Chester Himes chapters
Chester Himes chapters 7-9
Chester Himes chapters 10-12
Chester Himes chapters 13-14
Chester Himes chapters 15-19
Chester Himes chapters 20-22
Our first reading is Booker T. Washington' s "A Speech Before the NNBL." Before reading this speech, watch this short biography of Washington's importance in U.S. political history:
W.E.B. Dubois 1
Our second supplementary reading is W.E.B. Dubois's "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," a chapter from his book The Souls of Black Folk. Du Bois is a brilliant thinker, particularly about race. This short video should give you a sense of his intelligence and importance:
Martin Luther King Jr.
Our third supplementary reading is Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Nonviolence and Racial Justice." Hopefully, King needs no introduction and his historical importance is universally known. The following video reviews some of his key contributions to racial progress:
Our fourth supplementary reading is Stokely Carmichael's 1966 speech at UC Berkeley. First read the mini-biography of Carmichael (Links to an external site.) that precedes the speech.
Then watch this short clip of him speaking:
Paper #1: Chester Himes
As a protest novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go features many passages where its characters explicitly offer insightful arguments and analysis about race and racism in America. Although it is a work of fiction, the book therefore offers a valuable contribution to political and cultural discussions about the role of race and racism in American society that took place across the 20th century and that continue to this day.
Write an essay that thoughtfully explores how ONE of the novel’s characters might support and develop and/or criticize and reject the ideas of TWO of the supplementary historical readings (Washington, Du Bois, MLK, Carmichael). Show how the character, through either his or her words or actions, expresses similar ideas and perhaps gives us a deeper understanding and defense of the position of the supplementary reading. And/or show how the character, through either his or her words or actions, opposes the ideas of the supplementary reading and perhaps even reveals its inadequacies or errors.
It is better to be complex and in-depth on a few points than to superficially rush through many points. You should therefore limit yourself to just one character in your discussion. Also do not discuss more than two of the supplementary readings. Outside research is not required.
___The paper must at least reach the middle of page 5, not including the Works Cited.
___The paper must have a title, introduction, thesis, a series of body paragraphs,
conclusion, and Works Cited.
___MLA guidelines must be followed for all in-text citations and the Works Cited page.
___Two of the supplementary readings must be discussed and included in the Works
Each major point should be developed in a unified paragraph that incorporates plenty
of textual evidence, either through paraphrase or quotation. Be sure to stick closely to the language of the novel and the supplementary readings in your interpretation: keep returning to and quoting the exact language that Himes and the other authors use, but be sure also to analyze and explain everything you quote.
Your grade will be based on the insightfulness of your critical thinking and the quality of your writing. The ideas of the character and the supplementary readings need to be explained clearly, accurately, and thoroughly. The comparison of the character to the readings should be accurate, in-depth, and insightful about their similarities and/or differences. Your essay needs not only to follow the rules of grammar but also to demonstrate your control over style. Although you may be incorporating many details and quotations from the novel and readings into your essay, you need to make sure the writing remains smooth and appealing.