Week 13 The Freedom Fighters: Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass

We have approximately two weeks left in our semester. Please email me your paper topics this week. You can focus on any writer (and writings) we have covered, or the few who are to come.



The essay will be due Wed. Dec. 20. Please email me about any questions you may have or for a topic suggestion (mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu).

I am happy to review early drafts. Please upload your essay in our shared googledrive: HERE.

To upload a file from your computer press “new” (on upper left corner) and then “upload file”.


On April 12 1861, at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Americans from the North (the Union) and the South (the Confederacy) would start a brutal bloodbath in a Civil War that would last four years and cost almost one million lives. On the surface, the war was about “maintaining the union” but in reality it was over slavery; with the North hoping to end this immoral practice forever. This will be our last lesson (for next week).

Before we begin on this topic, I wish to introduce two ardent supporters of true Democracy and equality: the famous poet Walt Whitman and equally famous abolitionist (and former slave) Frederick Douglass.

Please first view this brief biography of Whitman: HERE

Song of Myself - Wikipedia

Read excerpts from his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” (1855): HERE

Listen to Harvard historian David Blight talk about his new book on Frederick Douglass: HERE

Frederick Douglass

Also view this video of James Earl Jones reading Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” (1852)

I am not requiring any more posts this semester. However, if you are missing one (or more) consider posting on one of these authors. Also consider writing a final essay that focuses either on Whitman or Douglass, whose works are breath-taking.

Week 12: The Era of Reform, Post Due: Tues. Dec. 5th

For the remainder of the semester, we will be focusing on American Literature during the Era of Reform. This era saw the emergence of remarkable writers and thinkers dedicated to realizing the promise of a vital, engaged democracy. Writers such as Margeret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglas, and Louisa May Alcott focused on a number of issues needing improvement in America ranging from women’s rights, worker rights, education for all, and an overall enlightened political and artistic culture.

As we head into the final stretch of the semester, I want you to start thinking about a topic (author or theme) that you would like to write about for your Final Essay Assignment. You may focus on readings we’ve done (working from one of your earlier posts perhaps) or choose a topic from upcoming authors (you could also focus on a film I’ve recommended).  



Please choose a topic by Wed. Dec. 6. The essay will be due Wed. Dec. 20. Please email me about any questions you may have or for a topic suggestion (mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu).

For this week we will focus on the fight for equality for men AND women. This story begins in a town in New York state called Seneca Falls. It was here in 1848, that women (led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony) met at a convention to demand their rights. Together they penned the Declaration of Sentiments, which as you’ll note, was a re-writing of the original Declaration of Independence (1776).

Read: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments” (1848). Also important in this fight was the Transendentalist Margaret Fuller, who wrote Woman in the 19th Century. Here is an excerpt from her landmark book: “Educate Men and Women as Souls”

Importantly, Sojourner Truth called out the early fight for Women’s Rights for not including African American women as well in their efforts.

Listen to what she had to say in this speech reenactment: VIDEO

Here is the original text of the speech: “Ain’t I a Woman?”

In 2020, the first monument to women went up in Central Park featuring Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth. Read the STORY here.

There is also a remarkable and important film on the great African American Freedom Fighter Harriet Tubman, which I highly encourage you to watch (if not now perhaps over the winter break). The film shows Tubman’s courageous work on “the Underground Railroad” in which she helped southern enslaved persons escape their masters to flee north. View film trailer here: Harriet Tubman

I also HIGHLY recommend the recent film version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women , which provides a wonderful sense of life in the 1840s in Concord from the perspective of courageous, talented young ladies. View film trailer Here.

POST ASSIGNMENT (DUE: Tues. Dec. 6) For this week, please read and watch the above mentioned readings and videos. In your post, respond to ONE of them. Alternately, pick a grievance from the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments and speak to how this issue relates to women’s position in society today (cite an example if you can).

Week 11: Enjoy your Break. No Post due this week.

Last month was Indigenous People’s Day and this week many Americans, of course, celebrate Thanksgiving. During the autumn of 1621, some 90 Wampanoag joined 52 English people at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, to mark a successful harvest. Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863, to help unite a war-weary nation, then fighting in the Civil War (1861-1865).

