Midterm

This is a take-home exam, where you need to answer the questions thoroughly and with reference to the readings and our class discussions. Make sure to reread the class readings and revisit the webinars and documentaries under Content folders to formulate informed answers. Make explicit references to the readings in quotes and explain the references you make in detail.

Instructions: 16 points/100; 4 points for each question. Each question can be adequately answered in 1-1.25 pages double-spaced. 4.5-5 pages in total. 12 pt. Keep in mind that quality, reference to the readings, detailed explanations matter even more than the length. Submit on Blackboard as a Word or PDF attachment. If you use any other format, copy and paste into the Submission box.

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1. Covid-19 crisis illuminated the racial disparities in the US society. Explain why Black and Brown people were influenced from the pandemic in dramatically higher rates? Make sure to explain all the racial inequalities that gave rise to the differential impact of the pandemic.

2. Pick one of the following

a) From slavery to anti-lynching, to Civil Rights Movement, and Black lives matter, Black feminists have struggled to change not only racism in the US society, but they addressed class and gender inequalities in the US and within their communities. Explain struggles of early Black women activists against slavery, lynching, and following forms of oppression (Sojourner Truth, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida Wells-Barnett, Claudia Jones). Explain why they argue that Black women are the pioneers of structural change in society.

b) Patricia Hill-Collins discusses the need for an intersectional analysis and intersectional alliances for a democratic society. Kimberle Crenshaw discusses the lack of discussions about police violence against Black women and also asks for an intersectional analysis. Explain the situation of Black women both as doubly-oppressed and also as agents of struggle and change by referring to the discussions in these webinars.

3. Keengea-Yamahtta Taylor says that Black Lives Matter is not a moment but a movement. Explain what she means. Then explain the development of this movement from Ferguson to this day. Make sure to also refer to the video discussion titled “Moment of Reckoning” where the participants discuss the recent re-triggering of the BLM protests and the relationships between race and class.

4. Pick one of the following

a) Formed in 1966, Black Panther Party could gather a lot of support not only among the urban Black communities, but also among the poor white populations, and internationally. Explain the conditions that gave rise to the Black Panther Party, their vision and activities. By referring to Joy James’ discussion of the criminalization of revolutionary Black

organizations and activists in the US, explain why the Party was attacked harshly by the US government.

b) Joy James discusses the “legalized” state violence against Black communities and movements in juxtaposition to how movements that demanded structural revolutionary change were penalized and criminalized. Assata Shakur discusses the same dynamic in her speech where she lists the crimes that the US governments have committed and the criminalization of their movement. Based on these readings, discuss issues of legality and violence. Also discuss “reform” vs. “revolutionary change”. Why do some activists like Shakkur believe that “revolutionary change” is necessary.

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