CLASS 7

EWRT 1B
AGENDA
QHQ Discussion: Hughes: "Who's Passing
for Who?"
Juda Bennett‟s Reading
Presentation: Essay 2: The Argument:
Bra...
GROUP MEETING

Take five minutes to discuss
Hughes‟s "Who's Passing for
Who?"
THE ARTISTS AND CALEB‟S FRIENDS
(IF YOUR QUESTION IS IN THE PRESENTATION (IN
WHITE), YOU GET ONE PARTICIPATION POINT.

• W...
The red-haired man (Mr. Stubblefield) and
chivalry
 Q: Do you think it was wrong of the white man to stop
defending the [...
The Party
 Why did knowing/thinking that the visitors

from Iowa were blacks passing for whites
change the mood of the ni...
But why?
• Q: Why was the white couple trying to pass as
[black] for that little while?
• Q: If white people actually pass...
The Artists once more
• Did the black artists take offense to the fact the
white people passed for being “colored” for the...
WHO ELSE IS PASSING?
DO YOU READ QUEER
PASSING IN THE STORY?

If so,
where do
you see
hints of it?
BENNETT, JUDA. “MULTIPLE PASSINGS
AND THE DOUBLE DEATH OF
LANGSTON HUGHES.”
HONOLULU: FALL 2000.
VOL. 23, ISS. 4; PG. 670,...
BENNETT‟S THESIS:
“With a sense of the interplay between
voyeur and object, homophobe and
homosexual, inside and outside,
...
 Bennett writes,
[Assertion] The voice of the narrator is the key to
discovering this buried, or closety, theme . Althoug...
[Evidence] Before the action begins, the prolix and witty
narrator introduces his friends and himself as "too broadminded ...
What happens, though, if we read the narrator's bohemian
world as a homosocial world? [Assertion posed as a question]
When...
[Assertion] Before Hughes initiates the drama of racial passing, he
comes dangerously close to revealing the "perverse" na...
[Concession]Although the narrator assumes this affected tone,
his dandified attitude and the passing reference to Gertrude...
[Concession] To those who would argue that the subject of passing lends
itself to this kind of wild and speculative readin...
BRAINSTORMING ESSAY
#2
BRAINSTORMING WITH FREECASH

F= Freedom, Fairness, Legality, Human Rights, Social Justice
R = Religion, Morality, Ethics
E...
PRACTICE ORGANIZING AN ESSAY ON THE
ISSUE OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS. USE THE
FREECASH IN THE CHART BELOW .
CATEGORIES

PRO/FOR

C...
THE PROMPT
 If passing for white will get a fellow better accommodations
on the train, better seats in the theatre, immun...
L I S T A L L T H E R E A S O N S T O AG R E E W I T H P I C K E N S O N O N E S I D E A N D A L L
T H E R E A S O N S T O...
SUPPORT
Consider which texts will support your ideas.

Hughes “Passing,” “Passing,” and “Who’s Passing for
Who?”
Chesnu...
WRITING THE THESIS

Essay #2
YOUR THESIS
In this case, your working thesis will be your position on
William Pickens’s statement and your reasons for yo...
You may qualify your thesis, for example, by adding a phrase that
acknowledges there are exceptions to your assertion.
For...
TONI MORRISON
1931 To n i M o rri s on wa s bo rn i n Lo ra i n
Oh i o . Sh e i s t h e a ut h o r o f s eve n
n ovels, a...
HOMEWORK
 Reading Morrison: “Recitatif.”
 Post #10: Write a paragraph
defending passing. Try to
come up with at least th...
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1 b class 7

