Foxes of Harrow”

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Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” and How We Need to Think About the Past

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech entitled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Last week, I wrote about a small section of this speech, and today I want to expand that discussion some more, looking at what Douglass says about what we should do, or shouldn’t do, with the past. The entire speech, of course, focuses on America’s … Read More Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” and How We Need to Think About the Past

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The Transmission of Racist Thought in Solomon Northup’s “Twelve Years a Slave”

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “Why can’t we just move on? The past is the past.” In that post, I examine how Thomas Jefferson, David Walker, and Solomon Northup all argue that it is nurture, not nature, that produces within us thoughts of discrimination. I wrote about Northup’s descriptions of William Ford and Edwin Epps’ son in that post, … Read More The Transmission of Racist Thought in Solomon Northup’s “Twelve Years a Slave”