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3 pages/≈825 words
3 Sources
Book Report
English (U.S.)
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African American History (Book Report Sample)


Take these three books listed under and give one great aspect of each of them and write about those aspects. Choose one aspect per book, one full page each.
Johnson, James Weldon. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912). In Three Negro Classics. New York: Avon Books, 1965.
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. New York: Ban­tam, 1969.
Malcolm X. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. With the assistance of Alex Haley. New York: Balla­ntine, 1966.

Course Title:
Book Report on African American History
The namelessness aspect is ultimately derived from identity loss that was suffered by the African- American slaves whose names were stripped of along with their culture patterns and also their languages. The African- Americans were provided with new names in place of their own names. The names they were entitled to were mostly their owner’s family name in order to reject the black surnames and to signify the lost name of the Africans. In The Autobiography of an Ex- Coloured Man by Johnson, the name of the main character is not mentioned in a sense that is figurative since he a son of mulatto servant and a wealthy white southerner. The namelessness of the narrator as well brings out the notion that there existed black self- hatred as the African name made one to be known and classified as a member of the inferior black race. The African Americans could come to fear or believe that they were indeed inferior. Many of the tragic mullatoes who attempted to fight against the definition that were socially imposed of their black identities refused to acknowledge their names and selves (Johnson 88).
Namelessness is as well a productive strategy in the narratives of slaves since it is associated with the lack of an appropriate name for the slaves and thus of a self defined and real identity. According to Johnson 90, namelessness is essential to the tradition of slave narration where there is a requirement to displace or resituate the literal father through an act of un-naming. Naming and un-naming is emphasized since this means a total subversion of the dominance of the master (white) over his slaves (blacks).
Segregation Aspect
According to Angelou 121, the Africans- Americans who live in the Southern United States in 1930s and 1940s were treated with disrespect by most of the white people. Segregation divided the country. Segregation was a formal policy whereby the black people not allowed to receive proper treatment in hospitals for their ailments, live in houses that were valuable, join good schools or get jobs that were highly paying. The black people were not also allowed to sit or interact with wh...
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