  1. 1. CLASS 7 EWRT 1B
  2. 2. AGENDA QHQ Discussion: Hughes: "Who's Passing for Who?" Juda Bennett‟s Reading Presentation: Essay 2: The Argument: Brainstorming with FREECASH In-Class Writing: Essay 2 Brainstorming Author Lecture: Toni Morrison
  3. 3. GROUP MEETING Take five minutes to discuss Hughes‟s "Who's Passing for Who?"
  4. 4. THE ARTISTS AND CALEB‟S FRIENDS (IF YOUR QUESTION IS IN THE PRESENTATION (IN WHITE), YOU GET ONE PARTICIPATION POINT. • Why did the black artists choose to ignore the color line? Were they really blind when it came to race? • Q: Even though Caleb Johnson was [black], why did he choose to hang out with his white friends and why did he react so strongly when the couple in the restaurant said they were black? • What was the couple‟s and red-headed man‟s real purpose of visiting Harlem? • Why does Caleb often take the side of the white man in social confrontations?
  5. 5. The red-haired man (Mr. Stubblefield) and chivalry  Q: Do you think it was wrong of the white man to stop defending the [black] woman after he realized that she wasn‟t white? Why do you think he apologized?  Q: Why did the woman who got hit by her husband start to be defensive?  Q: Why did the others questioned Mr. Stubblefield‟s motives, when they themselves took no action to help the woman?
  6. 6. The Party  Why did knowing/thinking that the visitors from Iowa were blacks passing for whites change the mood of the night from that point on?  Why did everyone start laughing once they realized   that the husband and wife were passing as white people? Q. Would everyone have had as good of a time if the white couple had not mentioned that they were passing? Does being around your own race really change the way you behave in public?
  7. 7. But why? • Q: Why was the white couple trying to pass as [black] for that little while? • Q: If white people actually passed for [black] as the woman from Iowa said at the end, what would be the reason/benefit to do so? • Q: Was the white couple actually trying to prove a point by telling the lie or were they simply having fun? • Q: Do you think the people from Iowa are white or [black]?
  8. 8. The Artists once more • Did the black artists take offense to the fact the white people passed for being “colored” for the night? • What did “they had had too much fun at our expense–even if they did pay for the drinks.” mean? • Will the narrator and his friends regret what they have done? Will they change their manner when meeting white friends after this experience?
  9. 9. WHO ELSE IS PASSING?
  10. 10. DO YOU READ QUEER PASSING IN THE STORY? If so, where do you see hints of it?
  11. 11. BENNETT, JUDA. “MULTIPLE PASSINGS AND THE DOUBLE DEATH OF LANGSTON HUGHES.” HONOLULU: FALL 2000. VOL. 23, ISS. 4; PG. 670, 25 PGS Here is his argument
  12. 12. BENNETT‟S THESIS: “With a sense of the interplay between voyeur and object, homophobe and homosexual, inside and outside, "who's passing for who?" Interweaves the explicit theme of racial passing” with the buried theme of the closet.
  13. 13.  Bennett writes, [Assertion] The voice of the narrator is the key to discovering this buried, or closety, theme . Although critics have been surprisingly silent about the narrator's various and potential passings, there are several reasons for reading his character as false or at least layered. [Evidence] He admits, for example, to at least one performance when he states that "we dropped our professionally self-conscious 'Negro' manners... and kidded freely like colored folks do when there are no white folks around" (173). [Explanation] Although Langston Hughes is working within an African American tradition that has often explored the nature of performance as it relates to racial difference and insider/outsider communities, [Analysis] this story further layers that dynamic with other marks of difference.
  14. 14. [Evidence] Before the action begins, the prolix and witty narrator introduces his friends and himself as "too broadminded to be bothered with questions of color." [Explanation] This statement sets up the dramatic irony that positions the narrator for his ultimate blunder: being fooled by the white Iowans. [Analysis] Although the narrator's bohemian world is meant to stand in contrast to the boring white folks from Iowa, Hughes eventually reverses the roles. The Iowans prove to be the tricksters, and the narrator must confront his own naiveté. That the narrator could not see through the Iowans' dissimulation is funny, ironic, interesting-but in the end, not entirely believable.
  15. 15. What happens, though, if we read the narrator's bohemian world as a homosocial world? [Assertion posed as a question] When we divide the entire cast of characters into single men and heterosexual couples, we discover that racial passing only occurs within the heterosexual realm. Not only does the Iowan couple pass, but so too does the only other woman, half of the only other heterosexual couple in the story. [Analysis] We might then see these racial passings as deflecting attention from the narrator and his friends, who become boring and unremarkable despite the initial flair with which they are introduced. [Logical Conclusion] Racial passing becomes a decoy, distracting our attention from the performances of the bohemian bachelors.
  16. 16. [Assertion] Before Hughes initiates the drama of racial passing, he comes dangerously close to revealing the "perverse" nature of the narrator and his bachelor friends: [Evidence] “You see, Caleb and his white friends, too, were all bores. Or so we, who lived in Harlem's literary bohemia during the "Negro Renaissance," thought. We literary ones considered ourselves too broad-minded to be bothered with questions of color. We liked people of any race who smoked incessantly, drank liberally, wore complexion and morality as loose garments, and made fun of anyone who didn't do likewise. We snubbed and high-hatted any Negro or white luckless enough not to understand Gertrude Stein ....” (Hughes 170)