Enjoy your holiday with your family and friends.

I will post a new lecture on Monday of next week, on the fight for women’s rights.

Here’s a preview [no need to post this week but be sure to post on last week’s assignment on the Scarlet Letter or Moby-Dick if you have not yet done so]:

Read: Margaret Fuller “Educate Men and Women as Souls”

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments” (1848)

Sojourner Truth “Ain’t I a Woman?”

Extra Credit: Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (film) and/orHarriet Tubman (FILM)

Weeks 9-10: Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne (film viewing)

I’m recommending the above event for those interested in important issues relating to Brooklyn and New York.


Hi Students,

Thank you for your interesting comments on the supernatural works of Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving. Last night, I watched the new suspense film A Haunting in Venice, which also had inspiration from Poe (particularly his “Fall of the House of Usher”).  It’s a fantastic film which I highly recommend.

We’re heading into the final 6 weeks of the course, so be sure to check your mid-term grades (Pass, Needs Improvement) in this and all your classes.

It’s also a good time to start thinking about your final essay. I ask that you focus on one of the authors we’ve read or will soon be reading (check the weekly schedule). You may draw from responses you post to each week’s reading if you like. Once you know your topic (author and theme), email me at: mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu 

I’m also available during zoom office hours on Tuesday(3-5pm)  if you want to brainstorm a topic with me.

The Final Essay is due Wed., Dec. 20.



For the final assignment, I want to stress that you stay away from generic Internet sources and the AI tool (ChatGPT). Stay true to the Emersonian dictum to “trust thyself” and your own amazing voices and original analytical skills.


One of the greatest friendships in the history of American Literature is the one between two of our finest authors, Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

Hawthorne was a popular writer of short stories in the 1830s and 1840s but became truly famous with the publication of his novel The Scarlet Letter (in 1850).  The novel is set in the time of the Puritans in New England (in the 1600s) and focuses on a young lady named Hester Prynne who has a child (Pearl) out of wedlock.  The father is none other than the minister of the highly religious community, Reverend Dimmesdale.  Dimmesdale does not confess to his “sin” and leaves Hester to handle the scorn that is thrust upon her by her fellow townspeople. 

Watch this film trailer of the book (starring Demi Moore): HERE

Read Chapter Two (“The Marketplace”, pages 54-68) of The Scarlet Letter (1850), in which a pregnant Hester Prynne must step up on a scaffold in the middle of town and face an abusive crowd demanding she confess who the father is.

Hawthorne’s works were very influential to Herman Melville. He too had been a popular writer of sea voyages (he had gone on a two year whale voyage himself).  In 1851, inspired by the truth-telling of Hawthorne, he wrote Moby-Dick, or the Whale, a lengthy novel considered to be one of the greatest works in Western literature. 

Moby-Dick features a narrator named Ishmael who decides to leave his boring day job in New York City in the 1840s to go on an adventurous whaling voyage.  He boards the whaling ship, the Pequod, and quickly befriends a fellow whaleman from the Pacific Islands named Queequeg (adorned with amazing tattoos across his entire body).  The co-star of the novel, however, is the mad crazy Captain Ahab who really only wants to chase down a white whale named Moby-Dick who in a previous voyage bit off Ahab’s right leg (he now walks with a peg leg).  A symbol of revenge and arbitrary authority, Ahab’s obsessive quest to harpoon Moby-Dick (spoiler alert) causes the Pequod to sink.  All but Ishmael survives.

Read the famous opening chapter of Moby-Dick HERE

Watch this biography of Melville that includes a discussion of his friendship with Hawthorne: HERE

Post Assignment (Allow yourself time to watch the recommended film):

By Monday, Nov. 20, watch either the classic film version of Moby-Dick (1956) HERE or an excellent recent film version: HERE .  Each version is free.  Alternately, watch this fantastic film version of The Scarlet Letter on Netflix : HERE

Choose a scene from one of these films to discuss in connection with a theme/topic you find particularly compelling.  Be sure to refer directly to the above mentioned film (s)(not some other source).

