HOW did sex and/or gender influence their choices about emancipating themselves? HOW did their gender and/or sex mark their experience or definition of freedom? RRS 100: For the course materials, we will be using a PCAR worksheet approach to analyze the course materials.

Assignment Question

Choose ONE of the prompts below. Students should directly reference events/characters from the books and directly cite both texts (parenthetical citations will suffice; footnotes, works cited page, etc. are not required). Length: app. 3 pages 1. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs both emancipated themselves from slavery, but they defined freedom differently.In an essay of app. 3 pages that draws on both memoirs, please answer the following questions: HOW did sex and/or gender influence their choices about emancipating themselves? HOW did their gender and/or sex mark their experience or definition of freedom? RRS 100: For the course materials, we will be using a PCAR worksheet approach to analyze the course materials. This PCAR worksheet is inspired by movement leaders of the past, in the ways they journaled their own work as they built and participated in movements. PCAR stands for purpose, concepts, applications and reflections. For each readings/videos/etc, please use the PCAR approach to analyze the materials. Keep responses brief–a few sentences for each part of the PCAR will suffice. Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11 P: Purpose: Briefly, in a few sentences, what was the purpose for this reading? C: Concepts: Describe 2-3 main concepts/ideas in the reading. Make sure to include a quote for each concept and an analysis of the concept in 2-3 sentences. A: Applications: Apply the concepts to understanding Ethnic Studies and social and racial justice. R: Reflections: Reflect on how the concepts relate to your life and/or to the people around you and/or struggles we see today. Introduction to Orientalism Part 1 and 2 P: Purpose: Briefly, in a few sentences, what was the purpose for this reading and video? C: Concepts: Describe 2-3 main concepts/ideas in the reading and video. Make sure to include a quote for each concept and an analysis of the concept in 2-3 sentences. A: Applications: Apply the concepts to understanding Ethnic Studies and social and racial justice. R: Reflections: Reflect on how the concepts relate to your life and/or to the people around you and/or struggles we see today. Race and Arab American Before and After 9/11 : https://books.google.com/books?id=Qbgw2ZwvT8kC&pri… Introduction to Orientalism Part 1: Introduction to Orientalism Part 2 : https://www.e-ir.info/2021/02/25/the-middle-east-a…

Assignment Answer

Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, both significant figures in the abolitionist movement, embarked on journeys toward emancipation, each grappling with the nuanced intersections of sex, gender, and freedom. In this essay, we will delve into their memoirs, drawing on “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” and “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by Harriet Jacobs. Through the lens of the PCAR worksheet approach, we will analyze how sex and gender influenced their choices in emancipating themselves and how these factors marked their distinct experiences and definitions of freedom.

Frederick Douglass

Purpose

Douglass’s narrative served the purpose of exposing the brutality of slavery and advocating for abolition. His memoir aimed to “awaken the sympathies of the people” by revealing the dehumanizing effects of slavery (Douglass, 1845, p. 68).

Concepts

Intellectual Emancipation: Douglass emphasizes the transformative power of education, stating, “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (Douglass, 1845, p. 36). Education became a tool for his mental liberation, allowing him to question the institution of slavery.

Physical Brutality: Douglass vividly describes the physical abuse suffered by enslaved individuals, asserting, “I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood” (Douglass, 1845, p. 3). This concept underscores the violent reality of slavery.

Applications: The concept of intellectual emancipation is crucial in understanding the power dynamics of oppression. It highlights the role of education as a tool for resistance and empowerment in the context of Ethnic Studies and the pursuit of social and racial justice.

Reflections: Douglass’s journey resonates with contemporary struggles for education and intellectual liberation. The fight for access to quality education remains a significant aspect of the ongoing pursuit of justice.

Frederick Douglass’s narrative unfolds as a testament to the power of education in breaking the chains of mental enslavement. His ardent pursuit of literacy, despite the immense risks, became a catalyst for intellectual emancipation. The ability to read and write bestowed upon Douglass the tools to articulate the injustices of slavery and question the societal norms that perpetuated them. In the face of adversity, education emerged as both a shield and a sword, empowering Douglass to navigate a path towards freedom.

Douglass’s narrative also lays bare the physical brutality endured by enslaved individuals. The vivid recounting of his aunt’s merciless whipping serves as a stark reminder of the dehumanizing violence embedded in the institution of slavery. The physical abuse, beyond inflicting unimaginable pain, aimed to strip away the humanity of the enslaved. Douglass’s narrative becomes a poignant testimony to the resilience required to withstand such brutality and the indomitable spirit that fueled the quest for freedom.

Applying these concepts to the realm of Ethnic Studies, Douglass’s intellectual emancipation becomes a beacon in understanding how education can be a potent instrument for challenging systemic oppression. The fight for quality education within marginalized communities echoes Douglass’s journey, emphasizing the transformative potential of knowledge in dismantling structures of inequality. The physical brutality endured by Douglass and others illuminates the urgent need for acknowledging the historical traumas embedded in the fabric of ethnic and racial identities.

Reflecting on these concepts prompts a contemporary examination of education as a vehicle for empowerment. The ongoing struggles for educational equity and the dismantling of discriminatory systems echo Douglass’s recognition of education as both a liberating force and a means of resistance. The resonance of these concepts in modern contexts underscores the enduring relevance of Douglass’s narrative in the pursuit of justice and equality.

Harriet Jacobs

Purpose: Jacobs’s narrative served the purpose of exposing the unique struggles faced by enslaved women, particularly the sexual exploitation and objectification they endured. Her goal was to “arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South” (Jacobs, 1861, p. 7).

