Choose one of the following two essay topics, engaging in detail the relevant assigned readings in the course. Do not use outside sources. Your ideas should be clearly argued and supported with scholarly citations. Before beginning your essay, you may want to review Part 1 of Keys for Writers by Ann Raimes to help you formulate a thesis statement and write a first draft. Essay Topics: 1. In his introduction to the Classic Slave Narratives, Henry Louis Gates makes the following argument: “The black slave’s narrative came to be a communal utterance, a collective tale, rather than merely an individual’s autobiography. Each slave author, in writing about his or her personal life experiences, simultaneously wrote on behalf of the millions of silent slaves still held captive.” (2) Choose ONE slave narratives we have read this term. Explore the ways in which the author’s experiences of oppression, and individual acts of resistance, reflect those of a broader collectivity, and why this might be significant. In your answer you may choose to focus on a specific group of enslaved peoples; e.g. women. Draw on the articles by Barbara Bush, Brenda Stevenson, and/or G.K. Lewis to help you theorize slave oppression and resistance.
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