Course Readings

Introductory Weeks

First-Year Companion

Hellman, Caroline, “In Defense of the Classroom” The Daily News. 14 May 2020.

“(Un) LEARNING My Name” by Mohamed Hassan on YouTube

Malcolm X, “Prison Studies: or Saved

Malcolm X Chapter 11 “Saved” beginning paragraphs

Malcolm X, Laurence Fishbourne and Theater of Your Mind (NYT interview with Fishbourne)

Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu Steal Some Grand Slam Spotlight (NYT)

Frederick Douglass, “Learning to Read and Write”

Memories of Grandmother Sylvia and Legacy of Slavery — 2 min listen — beautiful story of reading and freedom(NPR)

Morrison, Toni, “The Reader as Artist” (, 2006)

Bunn, Mike. “How to Read Like a Writer.” Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 2, 2011.–how-to-read.pdf

Theme for English B, Langston Hughes


Unit 1- Education Narrative

Esmeralda Santiago, “When I was Puerto RIcan” (page 101 The Place Where We Dwell)  CH03[1]

Colin Powell, “My American Journey” (page 90 The Place Where We Dwell)  CH03[1]

Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue

Interview with Narrator Nancy Wu

Lyiscott, Jamila. “3 Ways to Speak English.” 10 Nov 2009.

Olivarez, José. “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing.” Medium, 12 Sept 2018.

Olivarez, José. “Mexican American Disambiguation.” Citizen Illegal. Haymarket Books, 2018.

Olivarez Brooklyn Poets interview 

Watch Oliveraz video 1 and video 2 

Obama, Chapter Four   (This is just Chapter Four, 10 pages.)

Memories of Grandmother Sylvia and Legacy of Slavery — reading and freedom(NPR)


Unit 2 – Reflective Annotated Bibliography

Baldwin, James. “A Talk to Teachers” by James Baldwin, 1963.

Dirk, Kerry. “Navigating Genres.” Writing Spaces: Readings about Writing, Volume 1, 2010.–navigating-genres.pdf

Graff, Gerald & Cathy Birkenstein, “Chapter 3: As He Himself Puts It – The Art of Quoting” in They Say I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, volume 3, 2014.

Lewis, John, CCNY 2019 Commencement Speech

Lewis, John, “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation” The New York Times. 30 July 2020.

Peck, Raoul, I Am Not Your Negro (Baldwin documentary)

Perdomo, Willie Perdomo, “Where I’m From.” Where A Nickel Costs a Dime. Norton, 1996.


Unit 3 – Genre Determination

NYT Letters to the Editor

Correal, Annie, “Love and Black Lives on a Brooklyn Street” The New York Times. 27 January 2017.

Murray, Donald. “The Maker’s Eye.” Language Awareness: Readings for College Writers. Ed. By Paul Escholz, Alfred Rosa, and Virginia Clark. 9th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.

Stedman, Kyle. “Annoying Ways People Use Sources” Writing Spaces: Readings about Writingvolume 2, 2011.–annoying-ways.pdf



Addtional —

Reading resources on Mike Bunn’s How to RLW also rhetorical analysis

Colin Powell, “My American Journey” (page 90 The Place Where We DwellCH03[1]

Esmeralda Santiago, “When I was Puerto RIcan” (page 101 The Place Where We Dwell)  CH03[1]

Reading resources on poet Jose Oliveraz and

Reading resources on Amy Tan

Reading on Growth Mindset

Stop Enabling Ginsberg artlcle (1)

Obama, the Best-Selling Author on Reading, Writing, and Radical Empathy (NYT)