Based on your reading and class discussions about essays 1-4, use your critical thinking and analytical skills to demonstrate a written understanding of the fact that race, class and gender shape the experiences of all people living in the United States. 

Read each synopsis of the essays presented before you attempt to answer.  You may refer to your textbook but be sure to cite any reference(s) you may use.

Your answers must be numbered and appear under the heading of each numbered essay and title

Do not exceed 4 typed, double-spaced pages. Your answers must be concise, to the point and in your own words.

Make sure that your name appears in the top left corner of the first page of your assignment along with the name of the course and the date you submit your assignment.

Essay #1:Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference, Audre Lorde
Lorde discusses the experience being marginalized in American society on multiple levels.  She discusses the role of art, and especially poetry as a means in which Women of Color have been able to historically express themselves and share the experiences of their marginalization.  The issue of the poetry and prose by Women of Color and their exclusion from college curriculums are addressed as a way in which these past difficulties and issues are allowed to continue and repeat in our society.

Lorde also discusses the importance and need to recognize human differences to fully understand each other, but that these differences need not lead to further marginalization.  Instead, they can be used to help develop understanding of each other, and that these understandings can be what helps to reduce marginalization amongst persons of different race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientations

Question #1:
How does Audre Lorde perceive the intersection between being Black and a lesbian? What solutions are proposed?

Question #2
What are differences discussed by Lorde that are faced by White women when compared to Women of Color?

Essay #2: From a Native Daughter, Haunani-Kay Trask
Trask describes her experiences of growing up and learning about Hawaiian history from two sources.  Her family described the life of the old ones-how they planted, fished, danced and chanted. The second source, textbooks, described a very different Hawaii-Pagan Hawaiians could not read or write and were lustful cannibals.  Trask is troubled by how native language has been suppressed by school knowledge.  She concludes that historians had never learned the language of the Hawaiian people.  Therefore, the story of Hawaii, its culture and connection to the land remains unwritten.

Question #1;
Is the failure of historians to learn the Hawaiian language the result of ethnocentric bias? Explain your answer.

Question #2:
Why is language so important to understanding a peoples culture and heritage?

Essay #3: Label Us Angry, Jeremiah Torres
Torres is still angry, years after an incident that he describes as the most painful and shocking event of his life.  Growing up in Palo Alto, California, he and his friend Carlos ad not experienced overt racism until they had a confrontation with a speeding driver who cut them off as they were leaving their high school parking lot.  The events that followedfrom the meanness of the people in the other car to the reactions of the police officers and the different ways in which the author and his friend handled their angerillustrate some dramatic consequences of racist assumptions and racist labeling.

Question #1:
Why did the author call the incident he relates the most painful and shocking event of his life?  Discuss why it was so painful. Consider what made it shocking to him.

Question #2:
Discuss the reaction of police officers after the men were maced.  Consider any differences that might have been evident in their reactions if Jeremiah and Carlos had sprayed mace into the faces of white men, instead of being the ones attacked with mace.  Would the police officers likely have asked if the white men were gang members?  What evidence do you find in this story to support your answer?

Essay #4: It Looks Like a Demon: Black Masculinity and Spirituality in the Age of Ferguson, Jamie D. Haley and Staycie L. Flint
Hawley and Flint reflect in this commentary on the ways that cultural representations of Black masculinity and black spirituality contribute to tensions between police and Black men.  Historically, Black masculinity has been represented in ways that have justified state-sanctioned violence against Black male bodies, ranging from enslavement to police brutality to microaggressions.  Common depictions of black men as hypersexualized brutes often use animalistic imagery to imply the need to tame them though violence.  Even black boys are subject to dehumanization, because they are less likely to be seen as children; arguments justify the killings of black youth such as George Stinney, Jr., Emmett Till, and Tamar Rice turned on claims that they looked like men.  The alternate caricature of the Magical Negro may seem benevolent, but Hawley and Flint point out that it is actually a spiritualized variation of othering and dehumanizing characterizations of Black men.  As hospital trauma chaplains, Hawley and Flint note that these depictions of black men result in the delegitimization of their expressions of pain and grief.

Question #1:
How do the killings of Michael Brown, Emmett Till, and Tamar Rice illustrate the importance of understanding race, gender, and age as intersecting systems of power and domination?

Questions #2:
How do Hawley and Flint connect Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony to historic justifications for Black enslavement?  What underlying message about black me do these have in common


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