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ENG 429 Reading and Writing the Civil Rights Movement (3 credits)

This course considers specifically how writing—speeches, poetry, fiction, and autobiography—both responded to and documented the Civil Rights movement and how the movement used writing to shape its agenda for social change. We will look at what rhetorical strategies writers used to document the movement, how film shaped our perceptions of the movement, and how the movement to end injustice and racial and class inequality has been received in the present day. Authors considered include figures who were prominent in the movement (Martin Luther King, Malcolm X), as well as a range of writers who documented the movement, including Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Taylor Branch, John Steinbeck, Alice Walker, and Eudora Welty. By considering the writing of both white and Black activists, creative writers, and autobiographers, we will reflect on how writing can fulfill both activist and artistic functions. Diversity.