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NOWCOMMENT Native Son Building Our Knowledge Base (Groups 1 & 2)

BUILDING OUR KNOWLEDGE BASE

Click on the videos to add your initial thoughts/reactions.

Then, for every video, take notes in your notebook and write your responses to 1-5 on here.

Respond to each other and build off of each other with meaningful reflections. Don’t just put “I agree” and restate the ideas they just posted. Instead, only respond if you can add to their perspective.

We will use this information to gain a better understanding of the texts we’ve read and will read, so keep these notes and make them well thought out as well as organized.

HOUSING SEGREGATION AND REDLIING IN AMERICA (6:36 mins) [REQUIRED]

#1A. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2A. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3A. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4A. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5A. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5FBJyqfoLM

RACIAL WEALTH GAP (16:12) [REQUIRED]

#1B. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2B. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3B. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4B. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5B. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqrhn8khGLM

RICHARD WRIGHT BIO [REQUIRED]

#1C. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specific words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2C. What are some topics covered in this passage?

#3C. What information did you learn that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4C. How does this text relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5C. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.biography.com/writer/richard-wright

Richard Wright Biography (1908–1960)

Richard Wright

UPDATED:SEP 15, 2020 ORIGINAL:FEB 17, 2018

Pioneering African American writer Richard Wright is best known for the classic texts 'Black Boy' and 'Native Son.

Who Was Richard Wright?

Richard Wright was an African American writer and poet who published his first short story at the age of 16. Later, he found employment with the Federal Writers' Project and received critical acclaim for Uncle Tom's Children, a collection of four stories. He is well-known for his 1940 bestseller Native Son and his 1945 autobiography, Black Boy.

Early Life

Richard Nathaniel Wright was born on September 4, 1908, in Roxie, Mississippi. The grandson of slaves and the son of a sharecropper, Wright was largely raised by his mother, a caring woman who became a single parent after her husband left the family when Wright was five years old.

Schooled in Jackson, Mississippi, Wright only managed to get a ninth-grade education, but he was a voracious reader and showed early on that he had a way with words. When he was 16, a short story of his was published in a Southern African American newspaper, an encouraging sign for future prospects. After leaving school, Wright worked a series of odd jobs, and in his free time, he delved into American literature. To pursue his literary interests, Wright went as far as to forge notes so he could take out books on a white coworker's library card, as Black people were not allowed to use the public libraries in Memphis. The more he read about the world, the more Wright longed to see it and make a permanent break from the Jim Crow South. "I want my life to count for something," he told a friend.

Chicago, New York and the Communist Party

In 1927, Wright finally left the South and moved to Chicago, where he worked at a post office and also swept streets. Like so many Americans struggling through the Depression, Wright fell prey to bouts of poverty. Along the way, his frustration with American capitalism led him to join the Communist Party in 1932. When he could, Wright continued to plow through books and write. He eventually joined the Federal Writers’ Project, and in 1937, with dreams of making it as a writer, he moved to New York City, where he was told he stood a better chance of getting published.

Commercial and Critical Successes

Uncle Tom's Children

In 1938, Wright published Uncle Tom's Children, a collection of four stories that marked a significant turning point in his career. The stories earned him a $500 prize from Story magazine and led to a 1939 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Native Son

More acclaim followed in 1940 with the publication of the novel Native Son, which told the story of a 20-year-old African American man named Bigger Thomas. The book brought Wright fame and freedom to write. It was a regular atop the bestseller lists and became the first book by an African American writer to be selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club. A stage version, written by Wright and Paul Green, followed in 1941, and Wright himself later played the title role in a film version made in Argentina.

Black Boy

In 1945, Wright published Black Boy, which offered a moving account of his childhood and youth in the South. It also depicts extreme poverty and his accounts of racial violence against Black people.

Later Years and Career

After living mainly in Mexico from 1940 to 1946, Wright became so disillusioned with both the Communist Party and white America that he went off to Paris, where he lived the rest of his life as an expatriate. He continued to write novels, including The Outsider (1953) and The Long Dream (1958), and nonfiction, such as Black Power (1954) and White Man, Listen! (1957)

Wright died of a heart attack on November 28, 1960, in Paris, France. His naturalistic fiction no longer has the standing it once enjoyed, but his life and works remain exemplary.

LITERARY CRITICISM EXCERPT [REQUIRED]

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/books/review/james-baldwin-denounced-richard-wrights-native-son-as-a-protest-novel-was-he-right.html

#1D. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specific words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2D. What are some topics covered in this passage?

#3D. What information did you learn that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4D. How does this text relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5D. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

James Baldwin Denounced Richard Wright’s ‘Native Son’ As a ‘Protest Novel.’ Was He Right?

