“Black Protest and the Great Migration”

This essay should explore the sources, themes, and ideas contained in the assigned book, Black Protest and the Great Migration. It should have a clearly articulated thesis statement early in the essay and develop a persuasive case for the thesis by using evidence (sources) drawn from the book. While you might want to examine the chapters on World War I and the 1920s from The American Yawp (the free, online textbook available on Blackboard) for context, you should not think of this assignment as a research paper. I am not asking you to find any source beyond those contained in Black Protest and the Great Migration. In fact, I would use any outside source with great care—especially web pages—lest it appear that you are appropriating others’ work for your own. Rather, the point of this essay to is think carefully about the sources that Eric Arnesen has collected in his book, and to write critically and persuasively about them.


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Was the Great Migration a form of political protest, a resistance to oppression, or even a kind of labor strike? If you think it was, would you judge it to be successful? If you don’t think it is appropriate to characterize the Great Migration as a political act, how should we interpret the meaning of the Migration?


Your essay should be a minimum of 1000 words (longer is fine, but try not to exceed 1200 words)

You should utilize a minimum of three primary sources from Black Protest and the Great Migration to support your thesis

Citation style is not terribly important, unless you are using sources from outside the assigned book. When quoting a source from Black Protest and the Great Migration, you may simply use parenthesis with page numbers, for example (Arnesen, 112). Any outside source must be cited in Chicago style.


• Thesis; Do you clearly establish the central conclusion of your analysis? Do you take a position with your own voice, and demonstrate your thinking in a clear, systematic fashion? (Scale, 1-10)

• Analysis and Argument: Do you develop your points in a clear and logical manner? How well do you assess the persuasiveness of the article you are evaluating? Do you fairly weigh the essay’s use of evidence, its argument, and its conclusions? (Scale: 1-15)

Evidence: Do make appropriate use of the article to support and demonstrate your thinking? Are your claims and ideas grounded in the article, or they imposed extraneously by you? Do you accurately represent the article? Do you provide reference to specific page numbers when you quote or refer to specific examples? (Scale: 1-15)

• Style and Grammar: You should have a title page, employ page numbers, and use 12 point font (Times New Roman). Are your sentences mostly grammatical? Are your paragraphs complete? Do you use topic sentences and transitions? If you have any particular writing hang-ups, I would strongly recommend writing a first draft and taking it to the Writing Center for a read-through (see https://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/uwc/undergraduate/index.php). (Scale: 1-10)

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