Women and Race in America

For this week’s Dream English Course, I picked several reads to explore women of color writing in America. I wanted the books to capture different types of women and ideas, but they all somehow involve cultural struggles and conflicts. So without further ado…

Women and Race in America

Unit I: What is blackness? (6 weeks)

Texts: Quicksand by Nella Larson, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Questions: How does each author interact with and represent blackness? How do their viewpoints differ, and what is the same? How do they present bodies and femininity?

Unit II: Growing Up Latina (6 weeks)

Texts: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, Almost a Woman by Esmeralda Santiago

Questions: What types of integration to American culture do the authors relate? How do they represent childhood? What does it mean to grow up? How does each author deal with being different? Which parts of their cultures do they maintain, and what do they lose?

Unit III: Forgotten Asian America (6 weeks)

Texts: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Questions: How do the authors use point of view to tell their stories? How do their experiences compare to the Latin American experiences? How do the cultural struggles compare to the political struggles? How do the texts reflect the authors’ backgrounds?

Overall: How does race affect femininity in America? How do the authors deal with difference? Which themes cross the different units, and which are unique? What changes between girlhood and womanhood?



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