Short Paper Assignment (7-10 pages)

Coming of Age in the Jim Crow Era

Project Proposal due by 4 p.m. Friday, April 4
Final Paper due by 4 p.m. Friday, April 25

1. Choose a major theme from the readings and lectures on African American life in the Jim Crow and early Civil Rights eras for further investigation. For example:

Education/Schooling
Rural/Urban Life
Gender
Class
Race and Place
Labor
Religion
Migration
Etiquette
Family
Resistance
Voting/Party Politics
Relations with Whites
Popular Culture

2. Explore that theme through the life experience of Nate Shaw, Richard Wright, Anne Moody, James Baldwin, and/or Sarah Patton Boyle. Your paper must focus on at least two of these autobiographical accounts. You may also draw supporting materials from the following on-line document collections:

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writer’s Project, 1936-1940
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wpaintro/wpahome.html

Your paper should include an historical introduction to the theme that allows you to put these individual life experiences in context.