Extra credit if you watch both!


Week 8: American Gothic

For this week, I want to introduce America’s first two professional authors, Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe, and the unique style of writing they employed, which can be labeled American Romantic, or American gothic.

American Romanticism can be defined as an interest in the self, emotion (or intuition) over reason, Nature, and an exploration of the unknown. Accordingly, the gothic tales of Irving and Poe often involve circumstances of mystery and/or horror, an atmosphere (setting) of gloom, as well as supernatural elements including mysterious figures (ravens, black cats, ghosts) and dreamlike reveries. 

I also want you to review the elements of fiction, discussed here. 

As you read the pieces below, think about the traits of the characters, the story-line (plot), the use of language and surprises (irony), any symbols, and especially the effect of the story on the reader (how does it make him/her feel? what does it ask the author to think about?).  Also consider the “meaning” (or underlying theme) of the piece. For all of the stories and poems, also pay close attention to the setting (the time, place, and mood of the story) and its affect on the characters and action.

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Washington Irving is crucially important to the history of New York (he in fact wrote the first one—in satirical form).  On the Hudson River is a town named after him (Irvington) and a basketball team (the New York Knicks, named after his pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker). His house Sunnyside on the Hudson remains a much visited museum.

Watch this fun, animated video on his life and career. made by Walt Disney.

“Rip Van Winkle” (1819)

Read this famous tale of Rip Van Winkle, who goes into the Catskills mountains one day to escape stress at home.  He meets some curious old sailors (ghosts of Henry Hudson’s men who discovered the region in 1609), drinks ale, and plays nine pins (bowling) with them. Curiously, he wakes up 20 years later (!) and walks back to town having missed the Revolutionary War (1776-1781). His world is utterly changed from the way it was when he left it.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Poe remains one of the world’s most beloved and versatile writers and a key figure in American Romanticism. In “The Murders of the Rue Morgue” (1841), featuring the detective C. Auguste Dupin (think Sherlock Holmes), he invented the detective story. In his novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, he wrote the first science fiction novel. He also invented the horror genre that fueled the writings of Stephen King and today’s many horror films.

He led an unusual life, filled with youthful love, romantic yearning, literary ambition, and—unfortunately—alcoholism. His life experiences allowed him to become a master of psychological forces that brood just beneath the surface of our own rational selves. As you read his works, think about how they serve as precursors to Sigmund Freud’s theories on the battle between our rational and irrational impulses (the Id, the Ego, and Superego).

Here is a short biography of his life.

Interestingly, Poe spent his last years in the Bronx in a cottage that remains a museum (and a great place to visit).  Here is a video of his years there.

His most famous poem “The Raven” (1845) was written while he was living in Greenwich Village (1844-1846) and relates the extreme grief a narrator feels upon the death of a beautiful maiden, named “Lenore.”  When a raven comes into his apartment and sits upon a bust of Pallas (Athena who represents wisdom and rationality), he starts asking all kinds of crazy questions hoping for answers about a possible reunification with Lenore. The poem is renowned for its symbolism and repetitive rhyme scheme that mimics the feelings of unending grief.  It’s also important to note that Poe lost his own young wife (Virginia Clemm), soon after writing this poem. He knew she was dying of tuberculosis and had only months to live.

Watch a video version of the poem here:  “The Raven”  (read by Christopher Lee)

Also read this spooky tale (one of many), focusing on the themes of madness and revenge, called “The Black Cat.” and his longer tale “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

This latter story is the basis of a brand new Netflix series that has just started.

Watch Trailer HERE.

Post Assignment: In your post (due Wed. Nov. 1), please let me know which work interested you the most and why (you could choose to comment on the Netflix Usher series if you like). Try to bring in one or more elements of fiction to support your point(s).


Week 7: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Transcendentalism

Watch: My Video Lecture: HERE

Watch: Emerson’s House in Concord, MA

Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Nature” (1836)

 “Self-Reliance”  (1841)

  “American Scholar” (1837)

Post Assignment (Due: Wed. Oct. 18): Choose one section (or quote) from one of the above essays. Discuss why you chose the section and what Emerson means by it. Connect the quote/section to an example from your own experience and/or how it might apply to your life, or perhaps even change your outlook in life.

