Eastside Academic Studies


African-American Literature/Composition

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Teacher: Malaika Geuka Wells
Email: easaalit@gmail.com
Date/Time: Thursday - 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM
Room: 263
Department: Language Arts - High School
DOE Number: 23.051
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th)
Maximum Enrollment: 8

Corresponds with DOE course code 23.05100; 1 core credit;  Class minimum: 4 students

“Every country’s literature is a permanent reflection of its people’s ethos.” — Acharya Shukla

Class Description

This course focuses on the study of American literature and informational texts, writing modes and genres, and essential conventions for reading, writing, and speaking. It is a survey of American literature examined from historical, social, spiritual and psychological perspectives of the African-American experience. The students will read a variety of informational and literary texts in all genres and modes of discourse. While expository writing is the focus in American literature, the students will also demonstrate competency in argumentative and narrative genres. The students will engage in research, timed writing, and the writing process. Instruction in language conventions will occur within the context of reading, writing, and speaking. It is highly recommended for those wanting to better understand the American literature canon from the African American experience. This class will examine the development of the African American literary tradition through the consideration of history, literary genres, and cultural forms. We will study a range of genres, including fiction, poetry, drama, autobiography, and nonfiction, from the earliest published work by Africans in America to contemporary Black authors.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to give students an introduction to the array of prose, poetry, and drama that make up much of African American literature. Students will demonstrate an understanding of speaking and listening for a variety of purposes. Through interaction with short stories, speeches, novels, plays, poetry, and nonfiction, we will discover how the American experience has been portrayed by a diverse group of authors. This course will provide the opportunity to explore its diverse nature; to help students develop a deeper understanding of the evolving issues around defining the American literary canon; to encourage the reading of literature with general appreciation and open-mindedness; and to develop a critical understanding of the texts, including from a Christ worldview.

Primary Text: The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, 2nd edition

Additional texts to be provided by the student:

The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee by Jarena Lee (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.69015000002754&view=1up&seq=5)

The Garies and Their Friends by Frank J. Webb (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11214)

The African Repository (https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=ZjKORW7maYwC&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA1)

Nobody Knows My Name by James Baldwin

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Course Evaluation: Student progress and evaluation in the course will be determined by quizzes/exams, homework, and class participation which will include individual as well as collaborative written, visual and oral responses to readings; a minimum of two short essays; a group presentation; and a final project. Length and scope of responses, short essays, and final project will be discussed in class.

(Extra credit points available through summer reading. Reading list will be provided in May to enrolled students. Honors option available upon request.)

Tuition:            $600/year, if paid by August 31, 2020

                        $315/semester, payments due August 31, 2020 and January 4, 2021

Fee:                  $25/year for copies and materials, paid by the first class

Feel free to contact Mrs. Wells at easaalit@gmail.com or text/call 404-514-7115.

Cancellation Policy

You can drop the course at any time by or before August 28, 2019. Any tuition paid will be fully reimbursed.

You may withdraw from the class at any time after the first class, for any reason; however, you will not be eligible for a tuition refund.

Exceptions will be made as follows:

      The family moves more than 50 miles from LAC

      Death of a parent

      Primary income earner for the family loses employment

In these cases, a prorated refund of tuition will be given.

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