Your final paper will answer the following question: How has the depiction of Black women, as protagonists in fiction, changed over time?

In order to answer this question, you will begin with Nella Larsen’s Passing, published in 1929, continue with Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, published in February of 2017, and finish with Justin Simien’s Netflix series Dear White People, which will be released on April 28, 2017.

Questions that can help you along:

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1. The character’s name, age, class, social situation, physical description, place of residence.

2. The historical and cultural time/context in which they live.

3. For our purposes, how they identify with blackness as well as with their own gender expression.

4. How does the character feel about other characters? Why?

5. How do the other characters feel about this character?

6. What situation does the character find herself in? Why? How does she react? Why does she react that way? How does her background inform her behavior?

7. What kind of relationships does this character have?

8. How does race inform the conflict of this character?

These should help you out! However, be warned, THIS IS NOT A PAPER IN WHICH YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS FOR EACH IN ORDER. This is a comparative character analysis of three texts featuring black female protagonists across the 20th and 21st centuries. You can write it as one paper or in sections; however, you should be drawing comparisons to how each novel attends to its main character differently. Please use examples to prove your ultimate thesis. Please DO NOT merely re-tell the plot. You can BRIEFLY tell the plot in a one paragraph introduction. But do not get caught up in retelling the ENTIRE plot. Once you have briefly told the plot, you only need use the moments in the novel that fulfill your particular idea for that paragraph. 

7 pages minimum, double spaced, at least 5 sources that back up your ideas (in ADDITION to the main texts). You are also welcome to use other sources that we’ve discussed in class – Baldwin, etc., but please have at least two of your sources be new sources that address these texts in particular. 

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