Week 6: The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights (1789)

Post Due: Tues., Oct. 10.

Thank for your insightful responses to the biographies of two great “Renaissance Men,” Benjamin Franklin and Venture Smith. As several of you pointed out, both were successful Americans and became successful through hard work. Franklin took full advantage of his access to books and taught himself how to read and write in a masterly way. Venture never learned to read.  His autobiography was copied down by someone who was interested in his story, who wrote his story for him. 

This week we turn to America’s remarkable break from British rule with the Revolutionary War (1776-1783). In some ways, it’s similar to the current fight for political independence that Ukraine is waging against an all-powerful Russian army under President Putin, who refuses to allow this claim to freedom. 

The Revolutionary War officially starts in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson (and edited by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin).  The Declaration claims that “All men are created equal,” but, ironically, Jefferson was himself a slave-holder (and had several children with his enslaved mistress Sally Hemings). 

In the original draft of the Declaration, Jefferson blames the King of England for the slave trade, but this section (see section below) was cut out. In the end, neither the Declaration of Independence nor The Constitution (1789) (which established the three branches of government and included a Bill of Rights – the first 10 Amendments) abolished slavery in America.

Section Against Slavery – Cut from the Declaration of Independence

King George III has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people [Africans] who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold […]

For this week, I ask you to (1) read the Declaration of Independence, focusing on its key message:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent & inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

(2) Read Phyllis Wheatley’s “Biography” and her most famous poem “On Being Brought from Africa to America”  She is America’s first published poet, who wrote her poems while enslaved.

(3) Read this brief letter that Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, wrote to her husband “to remember the ladies” when he was working with Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence.

(4) Watch my Video lecture on colonial New York Print Culture and Venture Smith. I produced this talk for an academic conference held in New York in 2020.

For next week’s post (due Tues., Oct. 10), I ask you to reflect on our founding documents (Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) and the back stories of Abigail Adams, Phyllis Wheatley, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Venture Smith. In your post, discuss what you think works best (or is not working well at all) in America in regards to the workings of government or how it serves its citizens. Feel free to focus on women’s rights; human rights, election issues; the functioning of the Executive, Judiciary or Legislative Branches; the positive (or negative) legacies of the Declaration and/or Constitution; or perhaps connections to the Ukrainian fight for freedom.

To clarify the assignment a bit more. I’m asking that you reflect on the contradictions of our country as written in the documents you have been reading. A comment perhaps on how women did not get full rights in the Declaration and how they still lack full equality today (provide an example or two). You could also discuss a particular text as it relates to the Declaration or the US Constitution. You might want to focus, for example, on the notorious 3/5 clause in the Constitution (pertaining to slavery) . For those who have followed the craziness of the Republicans pushing out House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, you could speak to the dysfunction of our various gov’t branches (or the possibility of having a President who is a convicted criminal and perhaps even runs the country from jail). Is this what the framers of the Constitution intended?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Weeks 4-5: Two Men of the American Renaissance — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and Venture Smith (1729-1805)


For the upcoming week, we move away from the religious founders and adventurers that first settled on Native American lands to consider the parallel lives of the famed “Founding Father” Benjamin Franklin and the equally impressive (though almost completely unknown) Venture Smith, an enslaved African who freed himself and his family to achieve his own version of  “the American dream” by owning a large stretch of land along the Connecticut River.

View: Franklin Documentary  

As this video aims to show, Franklin was a product of the Enlightenment, a period that encouraged intellectual freedom, religious tolerance, and rational thought (versus unthinking dogmatism). Enlightenment thinkers trusted in science and progressive ideals to help humans reach their fullest potential.

Read: the following chapters from Franklin’s Autobiography (written in 1790).  

Chapter II: Beginning Life as a Printer

Chapter III: Arrival in Philadelphia

Chapter IX: Plan for Arriving at Moral Perfection

Chapter XVIII: Scientific Experiments

Read: Venture Smith, A Narrative of a Native of Africa (1798)

A modern rendition of Venture Smith

Post:  By Monday, September 25, discuss one section from either the Smith or Franklin reading that you found particularly interesting.  Alternately, consider how their lives were similar and/or different. Be sure to read what your fellow students post before you. Don’t repeat his or her points but consider extending on them.

