Audiences with whom she sought to communicate over the course of her life and career?

o Tell the Truth Freely: the Life of Ida B. Wells, New York: Hill & Wang,
2009.
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
A. Write a five-page analytical essay in response to one (1) of the questions
presented below.
B. Essays must be typewritten and double spaced using the Times New Roman
font at the 12-point size. Footnotes or endnotes must be used for all direct
quotations and any use of material from books or other sources. Pages must
be numbered, and an accurate word account must be included at the end. No
essay should be shorter than 1500 words or longer than 1800 words.
C. Essays must be clearly written and well organized using correct spelling,
grammar and English language usage. Students should consult appropriate
reference texts for questions of style, grammar and proper format for
citations.
D. Essays should aim to develop one or more specific arguments that are laid
out in an introductory paragraph and carefully developed using material
from the text. Essays should aim to answer one of the questions posed rather
than simply summarizing parts of the book.
E. Essays should be clear and understandable to any college-level reader,
including readers who are not familiar with the contents of the book Ebony
and Ivy. Do not write a paper assuming that the course instructor is the
only reader. Include enough summary, context and background
information that any general adult reader can follow your arguments
and ideas.
F. This essay is based primarily on the book To Tell the Truth Freely by Mia Bay.
Other assigned course readings may be used if appropriate or helpful. No
independent research or extra readings are either expected or required.
G. Reading Response Paper One is due at the end of WEEK FIVE as indicated on
the syllabus. Students should remember to pay attention to in-class
announcements which sometimes change paper due dates.
H. Essays must be submitted electronically on Canvas in the ASSIGNMENTS
section as an attachment. No paper copy submission is required for this
assignment. Grades and comments will also be posted in Canvas.
ESSAY QUESTIONS
1. Historian Mia Bay titles Chapter Five of this biography: Capturing the
Attention of the “Civilized World.” Although this title refers most directly to
Wells campaigns in Great Britain, As a writer, a journalist and an activist Ida
B. Wells Barnett spent made many of her most important contributions to the
African-American freedom struggle in communicating African-American
experiences to various audiences. What were some of the different
audiences with whom she sought to communicate over the course of her life
and career? What ideas and strategies did she use to engage different
audiences?
2. People often treat Ida B. Wells identity as a woman as little more than a
demographic marker, indicating that both women and men played important
roles as African-American leaders. However, how did her identity as a
person of female gender specifically shape her life and work as she became a
local, national and international leader in various arenas and different time
periods.
3. Popular culture often portrays Ida B. Wells and other African-American
leaders as lone crusaders or extraordinary heroic figures significantly
different from members of the wider African-American community. What
were Wells relationships over the course of her life with African-American
organizations and African-American communities which shared her concerns
about lynching and other challenges facing black people in the United States
in the late 19th and early 20th century?
MOST IMPORTANT: These questions are PROMPTS designed to assist in the
development of each student’s individual essay. They are not questions for which
any direct answer is sought. Do not focus on seeking a direct answer to any
question. Use the selected prompt as a starting point for developing an essay in
response to the issues raised in the book. Finally, carefully re-read instruction (D)
on the first page of this assignment sheet.
REMINDER: This paper is also a test of students’ reading of the entire biography of
Ida B. Wells. Successful papers will make use of several different parts of the book
from beginning to end rather than focusing on any single chapter or even one or two
chapters.

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