Select one of the books pictured above, and write a short paper on the book's usefulness and limitations as a window on the Black Freedom Movement in the decades that followed World War II. The paper is due in class on the day that we discuss the book you have selected.
Questions you may wish to consider: When, how and why was the book written? What is its plot as a life story? To whom does it seem to be addessed, and what is its main message to those readers? What new things has this book taught you about the Black Freedom Movement of the 1950s-1960s? Are some of them things that one can learn only from autobiography? What unanswered questions does the book raise about the Freedom Movement? Does its failure to answer them reflect shortcomings particular to this book, or the more general limitations of autobiography as a window on history? How will your engagement with this book affect your approach to the autobiography that is the focus on your conference project?
Please feel free to ignore any or all of the questions suggested here. The only requirement is that the paper consider the book's value to students of the Freedom Movement.
The paper should be about five pages long (in double-spaced 12-point typeface with 1" margins). There can be no extensions on this assignment; the paper must be handed in when, not after, the seminar talks about the book the paper addresses. The paper on Coming of Age in Mississippi is due in class on February 6; the paper on The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., is due in class on February 13; and the paper on The Autobiography of Malcolm X is due in class on March 6.
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