Chapter Fourteen – Example Final Exams
This summer has seen a number of racist statues coming down. How can we read this anti-racist movement? What is the importance of the public space and what does it mean to have our public space dominated by statues of important people from the past? In order to answer these questions, please think of this issue from the perspective of BIPOC who were either dispossessed and massacred by white colonizers, or who were brought to these lands through violence and slavery. Frantz Fanon describes colonialism by addressing the need that Black people have to behave, talk, and think as white people so as not to be punished. Malcolm X called for Black people to protect themselves by whatever means necessary. Is it possible to read the attacks on statues of racist White people from the past as an act of removing the public white mask that has been forced on all? Is it possible to read the destruction of these public symbols of an oppressive reality as an act of self-defense, as symbols perpetuate and re-create reality? To answer these questions, review some of the theories we have seen in class, and engage in an exhaustive search of the different statues that were brought down in the last few months.
The following prompts and questions should be used as steps to help you write a 4,000- word essay. Please make sure you address all of them.
- Explain the situation of Black people in the United States as a result of colonization. Use quotes from Fanon’s Black Skin/White Masks
- Explain the conditions of oppression that Blacks experienced in the fifties and sixties
- Summarize the achievements of the Civil Rights movement
- Explain what has not changed for the Black population today, decades later and after the peaceful protests of the Civil Rights Movement
- Using quotes from Fanon’s, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers, and Angela Davis, make explicit the connection between colonization, slavery, and present-day capitalism.
- Do a google search to find the statues that were toppled. Who were they? Why did protesters target them?
- Are there any other statues that should come down?
- If you don’t have drawing, painting, or sculpting abilities, please describe to us statues that you think should be placed in public and why
- Use quotes from texts assigned in class to justify your choices of people, events, ideas, or something entirely different that should be memorialized
Your presentation needs to have an introduction, a body where you draw your argument and present evidence, quotes, and examples, and a conclusion.
Explain the concepts that will help you present your vision and tell us how you are going to prove your points.
Explain your theories and examples clearly. Develop the ideas that you have introduced earlier. Remember to tie your examples with your author’s concepts or ideas and use quotes appropriately. Quotes need to always be explained in your own words.
Bring it all together. Briefly recap concepts and examples or illustrations to explain how all of the above ties in with your life and vision for a better world.