1) Explore the complexities of the term, ‘Black Literature’, and discuss how they, critically, engage certain social experiences, literary traditions, canons, racial and cultural politics.
2) With attention to each story’s social milieu, examine the nuanced relationships between racism and gender politics in Going to Meet the Man and Sometimes, a Motherless Child.
3) Analyze, with focus on subtleties, the critical significance of gender, childhood, community, coming-of-age and unnamed protagonists in The Hammer Man, and No Beating Like Dis One.
4) Discuss how the narrative threads of Red Hot Peppers, with regard to forms of inequalities, violations, and resistance, pose questions about identities, gender, social and power relations.
EXAM GRADING CRITERIA
‘A’ GRADE RANGE = 90%-100%
* Answered all aspects of the questions.
* Cogent application of lectures and readings.
* Cited other relevant materials appropriately.
* Identified characters, authors and situations aptly.
* Clear, engaging, scholarly and logical analyses.
* Avoided pointless summaries of texts.
* Hardly any spelling or grammatical errors.
* No colloquialisms (slangs and informal language).
* Kept responses within specified page limits.
* No attempts to ‘stretch’ paper, unduly (through creative pagination, font sizes, etc)
Further, to enhance your performance, it would be good to:
1. Make sure, during the exam, that you understand a question well, even the seemingly easiest of all, before choosing it. Some people perform below their potentials or expectations not out of ignorance but because their answers do not address the specific demands of the question!
2. Again, you may use outside sources, where such would enhance your responses, and, crucially, there are NO specifications about how many sources MUST be cited. In brief, assigned reading materials (The Reader) and, if pertinent, any other scholarly sources that support your arguments would do.
3. Qualify your responses, where necessary, to demonstrate polished understandings of the issues. Good scholarship refrains from sweeping generalizations, bad grammar, haphazard organization, and trite political posturing. While most would agree that racism is bad, you will NOT gain points by merely ‘dissing’ it but by deftly showing how the authors have creatively engaged its problematic features in their respective works.
4. Your papers will be graded for depth and logical flow; particularly, as they integrate assigned readings and other credible sources. So, overall, qualify your responses, where necessary, to demonstrate finespun understandings of the issues.
5. Often, in exams, details and nuances constitute the distinguishing markers between passable and outstanding papers. On a related note, if you have been ‘skipping’ lectures find some solace in an African proverb which says: “It is little by little that the bird builds its nest.” This proverb teaches about purposefulness and the virtues of perseverance (even in the face of daunting odds). So, what to do? Calm down, and get to work…!
6. To be sure, you may use ALL available, authentic, scholarly, resources (from and outside of class) in writing your exam but must, as a matter of academic integrity, acknowledge them in your bibliography. Be mindful of plagiarism, very wary of non-academic web sources and, especially, please, keep away from WIKIPEDIA as citations from it are null and void for this class..
7. Please, be advised, also, that the preceding helpful hints are to ensure that all are, literally, on the same page and, crucially, do not relieve you of the need for due diligence. As you may have noticed, each question is tied to specific reading assignments but, often, in exams, details and nuances constitute the distinguishing features of outstanding papers. So, further inquiries for ‘explanations or clarifications’ would NOT be addressed, once the actual exam has been given..