Offer a single paragraph (6-7 sentences) summary for each reading, including brief in-text citations.
After reading the editors’ text on “Slavery, Race, and the Making of American Literature pp. 815-816,” also read the biographies and texts by Thomas Jefferson pp. 816-820 and David Walker pp. 820-823. Offer a single paragraph (6-7 sentences) summary for each reading, including brief in-text citations. As always, show that you have read…
Finally, let’s do the difficult work of putting Jefferson’s and Walker’s ideas side-by-side. First, I really want to know – how many of us had heard of David Walker prior to this class? No, really…? I would ask the same for Thomas Jefferson, but…come on. There is a reason we have heard of one and not the other, right? Walker was a controversial figure and, if we want to be very basic in our assessment, he can be viewed as an extremist with murderous ideas. Jefferson is too often NOT seen as a controversial figure and is instead lauded as a “founding father” who is responsible for some of the nation’s most important rhetoric on equality (sigh) and a newfound national and governmental identity. For some of us, reading the work by him will be…jarring. Difficult. Infuriating. Even shocking given that he is held in such high regard by many in the US. Some of us nay face those same reactions when reading Walker. What we perhaps need to reckon with is that Walker is responding to Jefferson. So, what are they saying? What in Walker’s work is a response to the ideas shared by Jefferson? Take two paragraphs to really analyze the works, connecting them and identifying how Walker is refuting the ideas of Jefferson. Remember we did summary in the above part of the prompt, so here, let’s really work to focus on analysis and using the ideas directly in the texts.
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