Directions: Each student is required to start a discussion thread and post a 150-200 word short response essay about the following prompt.
Here are a few ground rules that will apply to each and every discussion board:
- Try to make the discussions back-and-forth and conversational.
Prompt: Please read the Times article “James Baldwin Denounced Richard Wright’s ‘Native Son’ as a Protest Novel. Was He Right?” and “Baldwin-Everybody’s Protest Novel.pdf ,” then share your thoughts on these questions:
- What is “protest fiction”?
- Although not mentioned by name in the Times article, realism is alluded to in the description of Native Son and several other classic novels of the African American literary canon, including Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Please paraphrase/summarize the discussion of realism by Ayana Mathis. Also, what distinction does she make between Wright’s character Bigger Thomas and those of Hurston, Toomer, and Petry?
- Why do you think these featured writings of James Baldwin and Richard Wright are still relevant, required readings today?
- Do you agree with Baldwin’s criticism of the protest novel, in general, and Richard Wright’s Native son, in particular? Why? Why not?