Response papers should be roughly 2 single-spaced pages in length (about a 1000 words), typed (double spaced), and should explicitly address the given theme, utilizing the readings and discussions from the course. The response papers give you an opportunity to reflect on the readings and the various topics of discussion, and to clarify your own thinking on the issues of race and ethnicity, as well as to provide me with feedback on the effectiveness of some of our course materials at helping to understand and digest these complicated ideas.
Thinking about the everyday impact of race/ethnicity. Let’s begin with the profound statement made by writer Zora Neale Hurston as she said “I am not tragically Black!’ Think about the ways the ideas of race and ethnicity have constructed you and how the world sees you. Confront these ideas! In the way similar to Leslie Silko’s confrontation of the US border patrol. Demand that society live up to aspirational notions of justice and fairness (recall the discussion of Angela Davis and her critique of the prison-industrial complex), and consider the ways that those who would let their presumptions about race/ethnicity guide their actions, can be constrained. Take some time to consider the everyday impact of racial and/or ethnic constructions on your life.