By Ayana Mathis and Pankaj Mishra Feb. 24, 2015

By Ayana Mathis

I don’t imagine many black people would have embraced such a grotesque portrait of themselves.

Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis

Credit...

Illustration by R. Kikuo Johnson

James Baldwin excoriated the protest novel as a pamphlet in literary disguise, tenanted by caricatures in service to a social or political agenda. Its failure, he wrote, lay in “its insistence that it is . . . categorization alone which is real and which cannot be transcended.” Bigger Thomas, the protagonist of Richard Wright’s “Native Son,” cannot transcend blackness, and his blackness, in Wright’s hands, is as ugly and debased a thing as ever was. Whether the book is a protest novel, or even whether it fails as a work of literature, are questions unworthy of a groundbreaking work that continues to inspire debate 75 years after its publication. More relevant is the matter of its resonance in our time, so distant from Wright’s own.

“Native Son” sold an astonishing 215,000 copies within three weeks of publication. Thus, a great many people received a swift and unsparing education in the conditions in which blacks lived in ghettos all over America. Of course, black people already knew about all of that, so it is safe to conclude that Wright’s intended audience was white. And, in any case, I don’t imagine many black people would have embraced such a grotesque portrait of themselves. Bigger Thomas is a rapist and a murderer motivated only by fear, hate and a slew of animal impulses. He is the black ape gone berserk that reigned supreme in the white racial imagination. Other black characters in the novel don’t fare much better — they are petty criminals or mammies or have been so ground under the heel of oppression as to be without agency or even intelligence. Wright’s is a bleak and ungenerous depiction of black life.

Wright knew this, of course — his characters were purposely exaggerated, in part to elicit a white audience’s sympathy and to shock it into racial awareness and political action. But where does that leave his black subjects? Let us consider some other works published in roughly the same era: Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Jean Toomer’s “Cane,” Ann Petry’s “The Street.” Like Bigger Thomas, the protagonists in these books are black, suffering under segregation and, for the most part, poor. Unlike Bigger Thomas, they are robust and nuanced characters — not caricatures endlessly acting out the pathologies of race. Much of the black literature of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, explicitly or implicitly, was concerned with race in America. How could it have been otherwise? For better or worse, many of the characters in the literature of that period were representational to some extent — black people in the real world were the correlative to black characters on the page. And this is significant, because when black writers affirmed their black subjects’ full humanity, the scope of their novels included the expectation that the real world would change radically so that it too could affirm and acknowledge that humanity. I am led to wonder, then, about a character like Bigger Thomas. What future, what vision is reflected in such a miserable and incompletely realized creature?

...

Ayana Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the 2014-15 New York Public Library’s Cullman Center Fellowship. “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” her first novel, was a New York Times Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, one of NPR’s Best Books of 2013 and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the second selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Ayana taught Creative Writing at The Writer’s Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

--- SPLIT THE REST OF THESE VIDEOS AMONGST YOUR GROUP---

You can always come back to watch more or find other sources to elaborate on these topics.

CHILDREN IN PERSISTENT POVERTY (5:47 mins)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/gDkpWwkXkHw

MALADAPTIVE COPING MECHANISMS (2:31)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/522XPHhHWHY

SCHOOLS & SOCIAL INEQUALITY (11:26 mins)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYMk3Bk08NA

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (9:17 mins)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/bzbzfieFiDs

RESPECTABILITY POLITICS (4:36 mins)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/mfIlqoNcpDs

THE BIRTH OF A NATION (8:15 mins)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/OMVognai5P4

GREENWOOD & TULSA RIOTS (3:24 mins)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yceK9LHFSA

1919 CHICAGO RACE RIOTS (6:08)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dktk8nr8IhI&t=1s

THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE (3:01)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gboEyrj02g

THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE LITERATURE (3:24)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nea0rMpolNE

REALISM (3:22)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTOnDOkqp3o

TERROR LYNCHING IN AMERICA (5:17)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS61QFzk2tI&t=5s

RICHARD WRIGHT (4:31)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/aAdM-fueKkY

RICHARD WRIGHT (8:57)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://youtu.be/A_C3rg4v9jw

JAMES BALDWIN ON THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA (8:04)

#1. In your notes, write down new vocabulary terms and jargon. What are specifics words/phrases you plan to incorporate into your discussions now.

#2. What are some topics covered in this video?

#3. What information did you learn in the video that helps you better understand Native Son, as well as other texts we’ve read, and videos we’ve seen in this class?

#4. How does this video relate to these texts and videos? How does it differ? (Make sure to focus on Native Son and other texts).

#5. Analyze the credibility of this source. What are some (potential) biases? Who are the speakers and sources used? What gives these speakers and sources credibility? Are there any issues with relevance or reliability? What are some holes, limitations, and/or questions that were not answered in this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPaBXcEVpOE

DMU Timestamp: October 08, 2020 22:04