In the first unit of Module 11.2, students analyze two seminal texts about African Americans in post-Emancipation America. Students begin this unit by reading "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," the first chapter of W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk. Student analysis focuses on how Du Bois develops his point of view that African Americans must obtain the full civil rights of "culture, work, and liberty" in order to achieve social equality. Next, students analyze Booker T. Washington’s "Atlanta Compromise Speech," considering how Washington develops his point of view that economic security is more important than social integration in improving the conditions of African Americans and their relations with white Southerners. Read together, these texts form a compelling conversation, in which each author presents a nuanced argument for the crucial role of African Americans in post-Emancipation America.
Throughout this unit, students continue to build skills for reading closely as they analyze how central ideas emerge and develop, and determine how each author uses rhetoric to advance his point of view and purpose. Students practice and build upon their informative/explanatory writing skills through written assessments. Additionally, students develop their ability to analyze an author’s argument, and articulate and support their ideas using textual evidence. This work prepares students to evaluate these two texts in relation to each other at the end of this unit, as they consider the approaches both authors take in using rhetoric to advance their points of view.
There are two formal assessments in this unit. In the Mid-Unit-Assessment, students write a multi-paragraph response analyzing how Du Bois uses rhetoric or figurative language to develop a central idea in "Of Our Spiritual Strivings." For the End-of-Unit Assessment, students write a multi-paragraph