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EL 336: Paper 1 Presubmission...

1. Possible Topics: Literacy used as a means for minorities to advance and the ways in which the white literacy groups continue to oppress them.

Cultural shifts as communication technologies have evolved and our reaction to these shifts as it applies to each period [oral, manuscript, digital].

African American use of literacy [the ability to read and write] in order to overcome adversity such as racism.

2. Thesis (original): African Americans such as Frederick Douglas and Malcolm X used reading and writing to fight the oppression that was placed upon them by white literary groups.

Revised: I have not come up with a specific revision for the thesis above, but I have decided to talk about ways in which literacy can oppress as well as liberate. I also want to stress that people with the ability to read and write have more advantages.

3. Notes: It is possible that minority groups with a base in oral culture feel that conforming to literacy can take away from their heritage. There is a certain sense of cultural abandonment. I want to refer back to literacy as being imperious, which is what Ong said in his essay.

If I stick with the African American slant for the essay I will need to find a source about Martin Luther King Jr. writing letters from the Birmingham Jail. Could Harriett Tubman read and write? Google search needed for race and reading, African American literacy rates, minorities and literacy. Possibly explore bilingualism. Women/Minorities.

4. Works Cited:

Douglass, Frederick. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.”
Book. (1845) Rpt. in Writing Material: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age.
Ed. Evelyn B. Tribble and Anne Trubek. New York: Addison Wesley Longman
Inc. 2003, 96-103.

Little, Malcolm. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” Book. (1965). Rpt. in Writing
Material: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age. Ed. Evelyn B. Tribble and Anne
Trubek. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Inc. 2003, 242-245.

Ong, Walter. “Writing Is A Technology that Restructures Thought.” Lecture (1985)
Rpt. in Writing Material: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age. Ed. Evelyn
B. Tribble and Anne Trubek. New York: Addison Wesley Longman Inc. 2003, 315-337.

Shannon, Patrick and Jacqueline Edmondson. Reading Education Policy: A Collection of Articles from the International Reading Association. New York: International Reading Association, 2005.Verhoeven, Alex. Ethnic Minority Children Acquiring Literacy. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, Inc, 1987

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