AGENDA Exam 1: Vocab and Terms Discussion: Kennedy QHQ: The Human Stain QHQ: "The Passing of Grandison” Presentation: Introduction to Essay 2: In-Class Writing: Essay 2 Brainstorming
Terms Exam 1 You have 20 minutes to complete the exam. Death Penalty
Discussion: “Racial Segregation” Randall Kennedy The Human Stain Phillip Roth"The Passing of Grandison” Charles Chesnutt
Kennedy• Some people think it’s a wrong thing to pass, but I honestly can see here it’s justified and done for a reason if there’s this many cases for doing it. It’s like robbing somebody to feed your family, most would say that guy’s a criminal, some would see WHY he did it, and recognize the bigger problem CATALYZING this epidemic.• Rachel Kennedy • After reading about her passing as white not visually but aurally, I somehow felt connection between her and me. I am a Chinese, but I never tried to pass that I’m not visually; however, I tried to pretend to be a good English speaker because I can make more friends while the author’s mother (Rachel Kennedy) tried to be a white English speaker just so she can make a little money. • It definitely speaks to me that passing is not just about color or physical appearance but rather conceptual. In order to pass successfully people need to understand or believe you as such thing and not exclusively “see” you that way; it’s more of the concept they have in mind as opposed to the reality of
• Ellen Craft • This story really caught my eye. Her husband posed as her slave and she posed as a man in order to keep him and herself safe. I can understand passing for love, but not for money or power like Jack did. • I feel like this story takes passing to a whole different level because she is passing as a different gender which can completely ruin her if she keeps it going for any longer. • this really shows me how crazy it was during those times and what people were willing to do to get by. […[ But its something we won’t understand; only the people like Ellen will ever understand. • Not only is what she did a really risky act, but it was also every brave and smart of her to think of something like this. […] It made me realize that sometimes passing to help someone and help yourself is actually necessary if you want to survive. • The reaffirmation of what people were forced to do because of the harshness of a racially segregated society was really startling to read over and think about. • By taking a risk and passing as a white man she was able to attain freedom for herself and her husband. This just shows how strong a love can be and how it can persevere in such dire circumstances.
• Walter White: • I was astonished by the lengths Walter White went to in order to reveal some of the oppression and violent actions that African-Americans faced. • They thought he [White’s father] was white, so he went to the white medical ward where he was being treated until they realized he was black and then sent him to the black ward. • To be denied the same medical treatment which could have saved a man’s life simply because he was “contaminating” the white man’s air is just outright ignorant and unjustifiable. • White effectively says that he would rather be a black man, that he would rather own his identity despite the discrimination and suffering that he will have to endure, than associate himself with a race that is firmly convinced that no matter how low a white man could sink, that he would always be superior to any black. • White passed to investigate lynching’s of Negros in the
• Anita Hemmings • She uses her light skin to obtain a degree at Vassar. • This story shows that even if someone was to be caught passing, with hard work and dedication, they can still earn the trust and respect of others. • Passing helped her […], but in the end it did not create much of a difference. • This kind of passing is widely beneficial to both society and the individual. • It showed me that passing is needed so that we can get things done. For example if people had not passed as white then we would not have this freedom and slavery would still exist. They were able to break barriers and slowly start this movement to promote civil rights.• Alice Jones • married a white man. When the man’s parents found out about his marriage, they objected. • Kip [the groom] claims that he has been lied to and didn’t know that Alice was black. As a defense Alice tells the court that they have a sexual relationship before and after the marriage. • Not only was she sued by he husband, but she was literally, examined by all the male members of the jury [to prove] that she undoubtedly looked
Mark L. Stebbins story on page 17.It was claimed by his political rivals that Stebbin’s passed as black, butin reality [he] was white. His intention was to do this, so he could obtainmore votes. What surprises me the most about this, is people are doingthis even today in modern times. This time, it’s the other way aroundcompared to what we have been talking about. What influences me themost about this, is how I can’t take people for granted like I have in thepast. The more I can read about the realities of our world, the betterideas I can develop on how to apply myself in this world.• A story I can relate to from Kennedy’s article is when he talks about immigrants coming to the United States for better opportunities. There are times where Mexican immigrants are seen as people in the United States taking other jobs away, on welfare, causing problems, and taking advantage of opportunities Americans can receive. I understand how passing helps you receive better opportunities and helps you be accepted in the American society. I have heard people oppress undocumented immigrants and I feel really uncomfortable but I just keep quiet.
