Week 1: Baldwin as a merger of the personal and political
9/10 Finish discussion: “Autobiographical Notes”
Watch parts of American Masters: James Baldwin Assign “Notes of a Native Son”
9/11 College Trip: No Class
9/12 Socratic Seminar #1: Part I of “Notes of a Native Son”
What is the role of anecdote in the first half of the essay?
What stylistic choices – distinctly Baldwinian and otherwise -- are used and how do they contribute to meaning?
9/13 Socratic Seminar #2: What is Baldwin’s overall purpose in the essay and how do structural and language choices form his argument?
Come prepared: Outline the structure of the essay and have some hypotheses about why he does it that way. Categorize the parts how you see fit.
9/14-9/15 HW : Reflective Essay #1 On Turnitin.com and Hard Copy by Monday a.m. Reflective response to Baldwin’s essay, one of the following (500 words, make sure you focus on style/techniques):
Why does Baldwin title the novel the way he does?
How successfully does Baldwin merge the political and the personal?
How does Baldwin lead the readers to the concluding thoughts of the essay?
Week 2: Baldwin as a examiner of American racism
Poem #1 commentary
Assign “Many Thousands Gone”
Small Group Work: “Many Thousands Gone”
Assign: “Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough”
9/18 Watch: Film Carmen Jonesin class; take notes on how it corresponds with Baldwin's criticism
Assign: “The Harlem Ghetto”
Socratic Seminar #3:
What political arguments is Baldwin making in the three essays assigned this week? How does his techniques (rhetorical/literary), structure, imagery, language/style/syntactical choices contribute to his points?
Assign: “Nobody Knows My Name: A Letter from the South”
9/28-9/29 HW: Reflective Essay #3 On Turnitin.com and Hard Copy by Monday a.m. 500-750 word response
What epiphanies does Baldwin come to as a result of his time abroad?
Week 4: Baldwin as adviser and prophet
Poem #3 commentary
Assign “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew” for Tuesday; “Down at the Cross” for Wednesday
Finish “Down at the Cross”
10/2 Reading Check Quiz: “Down at the Cross”
HW: Assign “Take Me To the Water” (due Tuesday)
10/3 Activity: Biblical allusions in The Fire Next Time Practice with Literary Discussion Questions
Socratic Seminar #5:
What is Baldwin's advice for white and black America? How does his techniques (rhetorical/literary), structure, imagery, language/style/syntactical choices contribute to his points?
SAT weekend, no written homework
Week 5: What are my own “notes”? What have been my epiphanies? What is my warning?
10/7 Poem #4 commentary
HW: Due Wednesday a.m., Reflective Essay #4 – How have Baldwin’s ideas stayed the same or changed over the years? Use evidence from three different essays. 500-750 words, hard and soft copies.
10/8 “Take Me to the Water” reading check quiz / activity
10/9 Note due date of reflective essay.
Baldwin personal essay assigned Write draft