English 215: Major Black Writers

This class was an independent study that required an exceptional amount of time management and communication with my professor. Due dates were strict and there were no class times to ensure that I was spending adequate time on studying or assignments. This had to be organized and maintained by myself. Aside from that, this class pushed me outside of my comfort zone more than any class I had taken at Longwood by the spring of my sophomore year. This class required me to dissect the history of oppression and racism in literature by famous African American writers that I otherwise would have never studied as deeply.

I was asked by Dr. Magill to read many excerpts and books by famous African American writers and observe the parallels in the society of the literature and present society. I have included a short essay below where I examined multiple works by Zora Neale Hurston, an influential African American writer famous for her uses of symbolism. An example in this essay was her book, Sweat, where sweat was a parallel or indicator of her feelings and effort that she puts into in a situation. This class was difficult to relate to any other class, where the curriculum was fact-based, and not based on discussions and interpretations. However, it made me a better person by welcoming me to open up to the past and present world and acknowledge the struggles that many of my classmates still face.

The workload and independence required me to maintain a balanced schedule, which did reflect in my other classes throughout the rest of my college career. However, the lessons I learned in this class made me truly feel deeper and ask more of me morally than any class I had taken thus far. In the present world we live in, I am most grateful for that.