Week of April 17: (Night Class) Angie Cruz’s Soledad, continued

Photo: “Washington Heights Piece” by Flickr user Aoife. Creative Commons licensed.



  • The next writing assignment is due Tuesday 4/17. It’s on the Assignments page if you’ve lost your copy and remember that you can stream the film from the Video page on the course website. Usual password.
  • New York City is involved in what’s called a participatory budgeting process, where you (and your neighbors) can actually vote to decide how some of your local city council rep spends their budget! (NYC residents on this only; sorry.) See details of what it is and how to vote at the city council’s page on it. Voting’s very easy: you can do it online and there are other options, too. Deadline is Sunday, April 15, however. Be sure to spread the word to family, neighbors, and on your social media platforms.
  • For anyone interested, I’m teaching Intro to Africana Studies (AAS 166) in the fall on Wednesday nights from 6-8:40 PM. Section XW81. Search by my name or the course/section in CUNYFirst.

On Tuesday April 17th, we continue with Soledad. Read pages 112-180 (chapters 6-8).

For Thursday April 19th, Read pages 182-230 (chapters 8-11). Continue tracking the themes we’ve identified and how characters develop in the book.

Presentation by Lizbeth, Waleed, Natalie, and Angie.

  • We’ve discussed the settings in class: the split between the East Village and Washington Heights and what each represents. Watch for locations as you read, how Cruz presents them, and what different urban spaces mean to key characters.
  • Point of view. Soledad comes from a female author and the P.O.V. the reader gets is primarily from women. What differences (if any) do you notice?
  • Following on the last point, one key subtext of the book are the various forms of violence against women. Think about this as you read and what it feels like for the various characters to move through urban spaces.
  • Culture. Another point of tension in the plot is the difference between the younger and older generations of characters and between more traditional Dominican culture and the different outlook that the younger, Americanized characters have. What are the differences between how characters see the world and their place in it?