• Reba Lee: • In the story “I passed for white,” she wrote about passing for white but then realizing that she wasn’t happy with white people. This story interested me very much because of the realization Reba had when associating with whites. She noticed that they weren’t happy themselves. • This story made me realize how hard it must’ve been for Lee to choose one racial lineage because she’s mixed. For one she wanted all the White privileges but at the same time she was resentful.• Gregory Howard Williams: • after living your life as “white” and out of no where, finding out you are mixed would be devastating, especially in that time period where life was a living hell.• The Healys • Although they were considered as “passing,” the children
The Human Stain• Do you think that Coleman Silk had the intention to insult the students by saying “Do they exist or are they spooks?”• Do you think that Coleman Silk overreacted to the judgment by the school?• Why didn’t Coleman just tell the truth about his identity to everyone at the college that was accusing him of racism?• Do you think Coleman Silk pretending he was white was beneficial to him?• What really possessed Coleman to keep the lie going for so long?• How hard was it for Coleman to pass as Jewish/white?• Why didn’t Coleman introduce his wife to his mother?• In what way did Coleman’s lie about his race affect his marriage with his wife?• Was it worth living a lie? Or would Coleman have had a fair judgment if he would have come out straight, and propose he was black?• Why was Coleman’s girlfriend not willing to spend the rest of her life with him?• After Coleman’s girlfriend told him that she could not be with him, Coleman hits his opponent like he hates black people: is he just mad that he can’t be with his girlfriend because he is black?• Why did Coleman not tell his girlfriend about his mother being black before they met in person?• What was the main reason his [girlfriend] decided to leave Coleman? Was it for lying or for the color of his background?”
• If Coleman did not want to be rejected, why did he tell Faunia at the end of the movie? • At the end of the film, do you think Coleman told Faunia his secret? • Why does Coleman tell Faunia that he is black but not Iris? • Can you really love someone if you don’t know everything about them? • How would you know it would be the right time to tell your life story to someone?• Do you think Coleman and Faunia found some sort of peace just before their deaths?• Why do you think Coleman stayed even when Faunia would yell at him and tell him to leave?• What was the significance of the crow in the cage?• Can society lead you to hate your own race?• Is Faunia just using Coleman to cover her sorrow?• Is Faunia passing?• Is Lester passing?• Why did Zuckerman say, “telling the truth is the one thing Coleman could not do?”• How does “The Human Stain” relate to what we’ve discussed in class? • Are the ideas of race, passing, and prejudice the only factors from the movie, that we’ve discussed in class?
"The Passing of Grandison”• What was the author’s purpose in the Grandison story? • What is the point of this story?• Why was Grandison so loyal? • Why is Grandison against freedom at the beginning of the story?• If Dick had told Grandison that he was going to set him free during the trip before they left Kentucky, would Grandison have gone with him up north still?• What would have happened if Grandison had left during the trip?• Do you think the ending would be different if [Dick had taken] Tom instead of Grandison?• Did Grandison plan on passing as a faithful slave and then escape with his family the whole time? Or did Dick’s abandoning of him contribute to Grandison’s plan to escape?• If Dick had just shared his thoughts with Grandison prior to heading North, would Grandison agreed and would he have brought his family?• What kind of help did Grandison really get escaping?• What did Grandison experience in Canada that made him decide to come release his whole family?• How do you think Grandison felt, looking back at the colonel as he stood on that boat leading toward freedom?
• In the story, Dick Owens is not considered the most hard-working individual. How did it effect his relationships with others? Why does Dick Owens behave this way?• Does the story tell the reader if Dick Owens starts to be a hard working individual over time, or does he never change throughout the story?• Why did Dick try so hard to impress Charity? What was so special about her • Why does Dick want to impress his wife so badly that he is willing to do something illegal?• Why couldn’t Dick come up with something original [to impress his gf?• Can Dick’s actions of attempting to allow Grandison to escape slavery be considered moral in nature even though he was doing it for selfish reasons and not because of his convictions of the abolition of slavery. • Dick’s intentions of setting Grandison free was good, but was it right?• Why does Dick’s wife not like her husband?• Since Dick has a wealthy dad and will inherit his fortunes, why does he go so far to impress his girlfriend when he could get any other girl?• How does dick feel after so many of his fathers slaves ran away, partly due to him taking Grandison up north• In what ways were Dick Owens and Grandison alike?
Introduction to Essay 2:“If passing for white will get a fellow better accommodationson the train, better seats in the theatre, immunity frominsults in public places, and may even save his life from amob,” wrote William Pickens, “only idiots would fail to seizethe advantages of passing, at least occasionally if notpermanently” (“Racial Segregation,” Opportunity, December1927 (3).Write an essay of 750 to 1000 words (3-4 pages) arguingfor or against William Pickens’s statement. Use supportfrom the texts you have read so far, our discussions, andyour own insights. Remember to format your essay in MLAstyle. This essay will require citations and a works citedpage.
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 mayeven save his life from a mob,” only idiots would fail to seize theadvantages of passing, at least occasionally if not permanently.”Write an essay of 750 to 1000 words arguing for or against WilliamPickens’s statement. Use support from the texts you have read so far, ourdiscussions, and your own insights. Do you agree with Pickenss statement? If yes, why? If no, why not?
HOMEWORK Reading: Hughes: "Whos Passing for Who?” Post #9 : QHQ: “Who’s Passing for Who?” Think about Pickens’s statement and whether you agree with it or not. Consider which texts you might use to support your beliefs.
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