The Literature of Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance 1865-1919

Reading Guide – The Literature of Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance 1865-1919

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As you read the assignments for the Literature of Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance 1865-1919 in the Norton Anthology of African American Literature 3rd Edition, please answer the following questions in complete sentences. Please be certain to use MLA style and fully develop your answer to receive full credit. Reference the text as necessary to support your answers. The assignment should be completed independently and uploaded on Canvas by the due date. Please type and submit your reading guide as a Word or PDF file only. Handwritten responses will not be accepted.

  1. Using the timeline from the Norton Anthology on pp. 1376-1377, identify what you believe are the three most important events that occurred during the period from 1865-1919 and explain how each one influenced the literature of the period.
  2. Who was Elizabeth Keckley and what was the name of her autobiography?
  3. When and why was the Civil War fought?
  4. What was significant about the Union soldiers who occupied the captured the Confederate capital during the Civil War?
  5. What role did women like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Charlotte Forten, Harriet Jacobs and others play during the Civil War and Reconstruction?
  6. What factors influenced the growth of the country between 1860 and 1900s? How did this affect Native Americans and African Americans?
  7. When did Reconstruction occur and what were its primary aims?
  8. What did the Reconstruction Act do and when was it passed?
  9. What was the purpose of the Freedmen’s Bureau and how long was it in existence?
  10. Explain the three amendments which were the most significant pieces of Reconstruction legislation and discuss how they affected the period.
  11. Name at least four Historically Black Colleges and Universities that were established during Reconstruction that are still in existence today.
  12. What three key events that happened in 1877 significantly impacted the gains of Reconstruction and the social and economic advancement of African Americans?
  13. Describe Jim Crow laws and how they affected African American life after Reconstruction.
  14. Who was Booker T. Washington and what role did he play at Tuskegee Institute? Describe his philosophy and how he instituted it at Tuskegee.
  15. What was significant about Washington’s Atlanta Exposition speech?
  16. Why was the Civil Rights Act of 1875 outlawed?
  17. How did the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson impact the progress of African Americans and how long was it in place?
  18. Why did African Americans call the Progressive Period the Decades of Disappointment?
  19. What was the Great Migration?
  20. Who was W. E. B. Dubois and what was his Talented Tenth Theory?
  21. Name at least three organizations during this period that worked independently to create educational, economic, social and recreational opportunities for African Americans.
  22. What is lynching? According to John Hope Franklin, how many people were killed in the last sixteen years of the nineteenth century?
  23. List the two primary aims of African American literature during this period and give two examples.
  24. What were “progress report autobiographies”? Give an example.
  25. What were the two purposes of biographies such as Life and Public Services of Martin R. Delany?
  26. Who was Martin R. Delany and for which text is he most notably famous?
  27. Since many African American writers had difficulty finding publishers, where was their work usually published?
  28. Explain and describe the two basic attributes of the African American Press.
  29. What was the motto of the National Association of Colored Women and what publication did it produce in 1894?
  30. Which organization published Crisis?
  31. Which organization published Opportunity?
  32. Why was the period between 1890 and 1910 called the “women’s era”?
  33. Who was Ida B. Wells-Barnett and how did she use the power of the pen to educate and inform others about the atrocities of lynching?
  34. Why was she called a “fearlessly feminist pioneer in journalism” and what was the title of her autobiography?
  35. In A Red Record, Ida B. Wells-Barnett presents her “case” against lynching. What did she identify as the excuses the Southern white man gave for the barbarity of lynching?
  36. How did lynching personally affect Wells-Barnett?
  37. What did Ida B. Wells-Barnett indicate as the best thing people could do to help the anti-lynching campaign?
  38. Who was Paul Laurence Dunbar and why was he more popularly known for poems written in dialect such as “When Malindy Sings”? (See pp. 894-896.)
  39. In “The Haunted Oak” what is the tree haunted by?
  40. What is “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and why is it associated with James Weldon Johnson? (See pp. 780-784).
  41. Explain the meaning of the last line in Johnson’s poem “Brothers”?
  42. When was Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die” written? Why was this time called the “Red Summer”?
  43. Abel Meeropol’s Strange Fruit was made popular by which famous singer and what was this “strange” fruit?
  44. Who was Anna Julia Cooper and what is the main argument of her “Womanhood a Vital Element in the Regeneration and Progress of a Race?
  45. Compare and contrast the philosophies of W. E. B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington using their writings as points of departure.