- Read the Essay 1 assignment (see link above under “Student Work” à “Essays”).
- Finish reading the first two reading assignments (#1 and #2, by Gloria Naylor and Ta Nehisi Coates, in “Readings”).
- Respond by Friday evening to the following two prompts. Share your response as a comment below (see “OpenLab Bible” under “Course Info” for instructions on how to comment).I. On reading Naylor. This is a narrative-based essay, like the one you’ll be producing for Essay 1. Let it be an inspiration to you all. Write a response to it, considering some (if not all) of the following questions. Please write your response in paragraph form; please do NOT simply answer the questions in order. It’s better for you to follow your own train of thought than to try to answer my questions as though they were a test (they are NOT a test).
II. On definition in Coates. Whenever one declares what something IS, one is making a definition. In essay 1, you will (somewhere but not everywhere in the essay) formulate and argue for your own definition of what “education” is.
We’re looking at Ta Nehisi-Coates text for inspiration regarding how definition can be used. In Ta Nehisi-Coates’ Between the World and Me he forms a powerful definition to frame the story he tells his son about living as a black man in America in the 2010s. He writes: “race is the child of racism, not the father.” As you may have gleaned, this is no ordinary dictionary definition of race; this is one of the ways Coates wants to define race. I want you to do two things with this:
A) Unpack the implications of Coates’ definition of race. Why does he think this? What impact does it have on how you think about race? How is it related to current events that you are aware of? Again, begin with 1 or more of these questions and see where it takes you. Don’t feel obligated to answer all of them in a row.
B) Write your own definition of “race” or “education”—up to you. Explain why you’ve defined the term as you have.