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African American Literature

.5 Carnegie Unit 

Instructor: Leteria McDonald

Instructor Photo

Instructor Information:

I have been teaching African American Literature since 2009. I have a Masterís degree in Secondary English Education and and Masterís degree in Literacy Education from the University of Mississippi

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the email link in the "Communications & Tools" tab. NOTE: Whenever sending an email, please be sure to indicate your Course title and number in the subject line (ie, AP Art History).

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the HS department:

The University of Mississippi High School
P. O. Box 7959
University, MS 38677-0729

Phone: 662-915-1296
Fax: (662) 915-5138
E-mail: UMHS@olemiss.edu

Course Description:

Welcome to African American Literature! This course is designed to foster appreciation for African American Literature and its contributions to the world of literature. The content on this class will include speeches, slave narratives, poetry, plays, and stories that have contributed in establishing this genre. In this course, you will study various aspects of Africa American Literature. We will discuss several major themes that are common throughout African American Literature: The Vernacular Tradition; Literature of Slavery and Freedom; Literature from Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance; Realism, Naturalism, and Modernism; The Black Arts Era; and Literature since 1975. This is a reading intensive course. Along with the readings, you will be responsible for viewing any slides and listening to speeches and any music that is presented within each lesson. You will have tests, quizzes, projects, and journals.

TEXTBOOK

Required Textbook:

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. and Smith, Valerie editors.

The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. (Volume 1 & 2) Two Volume Set

Norton & Company, 2014.

ISBN-13: 978-0393923698 ISBN-10: 039392369X

It is your responsibility as a student to order your textbook. Online textbook retailers such as Amazon.com, ABEbooks.com, or Half.com usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.

You must make sure you are ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.

Course Objectives:

  • To discover the wealth of information that is found in African American literautre through prose, poetry, drama, and speeches.
  • To have the opportunity to explore the very diverse nature that is found within this kind of literature.
  • To facilitate a deeper understanding of many of the issues that are found in African American literature
  • To encourage the reading of this form of literature with understanding and an appreciation to its contribution so American literature.

Course Outline:

This course consists of 7 units.

NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Units LESSON Reading Assignments Due for Grades
Start Here Syllabus and Orientation folder. NOTE: Once you complete the syllabus and orientation quiz, the rest of the lessons will become available to you. Quiz
1: The Vernacular Tradition Lesson 1 Textbook Vol. 1: Spirituals and Gospel Songs Journal
Lesson 2 Textbook Vol. 2: Sermons and Prayers Assignment & Quiz
Lesson 3 Textbook Vol. 1: Folktales Journal
Unit 1 quiz Quiz
2: Slavery & Freedom Lesson 4 Textbook Vol. 1: Poetry Journal & Quiz
Lesson 5 Textbook Vol. 1: Autobiographies Quizzes
Unit 2 quiz and journal. Journal & Quiz
Major Project 1 Book Report Choose from the subjects provided and follow the required guidelines Assignment
Exam 1 Units 1 and 2
  • Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam! Any assignment not completed before the exam is taken may receive a grade of zero.
  • Complete this test before moving on to the next unit.
Proctored test
3: Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance Lesson 6 Textbook Vol. 1: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. De Bois Quizzes & Journal
Unit 3 quiz Quiz
Major Project 2 Diary or Journal Write a diary or journal for the book you selected for the book report. Assignment
4: The Harlem Renaissance Lesson 7 Textbook Vol. 1: Claude McKay, Marita Bonner, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Helene Johnson Quizzes & Journal
Lesson 8 Textbook Vol. 1: Zora Neal Hurston Quiz & Journal
Unit 4 quiz Quiz
Major Project 3 Conversation Activity Choose from the list of people and write a possible conversation Assignment
Exam 2 Units 3 and 4
  • Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam! Any assignment not completed before the exam is taken may receive a grade of zero.
  • Complete this test before moving on to the next unit.
Proctored test
5: Realism, Naturalism, Modernism Lesson 9 Textbook Vol. 2: Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, and James Baldwin Journal & Quiz
Unit 5 quiz Quiz
6: The Black Arts Era Lesson 10 Textbook Vol. 2: Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) and Nikki Giovanni Quiz & Journal
Unit 6 quiz Quiz
7: The Contemporary Period Lesson 11 Textbook Vol. 2: Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Barack Obama Quiz
Lesson 12 Notes on Barack Obama
Unit 7 quiz Quiz
Exam 3 Units 5-7
  • Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam! Any assignment not completed before the exam is taken may receive a grade of zero.
  • Complete this test before moving on to the next unit.
Proctored test
Major Project 4 Essay Choose from one of the topics and write a 3-4 page paper. Assignment
Post-test, Exit Survey The 10-minute Post-test is in the Final Exam folder and must be completed before the final exam will appear. To be completed before scheduling your final exam.
Final Exam Units 1 though 7. NOTE: Be sure to complete ALL unfinished assignments before you take this test! Any assignments not completed before the final is taken will receive a grade of zero. Proctored test

Grading Scale:

93 - 100% = A
85 - 92% = B
75 - 84% = C
70 - 74% = D
Below 69% = F

The grading format is as follows:

Journals 15%
Projects 20%
Quizzes 15%
Course exams 1-3 30%
Final Exam 20%