Week of December 2: Assata, continued

220px-AssatabioThis week we continue with our last book of the semester, the autobiography of Assata Shakur. For Tuesday 12/2, read chapters 4-8 (70-140). Again, make sure to pay attention to the various poems she includes in the story on pages 130 (“Love”), 140 (“Stranger”). Think also about the themes that you should now be able to identify that we’ve been working on all semester. Note specific places in the book where they appear and mark them in your text.
Update 11/18: the new assignment has been posted. See the Assignments page for details.

Class presentation by Illya, Renee, and Stephanie.

For Thursday 12/4 read chapters 9-13, (pages 141-208) in Assata.

Pay close attention to the following:

  • Poems “Leftovers” (147), “Culture” (159), and “To My Mama” (193). Again, what do they add to the narrative? What insight do they give you about Assata’s inner thoughts?
  • Also think about her Fourth of July address on pages 167-170.
  • What spaces/ neighborhoods does she move through? Note them and how each of them either shapes the story and what it means to Assata.
  • Finally, keep track of major themes that emerge in the story as you read. It’s a good idea to mark examples of them in the text and make a small note in your notebook.
  • Doing a good job of reading/notetaking here will pay off when it comes to the final exam. This will be one thing you know well and won’t have to study for.


  • Second (and last) formal paper of the semester is due on Friday, December 12th via e-mail. Check the assignments page for it.
  • There’s one more opportunity for extra credit if you scored below a B on the midterm. ClassAction Student group’s Hip Hop summit will be all day tomorrow, Wed. 11/26 at Lehman. Details are at their Facebook event page.