History of American slavery capstone project essay
Your capstone project for this class will be an original narrative research essay, which uses a fugitive slave narrative to examine the history of American slavery and the fight to destroy it.
Your capstone project for this class will be an original narrative
Firstly, your capstone project for this class will be an original narrative research essay, which uses a fugitive slave narrative to examine the history of American slavery and the fight to destroy it.
An effective essay will:
1. Recount key elements from the life and story of the fugitive slave who wrote the narrative you choose (your primary source). This will include describing their life in slavery, their decision to flee, the act of running away, and their life in freedom.
2. Weaved throughout this retelling, you will use books and articles written by historians (your secondary sources) to give analytical context to your primary source.
Firstly, How typical or unique were the experiences of your subject under slavery?
Secondly, How about their experience running away?
Thirdly, How did runaway slaves factor into broader society at that time?
Fourthly, What kinds of activism could and did fugitive slaves do once they had fled bondage?
Firstly, 6-8pp., double spaced, 12pt font, 1 inch margins
Secondly, A title
Thirdly, A bibliography, as well as in-text citations, all in MLA or Chicago styles
Fourthly, Due on blackboard, May 22nd
Also, Your final paper will be worth 20% of your final grade
· These are assignments that will help you develop your paper, and hold you accountable for spreading out the work
· These assignments will each be worth 5% of your final grade
1. A primary source reflection: 1-2 pages, double spaced, describing the primary source. This should include a summary of the document, as well as your reaction to key events and themes in it. This can also include a section of key quotations that will be useful in your essay.
2. Secondary source reflection(s): 1-2 pages summarizing and assessing one or more secondary sources (this is a total page count: it can be a full page of one source, half a page each on two sources, etc).
What are the authors’ main arguments? Do you buy them?
How will the authors arguments and information be useful in constructing your essay?
3. Two options: 1) At least one page of a bullet point outline. This should include key sections, with sentence-or-two descriptions of your goals for each paragraph. It would be useful for this to also include key quotations and citations that you’ll use. Or, 2) a partial draft of at least 2 pages.
Narrative: Below are a few fugitive slave narratives. You can also choose your own from the database at docsouth.unc.edu, as long as they are detailed enough to build your essay around. If you plan to use one not on the list, run it by me first. All sources are available on blackboard.
“Narrative of Henry Box Brown, Who Escaped from Slavery Enclosed in a Box 3 Feet Long and 2 Wide.” (1849)
William Parker, “The Freedman’s Story, in Two Parts” (1866)
“The Fugitive Blacksmith: Or, Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington” (1849)
“Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom: Or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery” (1860)
Secondary Sources: Here are a few starting points that you can order from the CUNY library system. You are also encouraged to find other sources that fit your goals for the paper. They don’t need to be full books. Good starting places are the research encyclopedias available through the library website. If you need help tracking down any source, or judging if it is any good, feel free to reach out. You are also welcome to use/cite your textbook and lecture materials.