Summer 2021

Final Assignment (Reflective Annotated Bibliography) Due: Thursday, July 1

Excellent work discussing A Raisin in the Sun, students. You did a fine job analyzing key themes and lines as well as making interesting connections to our earlier plays. Your discussions on the complicated issue of race in the play and the ongoing implications of this topic were also intriguing.

Yesterday, for example, New Yorkers went to the polls to elect their Democratic candidate for mayor (the person who will certainly become mayor in the general election in November). It’s interesting that Eric Adams (a graduate of City Tech and John Jay College) seems to be leading at the moment. Look at the attached article and map to see what sections of NYC voted for which candidate. It’s clear certain New Yorkers in certain parts of NYC prefer specific candidates — with race and ethnicity seeming to play big roles here. I’d love to hear your comments.

I also want to share this fantastic opening video of the new musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda: In the Heights. Writing on this film is an option for your final assignment.

For our last assignment, I am asking you to complete a Reflective Annotated Biography (RAB) on a play you particularly liked this semester (Oedipus, Lysistrata, Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Raisin in the Sun, or a recent musical — see below). I ask that you 1) find TWO articles that you found interesting on your selected play and, 2) summarize and discuss these articles.

Here is the full assignment:

Step I:  Find two articles on one play we have read this semester.

To find your articles, you can do a google search and/or use our library databases:  Gale Literary Sources OR Humanities Source . Since you’re off campus, you’ll need to login (instructions here). [This link to A Midsummer Night’s Dream also has some excellent links to readings of the play.]

Step II: Complete the following Reflective Annotated Bibliography (RAB)

  • Paragraph One: Introduction
    • Briefly discuss the play and author you choose to focus on. Why did you choose to focus on this play? Then,  briefly introduce  your two articles and why they interested you.
  • Paragraph Two: Provide the title of article #1 and a summary of its key ideas (what’s it about?) Pullout 1-2 key quotes that are representative of the article’s major ideas. Provide a personal reflection on the article (your opinion on the content).
  • Paragraph Three. Do the same (as above) for article #2
  • Paragraph Four: Conclusion
    • Reflect on the sources you have selected, and explain how your own thinking or approach to the play has expanded or changed


Here is an excellent sample RAB, written by Brian, that you can use for a model.

If you prefer, you could do this assignment on a new musical such as:

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new film In the Heights (2021) or his Hamilton (2015)

[Here is the text of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play Hamilton (2015)]


August Wilson’s recent film (based on his  play) Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

If you choose to write your RAB in response to In the Heights, you might want to find articles on the controversy over its casting of light-skinned Latino actors (a problem known as “colorism.”) This is an important topic, especially after reading “A Raisin in the Sun.” Another great follow-up to “A Raisin” is August Wilson’s play, part of a series of plays on African American life.



  1. Yuliya

    I’m proud to be a New Yorker in my past. Now living in DC area I constantly introduce myself through the story of me living in NY for the last 10 years. NY is not like many other places in US, you can not be not tolerant of cultural differences there, because NY probably will not tolerate you in that case!))
    It does look like Eric Adams has a lead in the NT Mayoral Primary Elections!! even with only a slim difference…still GO Team CUNY!!!)

    • Mark Noonan

      Thanks for this post Yuliya. As of today, it looks like Eric Adams’ lead is slipping. We’ll find out more in July!

  2. Forhad

    I am really glade he was an alumnus of our college. In November 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President, the first African American to hold the position. Besides, he is a retired police officer. That’s why I think is a matter of great fortune for us because at the present time we will be able to easily overcome the barrier or distance that has been created between the police and the general public, mainly in the NY city. Moreover, since Eric Adams was a police officer, I think he know the internal problems of the police and can make a significant contribution to how to build a good relationship between people and the police. I hope he will play a leading role in creation a more beautiful city if elected.

    • Mark Noonan

      Excellent points Forhad.

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