1. Write an essay on the nature of assimilation in American society and how it relates to the American Dream.
1 Choose ONE of the following paper prompts. Write approximately 5-6 pages, double-spaced, with standard fonts and margins. Use only the assigned course material (lectures, assigned readings, and discussions) to construct your responses. Do not use outside sources. 1. Write an essay on the nature of assimilation in American society and how it relates to the American Dream. To construct your answer, discuss and compare “I am Joaquin,” the songs “John Chinaman” and “John Chinaman’s Appeal”, and one more example of your choosing from the readings or lectures. Be sure to work in historical context to help interpret your examples. What do we learn about the nature of assimilation from these examples? What broader lessons can we draw about the American Dream from these examples? (Note: Both “John Chinaman” songs can be found in Chapter 2 of Moon, Yellowface; “I am Joaquin” is available directly through a Titanium link. For your third example, look over Gerber, Cullen, the assigned films, and the lecture material for possible examples. Be creative.) MORE PROMPTS ON BACK 2. The year is 1958. William Myers and his family moved into Levittown, Pennsylvania the previous year. They have decided they need a short vacation to relieve themselves from the stress of being the first black family in the neighborhood. The Myers go to New York City, where, like most tourists, they visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. As William Myers stands in front of the plaque at the Statue of Liberty’s base that contains the poem “The New Colossus,” looking at the words, he wonders: “Given what we’ve gone through the last few months, does any of this really apply to me and my family?” Write an essay addressing this question. Use the lectures, readings, and films to discuss and analyze the historical experiences of Black Americans in relation to these iconic cultural symbols of the American Dream (the poem, the Statue, and Ellis Island) and the broader patterns of European immigration that they represent. 3. CREATIVE OPTION: Write a dialogue, script, or short story in which Martin Luther King (as described in Cullen), Corky Gonzales, Bruce Lee, and Emma Lazarus discuss and debate the symbolic meaning of the Statue of Liberty. How would they interpret the Statue’s meaning and significance, based on the historical experiences of the communities that each person represents? Also consider the writings or creative output of each person, as well as their individual biographies. Be detailed and precise with your information. Don’t worry too much about the set-up or scenario, mainly focus on the dialogue and interaction between the different historical figures.