Extra Credit:

Read and comment on Franklin’s Petition to Congress in 1790, requesting an end to Slavery: Petition

Week Three: The English Pilgrims come to Plymouth (1620) and the Dutch Fur Traders come to New Amsterdam (1609)

Hi All:

This week’s topic is to better understand the colonizing of the Americas by the English, beginning in 1620 with the landing of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Massachusetts was at first a “city upon a hill” – a colony founded by allegedly “pure” Protestant Christians (or Puritans) who wanted to practice their Calvinist faith without government restrictions.  

Read: William Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation

ViewThe Pilgrims 

This is an amazing but long (2 hour) documentary. Give yourself time to watch it, perhaps in segments.


Seal of New York City

We will also briefly touch upon the Dutch colonization of New York, beginning with Henry Hudson sailing up the Hudson River in 1609.  New York City was originally called New Amsterdam. It was first settled in 1625, when the Dutch “bought” the entire island of Manhattan from the Lenape tribe for beads and trinkets work about $24 dollars. In 1664, the English took over New Amsterdam from the Dutch and called it New York, after James II, the Duke of York (and later King of England).

Read: Jacob Steendam’s   “In Praise of New Netherland” (1636) [The first poem written in and about New York!]

The Flushing Remonstrance [The famous 1657 document that ensured religious freedom in New York]

Watch: History of New Amsterdam

Lastly, I ask you to think about the impact of the English on the indigenous peoples, from the point of view of the Wampanoag Tribe.  This was the tribe the Pilgrims first encountered in Massachusetts.  Squanto is the famous Wampanoag who helped the Pilgrims survive the cold winters during their first years.  He spoke English because, in 1614, he had already been kidnapped and taken to England, before returning to his village.

Watch the short video “Captured: 1614” from Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History that tells of Squanto’s kidnapping.

Finally, I want to leave you with a quote from Ned Blackhawk, from his new book, The Rediscovery of America . Keep Blackhawk’s point in mind as we continue to cover material this semester.

European contact sent shockwaves across Indigenous homelands, reverberating in many forms, some of them undocumented. Scholars have spent over fifty years attempting to measure the impacts of these intrusions. They suggest that the worlds of Native peoples became irrevocably disrupted by the most traumatic development in American history: the loss of Indigenous life due to European diseases. Epidemics tore apart numerous communities and set in motion unprecedented migrations and transformations. North America’s total population nearly halved from 1492 to 1776: from approximately 8 million to under 4 million.

The almost unimaginable scale of death and depopulation calls into question celebratory portraits of the Founding, and also helps to explain the motivations for American Indian trade, diplomacy, and warfare, all of which shaped the evolution of European settlements. From the rise of New France in 1609 to the colonization of California in 1769, the economic, diplomatic, and military influence of American Indians were key factors in imperial decision-making. The treaties with Indigenous nations ratified by the U.S. Senate constitute the largest number of diplomatic commitments made by the federal government throughout its first century. These truths show that it is impossible to understand the United States without understanding its Indigenous history.

Post Assignment (due Monday, Sept. 18): Discuss a scene from the documentary “The Pilgrims” that particularly interests you AND from one other reading or video. Do NOT write on a scene discussed by another student.

Week 2: First Encounters in the New World — Upload Post Response by Monday, Sept. 11

American Literature Students:

I highly enjoyed reading your self-introductions; it’s clear we have a vibrant and talented group of classmates (with fascinating roots from across the globe) this semester and I look forward to learning as much from you as I hope you do from this class.

This week we begin at the “beginning” with the first discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Of course, indigenous peoples (the Taino and Arawaks) had long already settled in the Caribbean Basin before then. Columbus, however, does seem to get the credit for this nonetheless (there is a statue of him right by Brooklyn City Hall in fact).

