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Cultural Trends of separatism and Integrationism

Your task for this essay is to assess the cultural trends of separatism and integrationism.
For much of the past 8 weeks, we have explored black America’s relationship with the larger
American society. Broadly speaking, following the Reconstruction, we can identify two distinct
and divergent orientations toward this larger society. For some, America represented an
unfulfilled promise – a political project flawed in practice, but with some hope for a multiracial
democracy on the horizon. To others, America was fundamentally anti-black, with no hope for
a full and equal black citizenship.
Looking at the key historical actors (people), ideas, and events, and tracing these divergent
approaches over the course of the four historical periods we have covered this half of the
semester [the postbellum period (from roughly 1865-1880), the early 20th century (from
roughly 1890s-1930s), the middle 20th century (from roughly 1940s – 1970s), and the late
20th century (1970s-today)], thoroughly discuss black America’s approaches to integration and
separation.
Your essay should begin by clearly stating your thesis. The body of the essay should explore
both approaches during at least three of these historical periods. You should draw on the
readings, films, class discussions, and your own research, to support each of your points.
Your conclusion should assess the merits of these competing approaches. Drawing upon the
evidence you presented in the body of your paper, assess which approach was best.

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Category: Sample Questions