AFS 211: Black Earth First Essay Assignment James McCorkle
Our first essay assignment focuses on Charles Ball’s slave narrative. Please note that it is due Friday February 23, 2018, later than as stated on the syllabus.
Discuss how Charles Ball’s Slavery in the United States. A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Charles Ball, a Black Man establishes a specific approach to the American vision of nature, the landscape, and the environment. In what ways might we think of Ball and his narrative as quintessentially “American” and as an early example of “environmental” and “nature” writing. In addressing this topic, you must substantially consider how his awareness of his “blackness” defines, interrogates, and radicalizes his approach to and understanding of “nature.”
To help frame, support, or elaborate upon your argument, please cite from at least two of the following essays/chapters that we have read: “African Food and the Atlantic Crossing,” “The Africanization of Plantation Food Systems,” “Guinea’s Plants and European Empire” ( these are from Rosamoff and Carney’s In the Shadow of Slavery); “Slavery and the Origins of African American Environmentalism” (by Mart Stewart); “Strange Rendings of Nature” or “Race Natures” (by Kimberly Smith). They are all on our Canvas site.
Nuts and Bolts
The double-spaced, typed essay must be approximately 1200 words total—please provide a word count at the very end of the essay. Make sure you provide a title that indicates the focus of the essay. Your essay must follow the most current MLA format for in-text, parenthetical citations and in so doing, must include a “Works Cited” page at the end of the essay. (The Colleges’ Library’s homepage has links to useful reference and citation formatting style-sheets.)
Your essay, above all, must be original, concise, and cogently expressive! Your essay should be thoughtfully organized—thus revise, move paragraphs around, think of the best arrangement of your ideas and indeed how to arrange those ideas. Plagiarism will result in an automatic failure for the essay—so be cognizant of citing your sources. Revise multiple times, copyedit, and proofread—no college-level essay...