Before The Audacity of Hope: Selected African-American Classics

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Although issues of race and slavery have long been a prominent subject of American writing, the classic works of African-American authors are often unknown beyond the African-American community. This course will examine a selection of such classics in order to understand the works themselves, the canon of which they form a part and their relationship to comparable Euro-American works. Texts will include: David Walker’s Appeal, Frederick Douglass’s autobiographical Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery, W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk, and the writings of Martin Luther King Jr.

Texts
  • Walker, Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World
  • Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • Washington, Up from Slavery
  • DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
  • Wright, Native Son
  • Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
  • King, I Have a Dream

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TAUGHT: WINTER 2010, AUTUMN 2012, WINTER 2017