- E. B. DuBois invites all readers, regardless of ethnic background, to consider his proposition (quoted in your Lecture Notes) that the “color-line” will constitute the “problem of the Twentieth Century.”
By the way, you have just passed another turn of centuries, from the 20th to the 21st. From your “modern” perspective, do you feel that DuBois’s statement is still valid today? Do you find that DuBois was correct in his prediction that issues of “race” and “ethnicity” would be at the center of American social, political and artistic developments? Or do you find that the interaction between “minorities” and “majorities” in the United States has taken on a lesser or different role than that which DuBois predicted?
Write a formal, 5-paragraph essay in response to this question. Base your answer on your own observations – as well as on your assigned reading this week and next.
Important Note. Your Introduction, Thesis, and Outline for the essay are due this week. The essay itself is due Week 02.
Please follow these steps:
- Skim through DuBois’ essay and the assigned readings. Take notes that focus on the topic of “color-line” as the “problem of the Twentieth Century.” Highlight or copy sections you may want to quote, summarize or paraphrase in your own writing.
As you study and take notes, keep in mind that your goal for this writing assignment is to make a focused, independent argument of your own. Aim to develop your own ideas but also draw on the readings. Be specific, use examples. Again, do not just state an opinion but back up all statements you make with researched facts and observations.
As you know, your study of texts is the important research component of any writing you do. In this case, look for at least three ideas voiced in the readings to include in the finished essay. You can quote directly, summarize or paraphrase these ideas. In each case, you need to cite in-text in correct APA format. You also need to add an APA style reference page. For complete instructions on APA, see your college Online Library, which you can access through the Resources tab.
- Draft a thesis for your essay. A thesis states your main idea in a sentence. A sample thesis (which you are free to use) might be:
E. B. Dubois claims that the “color-line” has and will continue to be America’s Number 1 problem, which may be as seen in or disputed by the (chose to agree or disagree) sample writings by ____, ____, and ______ (insert 1, 2, or 3 writers from your assigned reading.)
- Create a brief but accurate outline for a 5-paragraph essay. Your outline should include:
- Introduction (and thesis)
- Three body paragraphs
Be sure to include a topic sentence for each of the 3 body paragraphs as well as 1 or 2 supporting ideas you plan to address in the paragraph.Remember that the topic sentences should tie back to the thesis statement. Each supporting point should support and further develop the idea of the topic sentence for the paragraph. Include at least 3 quotes from the readings in the overall outline.
- Write your introduction. Your introduction should contain an attention getter that draws the reader in. You can start with a dramatic incident, such as: “Yesterday 2,000 protesters marched in Jena, Louisiana, in defense of black students who had been unfairly treated by the law.” And so on. The scene should flow into your thesis, which becomes the last sentence in your introduction. The introduction should be a solid paragraph of 4 to 5 sentences.
- Combine the introduction and thesis and outline into one document. Place the introduction and thesis on first page and the outline on following page(s).
The reading is below
Your written assignment focuses on this often quoted statement by W. E. B. DuBois, who is included in your reading assignment for the week, was one of the most famous African American thinkers of the early 20th Century. In the introductory words to The Souls of Black Folks, DuBois stated:
Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here at the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader, for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line. (As quoted inContemporary Literature of American Minorities. “Headnote: W. E. B. DuBois.” Pearson Custom Textbook.)