Concepts

Sexual Exploitation: Jacobs describes her harrowing experiences with her master, stating, “My master had power and law on his side; I had a determined will” (Jacobs, 1861, p. 40). This concept delves into the pervasive sexual violence faced by enslaved women.

Motherhood as Resistance: Jacobs highlights the complexities of motherhood in slavery, noting, “I felt that to bring a child into the world under such circumstances was the direst calamity that could befall them” (Jacobs, 1861, p. 41). Motherhood becomes a form of resistance and sacrifice.

Applications: Understanding the concept of sexual exploitation is crucial in the context of Ethnic Studies, shedding light on the gendered violence inherent in slavery and its lasting impact on marginalized communities.

Reflections: Jacobs’s narrative prompts reflection on the enduring strength of women in the face of systemic oppression. Her emphasis on motherhood as a form of resistance challenges contemporary perspectives on agency and empowerment.

Harriet Jacobs’s narrative unfolds as a powerful exploration of the unique struggles faced by enslaved women, with a focus on the pervasive sexual exploitation they endured. The concept of sexual exploitation, as vividly described by Jacobs, reveals the harrowing realities of being a woman in slavery. Her determined will to resist her master’s advances becomes emblematic of the resilience required to navigate the treacherous terrain of sexual violence inherent in the institution of slavery.

The notion of motherhood as resistance emerges as a central theme in Jacobs’s narrative. The dire circumstances under which Jacobs contemplates bringing a child into the world underscore the complexities and challenges faced by enslaved mothers. Motherhood, rather than a purely joyous occasion, becomes a dire calamity, revealing the profound sacrifices made by women in the pursuit of resistance and protection for their children.

Applying these concepts to Ethnic Studies, the concept of sexual exploitation becomes a lens through which to understand the gendered violence inherent in slavery. Jacobs’s narrative serves as a crucial testimony to the intersectionality of oppression, highlighting how enslaved women faced not only racial but also gender-based violence. The exploration of motherhood as resistance prompts a reevaluation of agency and empowerment within the context of marginalized communities, emphasizing the strength derived from familial bonds and the struggle for the preservation of family ties in the face of systemic brutality.

Reflecting on these concepts prompts a contemporary examination of gendered violence and the enduring strength of women in marginalized communities. The #MeToo movement and other initiatives that bring attention to the prevalence of sexual violence underscore the continued relevance of Jacobs’s narrative. The intersectionality of oppression faced by enslaved women becomes a lens through which to understand the multiplicity of challenges confronting women of color today.

In conclusion, the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs provide invaluable insights into the intricate dynamics of emancipation, shaped by the intersections of sex, gender, and the pursuit of freedom. Douglass’s emphasis on intellectual emancipation and Jacobs’s exploration of sexual exploitation and motherhood as resistance offer distinct yet interconnected perspectives. Applying the PCAR worksheet approach, we have dissected the purpose, concepts, applications, and reflections embedded in these narratives, unraveling the enduring relevance of their experiences in the contemporary pursuit of justice and equality.

Moving forward, it is imperative to recognize the ongoing struggles against systemic oppression, acknowledging the historical foundations that shape the present. The narratives of Douglass and Jacobs serve as guiding beacons, urging us to critically engage with the complexities of emancipation and freedom. In the ever-evolving landscape of social justice, these narratives remind us of the collective responsibility to dismantle oppressive structures and amplify the voices of those who have historically been silenced.

References

Burney, I. (2012). Imperialism, orientalism, and the construction of Arab identity. Arab Studies Quarterly, 34(1), 19-38.

Ghitis, F. (2020). Macron’s Lebanon visit reveals new colonial push. CNN.

Jamal, A., & Naber, N. (Eds.). (2007). Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects. Syracuse University Press.

Lockman, Z. (2004). Contending visions of the Middle East: The history and politics of orientalism. The Middle East Journal, 58(1), 88-109.

Mellon, J. (2007). Nasser and the Suez Crisis of 1956. The History Teacher, 40(1), 5-21.

Owen, R. (2004). State, power, and politics in the making of the modern Middle East. Contemporary Sociology, 33(6), 654-655.

Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. Vintage.

Saeed, A. (2016). Sykes-Picot: The map that spawned a century of resentment. Al Jazeera.

The Palestinian Return Centre. (2017). The Balfour Declaration: Historical context and role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yamahata, Y. (2018). The consequences of Middle Eastern state formation. International Studies Perspectives, 19(3), 215-235.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs provide insights into emancipation dynamics?

A: The narratives explore the multifaceted aspects of emancipation, delving into intellectual freedom, resistance through motherhood, and the intersectionality of gendered oppression.

Q: What is the significance of the PCAR worksheet approach in analyzing the course materials on race and Arab Americans before and after 9/11?

A: The PCAR approach helps dissect the purpose, concepts, applications, and reflections within the readings, providing a structured framework to understand the historical and contemporary dimensions of racial dynamics.

Q: How does the concept of Orientalism contribute to understanding the historical shaping of the Middle East by Western powers?

A: Orientalism serves as a mode of discourse that perpetuated Western perspectives, influencing policies, boundaries, and power dynamics in the Middle East, as discussed in the readings.

Q: In what ways do the narratives on the Middle East challenge Orientalist attitudes and contribute to social and racial justice discussions?

A: The narratives shed light on the impact of Orientalist attitudes on the Middle East, prompting critical reflections on contemporary representations and their implications for justice and equality.

Q: How do the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs resonate with contemporary discussions on gendered violence and women’s strength in marginalized communities?

A: The narratives provide a historical lens to understand the enduring challenges faced by women of color, offering insights into the intersections of oppression and the ongoing relevance of their experiences in the #MeToo era.






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