On Tuesday 10/31, we’ll wrap up Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing with a discussion of the film and the readings assigned for it. To prepare, catch up on the readings if you missed any.
- Pay particular attention to the excerpt from from Murray Forman’s The ‘Hood Comes First: Race, Space, and Place in Rap and Hip Hop on reading urban space, which is a PDF on the Readings page.
- Then (re)read this article from New York magazine (“The Tipping of Jefferson Avenue” ) on the intersection of race and Brooklyn gentrification.
- Make a list of themes you see covered in the film
On Thursday, 11/2, we turn to Angie Cruz’s novel of Dominican immigrants in Washington Heights, Soledad.
Read the first 47 pages (chapters 1-3). Note: it starts slow and Cruz’s narrative is non-linear and slightly more challenging than what we’ve read so far, but the effort is worth it. It is also the first from a female POV and female author. Here are a few things to think about as you read:
- What do the different urban spaces in the book (the East Village) and (Washington Heights) represent to Soledad?
- What are Soledad’s feelings toward her family and the neighborhood and how do they change? (Spoiler: they do)
- The narrative is “non linear” (i.e. it doesn’t proceed in chronological order, time-wise) and the narrator (person telling the story) changes. Try to track the characters and who is speaking.
- What tensions are there between old school Dominican culture and the different strands of US culture?
Student presentation by Angela and Veronica.