Why do you believe America is or is not a melting pot? Are we more of a tapestry?
Is this melting pot/quilt/tapestry a good thing or a bad thing for our nation? Justify your response.
Use the essays in your readings (or your disagreement with any or all of the essays) to support your key point/s.
What ethnic groups are usually depicted as terrorists, gangsters, drug dealers, lawyers, doctors, crime fighters, etc?
Does overrepresentation of certain behaviors by a particular ethnic group – as portrayed in the media – result from stereotyping or in stereotyping?
As you consider the above activities and professions, are these stereotypes or merely a reflection of the truth?
Do you believe it is relevant to bring education into this discussion? Why or why not?
3- The authors, Cofer and Silko, write about the Latino and Native American experiences respectively. In some ways it is interesting to consider their discussions of alienation in a country that has so much Latino and Native American culture embedded in the cultural fabric of the country as a whole.
Your activity for this week is to research the name of either a local town, street, or historic figure with a Latino or Native American name. You may also research a statue or memorial that features a person or event that is connected to Latinos or Native Americans. Find out what historical situation, important event and/or important contributions were made that merit preservation in our collective memories in the form of a landmark (name of a town, street name, commemorative work of public art, etc.).
Briefly answer the following questions:
Why do you think the history or knowledge of the figure and/or historical event you uncovered is not well known today?
How might the relative obscurity of this historical figure and/or historical narrative be connected to the alienation Cofer and Silko write about?
What do you think is the perspective of the Latinos or Native Americans who view these landmarks as opposed to someone outside of these cultures? If you happen to be Latino or Native American please feel free to voice your unique perspective.
In what way are the problems and challenges faced by Latinos and Native Americans part of a wider problem (cultural, economic, and political) faced by minorities and aboriginal peoples elsewhere in the world? If you happen to be elsewhere in the world and there are aboriginal cultures and issues, please feel free to discuss the unique situation specific to your country.
How does this new historical knowledge affect your understanding of Latinos and Native Americans who still face cultural, political, and economic challenges in spite of their valuable historical, cultural, political and economic contributions?
If there is no Latino or Native American presence in your part of the world, please click on the following links to help you complete this assignment: