Select ONE of the following questions for your Mid Term essay:

1) Consider the evolution of segregation in American churches throughout history. Discuss how religion could be used to both support and abolish slavery simultaneously. Can this contradiction be reconciled? Discuss the development of Black Churches in America and explain why the two most racial segregated institutions in America are churches and prisons.

2) You are the superintendent of a public school system in a predominantly white, wealthy school district. After taking this course, you have decided that every student in your district will take a mandatory African American Studies course as a requirement for graduation. Discuss your argument for getting this mandatory course approved and how you will encourage your constituents to understand that African American Studies is relevant to their education. In your discussion, you will also need to explain why the only mandatory course you are proposing is African American Studies. There are those who will also want mandatory: Asian Studies, Latino Studies, Women and Gender Studies. etc. What is your criterion for the selection of just one minority culture and excluding others?

3) Consider how the realities of slavery is strategically avoided in most classrooms, even at the collegiate level. Many feel that the discussion and study of slavery is too upsetting, – it makes people “uncomfortable” and should be avoided as much as possible. Even when someone successfully produces a motion picture that truly depicts slavery, it quickly disappears from the theaters. Consider: Sankofa, Amistad, Twelve Years A Slave, and more recently Birth of a Nation. Should the horrific truths of American chattel slavery be presented. If so why? If not – then why not? Are the victims of slavery dishonored when slavery is “watered down” to make us more comfortable. The Jewish culture is adamant that no one will forget the horrors of the Holocaust and that it will not be tainted n any way. Why is is that African Americans do not take the same stance as it relates to slavery?

4) Compare and contrast the significance of the murders of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray. If Ida B. Wells could speak to you today – what do you think she would say? Would she believe that her life’s work was in vain? Do you think she would have supported the civil unrest and rioting that took place after the Freddie Gray court ruling? Why or why not?

The Mid Term will be an essay exam. Your essay should be a minimum of 5 pages (does not include documentation), but should not exceed 7 pages. Your essay must include documentation using the MLA style.

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