  17. 17. [Concession]Although the narrator assumes this affected tone, his dandified attitude and the passing reference to Gertrude Stein hardly mark him fully and definitively as a homosexual. [Assertion] Nevertheless, the title, with its bad grammar calling attention to itself, encourages speculation. Who is passing for whom? [Explanation/Analysis] Surely the author would have planted more and trickier trickster figures than the Iowans to fully justify his title. Furthermore, the narrative has already schooled us in the surprising fluidity of identity, and so readers are encouraged to suspect more revelations and exposures.
  18. 18. [Concession] To those who would argue that the subject of passing lends itself to this kind of wild and speculative reading-after all, everything is performance, and everybody passes-I heartily agree. [Final Assertion] I am finally arguing that in his autobiographies, poetry, fiction, and drama, Hughes returned to the subject of passing throughout his career because he was fascinated with identity as something unstable and "queer." With their emphasis on compensation rather than loss, questions rather than answers, the unknown rather than the known, and curiosity rather than punishment, Hughes's writings on sexual identity invite comparison to his exploration of racial passing.
  19. 19. BRAINSTORMING ESSAY #2
  20. 20. BRAINSTORMING WITH FREECASH F= Freedom, Fairness, Legality, Human Rights, Social Justice R = Religion, Morality, Ethics E = Economics, Monetary Issues, Finances, Expenses E = Environment (types of environments = natural, rural, urban, workplace, home, school) C = Convenience, Comfort A = Appearance, Aesthetics S = Safety, Security H = Health, Well Being (types of health = individual, societal, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual)
  21. 21. PRACTICE ORGANIZING AN ESSAY ON THE ISSUE OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS. USE THE FREECASH IN THE CHART BELOW . CATEGORIES PRO/FOR CON/AGAINST FREEDOM Students should be free from stigma attached to class. Students should be free to wear what they want RELIGION/ MORALITY ECONOMICS ENVIRONMENT CONVENIENCE APPEARANCE SAFETY HEALTH Makes the students look like clones Keeps students safe from gang violence due to colors
  22. 22. THE PROMPT  If passing for white will get a fellow better accommodations on the train, better seats in the theatre, immunity from insults in public places, and may even save his life from a mob,” only idiots would fail to seize the advantages of passing, at least occasionally if not permanently.”  Write an essay of four to six pages arguing for or against William Pickens’s statement . Use support from the texts you have read so far, our discussions, and your own insights.
  23. 23. L I S T A L L T H E R E A S O N S T O AG R E E W I T H P I C K E N S O N O N E S I D E A N D A L L T H E R E A S O N S T O D I S AG R E E O N T H E O T H E R . T H E S I D E W I T H T H E M O S T O R B E S T R E A S O N S W I L L P R O B A B LY M A K E A B E T T E R A R G U M E N T. CATEGORIES FREEDOM RELIGION/MORALITY ECONOMICS ENVIRONMENT CONVENIENCE APPEARANCE SAFETY HEALTH PRO/FOR CON/AGAINST
  24. 24. SUPPORT Consider which texts will support your ideas. Hughes “Passing,” “Passing,” and “Who’s Passing for Who?” Chesnutt “The Passing of Grandison” Kennedy “Racial Passing” Pickens “Racial Segregation” Roth The Human Stain Morrison “Recitatif”
  25. 25. WRITING THE THESIS Essay #2
  26. 26. YOUR THESIS In this case, your working thesis will be your position on William Pickens’s statement and your reasons for your belief: Do you agree with him or not? Why or why not? You may refer to Pickens or not in your thesis. Racial passing is a personal decision, and people should seize the opportunity if they can in order to defeat racism and discrimination. Passing is a selfish act that reinforces hierarchy in society, and it should be avoided despite the opportunities it offers the individual.
  27. 27. You may qualify your thesis, for example, by adding a phrase that acknowledges there are exceptions to your assertion. For example, if you disagree with Pickens in general but want to acknowledge that there are specific circumstances in which passing is acceptable, you might say something like, “While racial passing for personal safety is a necessary and acceptable behavior, passing in general violates community norms and reinforces the social construct of racism.” If you agree with Pickens but want to acknowledge there are specific circumstances in which passing is unacceptable, you might say something like, “While full time passing violates familial and community connections and should be avoided, the wise person will pass part time to take advantage of the benefits it can reap, including the opportunities to escape racism and oppression.” Notice that these theses still assert clear stances. Don’t be vague or ambiguous with your position.
  28. 28. TONI MORRISON 1931 To n i M o rri s on wa s bo rn i n Lo ra i n Oh i o . Sh e i s t h e a ut h o r o f s eve n n ovels, a pl ay, a n d a wo rk o f l i te rar y c ri t i c i sm. „ „ Re c i t i t af‟ ‟ i s h e r o n l y publ i s h e d wo rk o f s h o r t fi c t i o n. Si n c e 1 9 87 s h e h a s fo c us e d m a i nly o n w ri t i n g but h a s a l s o t a ug h t c l a s ses a t Ya l e a n d P ri n c eton Un i ver sit ies .  M o rri so n i s o n e o f t h e m o s t l ove d a n d re s pe c te d w ri te r s o f t h e l a te t we n t i et h c e n t ur y. Seve ra l o f h e r bo o k s h ave be e n be s t s e lle r s, a n d s h e i s t h e re c i pi e nt o f a n um be r o f pre s t i gious l i te ra r y awa rds . In 1 9 9 3 M o rri so n wa s awa rde d t h e N o be l P ri z e fo r Li te ra t ure , be c o m i ng t h e fi r s t Afri c a n Am e ri c an to w i n t h i s h o n o r.
  29. 29. HOMEWORK  Reading Morrison: “Recitatif.”  Post #10: Write a paragraph defending passing. Try to come up with at least three reasons. Write another paragraph condemning passing using another three reasons. Use evidence from our readings to support your reasons.  Post #11: QHQ: "Recitatif"
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