This week, I ask you to watch a brief documentary on the Lost History of the Taino People as well as two sets of readings: an optimistic letter by Columbus “On His First Voyage to America, 1492”  and a later, much darker account of the aftermath of colonization by Bartolome de Las Casas called “Destruction of the Indies”.

I also ask that you watch a “pre-history” documentary of New York by Eric Sanderson called: “New York: Before the City” as well as a short video on the history of the upstate New York indigenous tribes known as “The Five Nations” or Iroquois: History of the Iroquois (Five Nations)

Lastly, read Ned Blackhawk’s “Without Indigenous History, There is No US History” This article draws from Blackhawk’s new, important book: The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of US History that tells the history of Native Americans over five centuries, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Indian self-determination. 

Post (by next Monday, Sept. 11) a response to a key episode or theme from ONE of your readings AND from ONE of the videos. Explain what you found to be interesting, disturbing, and/or confusing. Try not to duplicate a point made by another student but feel free to expand on his or her post.

To post, simply click “comments” (above). Scroll down. Write your response in the comment box provided. Then “post comment.”


Welcome to City Tech and English 2200: American Literature I. This is an asynchronous class that only meets virtually. I will hold weekly office hours on Zoom (on Tuesdays 3-4 pm) and will post video lectures and assignments each Tuesday. You are required to complete your post assignments by noon on Mondays.

Here is the Office Hour Link:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 835 1284 1644
Passcode: 060506

Office Hours Begin on Tuesday, Aug. 29

I can regularly be reached at: mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu

Professor Mark Noonan


Here are your duties DUE by Friday (Sept. 1st):

  1. Watch my Welcome Video
  2.  Sign up for your OpenLab account with your name and a profile photo.  Log in, then join our course.  If you need  help,  contact the OpenLab Community Team

Look around our course site to familiarize yourself

Introduce yourself.  To write a new post, click the + sign at the top of the page. (It’s a small icon next to the class title and message box icon at the very top of the page). Fill in the subject heading with your name, then add your info and photo below.  After your work is complete, scroll down and check off CLASS INTRODUCTIONS under Categories (right side of page), then click Publish.

  • Paragraph 1: Include how you would like to be addressed, your pronouns, and any other info you’d like to share. This could include where you are from, where you reside now, your academic interests or major, any hobbies or NYC activities you enjoy, what issues concern you. Feel free to be creative!
  • Paragraph 2:  Include a photo of something (place, space, person, pet, object, etc ) meaningful to you, and tell us about it.  You can paste the photo into the body of your message, or Add Media  to upload it to your post.
  • Before next class, check back to read your classmates’ responses and reply to a few. Getting to know each other, we start building our community.

In a separate email (mnoonan@citytech.cuny.edu), please let me know if you have any issues with technology and/or working space that may affect your ability to complete your coursework. Go to this site if you are in need of a loaner laptop or chromebook or MyFi (portable WiFi): https://www.citytech.cuny.edu/device-loan/

the era’s reform

Mouhamadou bah


Professor Noonan


                                                                                                        The era of reform

       One thing that spoke to me in this week’s reading was the declaration of sentiment. This reading was about the document signed in 1848 at the first women’s rights convention in the U.S., modeled after the Declaration of Independence stating that “all men and women are created equal”. The Declaration of Sentiment was in a way a manifesto describing all women’s grievances and demands for equality with men. This document was written by a woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton to help women get the rights they deserved against men and to finally let men consider women as equal when it comes to owning land or choosing whom to marry and getting divorced when they don’t feel happy in a marriage, or being able to work and support themselves and their families without needing a men’s output in that decision and in any decision that they make for themselves. This declaration was signed by many men and women, and I think it revolutionized how women are in this era because women have the right to do anything now like get jobs to make money, fall in love, and get married/divorced to whomever they want, they have the right to own property and even get abortion in some states. So I think this declaration is the best thing to happen to women all over the world since its establishment.

I also think that the video “AINT I A WOMEN” was very fun to watch it describes how most women were treated like delicate objects, but black women worked hard even in those times. There was no man to help them in and out of carriages or hold over muddy puddles.  “AINT I A WOMEN” journey truth says because even though she was a women she was still black and in the eyes of others a negro slave.

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