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Choose any two or three artists or writers we have studied after the first essay exam, and explain how Du Bois’s double-consciousness theory might be applied to the artists’ messages, styles, values, and/or viewpoints.

In his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folkc W.E.B. Du Bois introduces his theory of the double-consciousness to describe the psychological and ideological effects of dealing with the construct of race in America. He states that “the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil” and that America “yields [African Americans] no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.” At the same time, though, Du Bois argues that African Americans are “gifted with second-sight in this American world.” Indeed, he accurately predicts much of what would happen in the future when he writes: “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line,—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.”
In the second half of our studies this semester, we have examined several writers and activists who have reflected one or both of Du Bois’s ideas. For instance, Richard Wright’s essay “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow” describes the negative impact of the double-consciousness, which he calls the ethics of living Jim Crow. On the other hand, Du Bois argues that there is also a positive aspect of the double-consciousness—that black people’s experiences and concepts of art, beauty, and spirituality (e.g., religion) have enabled many black artists and activists to create new artistic styles, develop distinct values, and/or a clearer understanding of American society than many white Americans themselves. For instance, think about the recordings and writings of Bessie Smith, Langston Hughes, Gil Scott-Heron, Amiri Baraka, Evie Shockley, and Randall Horton. All of these artists imagined new forms of art or ways of thinking, and at least one of these artists predicted the outcome of a major political scandal in American history before white American intellectuals understood it. Your assignment, then, is to write an essay in which you answer one of the following questions:
1. Choose any two or three artists or writers we have studied after the first essay exam, and explain how Du Bois’s double-consciousness theory might be applied to the artists’ messages, styles, values, and/or viewpoints.
2. In Hook: A Memoir, Randall Horton states that poverty among African Americans is “the residue of a capitalistic society. It oppressed certain people and, at the same time, made those oppressed people feel like they had to emulate the oppressor in order to feel human” (148). This passage reflects the psychological impact of what Du Bois called the double-consciousness. On the other hand, both the form and content of Horton’s memoir suggest that he was “gifted with second-sight in this American world,” as Du Bois puts it. Consider, for instance, Horton’s critique of class politics in the prison system, the War on Drugs (e.g., different sentences for crack and powder cocaine), and elite African Americans. Similarly, his epistolary (i.e., letter) style is unprecedented in the history of black writing. With this in mind, compare and contrast the values and/or viewpoints in Hook, Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and/or Richard Wright’s “The Ethics of Living Jim Crow.”
Please note: You should quote only what is necessary to reinforce your idea. Remember, your “reader” can read the book on his or her own time. He or she is interested in learning what you know about this subject matter. So quote only what is necessary to substantiate the point that you’re making—even if that means a few words or a part of a sentence—because excessive quoting detracts from the effectiveness of an essay. And finally, students who have common problems of style (e.g., run-ons, fragments, comma splices, etc.) are strongly encouraged to visit KU’s Writing Lab, because these errors impact the overall effectiveness of an essay, and will ultimately detract from your grade.

Guidelines: All papers must be submitted via email and hard copy on the date that thThe latter can be slipped underneath my office door or placed in my box in the Office of AAAS in Bailey Hall, Room 9. Due: December 15, 2017 at 1 pm. Electronic copies may be submitted until midnight. Length: 1450-1600 words (excluding bibliography). MLA, APA, or Chicago Style. Students who aren’t familiar with these forms of documentation should consult a librarian and check online websites (see suggestions below). Failure to comply with these any of these guidelines will impact the grade. Papers without proper documentation will be returned ungraded, which means the student will have a zero until the essay is submitted properly. Late papers will be penalized, and no papers will be accepted after December 17th.

Essay exams are take-home exams, not research papers.
They assess the ability to use and analyze the material and concepts presented in this course. Each essay must be organized according to the specifications provided by Professor Bolden.
Each exam must include a COVER PAGE indicating the title and student’s name
STAPLES: Please be sure to staple your papers together.
TYPEWRITTEN: Double-spaced, with margins no larger than 1 inch, in font no larger than 12 points
PROOFREAD CAREFULLY: Grammar and spelling count.
LENGTH 1450-1600 words (exclusive of bibliography).

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BIBLIOGRAPHY: Properly formatted, listing ALL resources used to answer that particular question.
CITATIONS: All essays must use a proper format of documentation: MLA, APA, or Chicago Style. Also, internal citations or endnotes must be properly formatted.
FREQUENCY: Cite all of the following – direct quotes, paraphrases, facts, sources and references.
SPECIFICITY: Where relevant, be sure to indicate (1) the actual author and title of the source being cited rather than the editor of the collection in which the source is published; (2) the page number.
KU Watson Library and KU Writing Lab
In addition, the following websites may also be helpful:

• SUBMITTED ESSAYS MUST HAVE A THESIS: A central organizing statement indicating how you propose to respond to the question.
• BUILD AN ARGUMENT: Everything you state and all evidence you present should be essential to and support that proposition.
• COME TO A CONCLUSION: Re-articulate the thesis and wrap up the discussion.
• AVOID OVER-FREQUENT USE OF DIRECT QUOTES: Whether long or short and especially from secondary sources. Your reader can read the book for himself or herself, so the reader wants to learn your thoughts that are supported by facts and examples from the texts.

• SPECIFIC INFORMATION / FACTS: Names, dates, places, events
• They include material not assigned in this course.
• They are without citations and/or without a bibliography.
• Exams must be submitted in “hard copy” in class on the day they are due AND electronically as word doc attachments in emails.
• LATE SUBMISSIONS: Points will be deducted for “late submissions,” and the amount increases with time.
• PROBLEMS? COMMUNICATE with Professor Bolden or Ms. Lewis, the GTA.

Assessment rubric for Exam Essays
Thesis /argument:
(A)The essay contains a clearly identifiable and persuasive thesis/argument; the thesis presents an original opinion. (B) The essay has a clear and valid thesis. (C) The essay thesis is somewhat vague and basic. (D) The essay thesis is unclear and/or irrelevant. (F) The essay lacks a thesis.

(A) The interpretation and evidence are expertly done and effectively supports the student’s main thesis and arguments in his or her discussion. (B) The source interpretation partially supports the thesis. (C) The source interpretation is not well done or doesn’t support the student’s arguments. (D)There is little or no evidence provided in the interpretation. (F) Even less evidence is provided.

Structure and style:
(A) The essay structure has an easily identifiable introduction, body and conclusion. The essay is
written in sophisticated standard English, contains sentences with varied syntactic structures and is free of grammar and typographical errors. (B) The essay structure is mostly clear, but there are some hard to follow parts. The essay is written in standard English; shows variety in sentence structure, a few minor grammar and typographical errors. (C) The structure of the essay is somewhat clear, but there are no transitions. The essay shows some lack of control in grammar, mechanics and usage; lack of sentence variety; contains numerous errors. (D) The essay lacks structure. The language of the essay isn’t consistently clear; the narrative contains numerous repeated grammar and mechanical errors. (F) The language of the essay is unintelligible; frequent errors interfere with meaning.
Lecture: Beginnings of Modern Black Culture: Du Bois’s
Double-Consciousness Theory—Read DuBois’s Chapter “Our Spiritual Strivings” in
The Souls of Black Folk (Google)

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