33 Identity Social Location Prompt – Essay Assignment

Authors: allia abdullah-matta, Angel Dye, Shauna Morgan, Dave Wooley

Target Group: Advanced Undergraduate

Note: Practitioners can adapt the questions as needed, but this assignment requires that students process identity and social location in order to: a) think about the ways in which they have been taught to see and think about “others,” and b) allow them to think about their own identity/social location/positionality with critical analysis and reflection.

Critical Reflection—Identity & Social Location

This critical reflection paper will provide you with the opportunity to synthesize, reflect, question, and struggle with issues that are raised in the class, in the reading material, and for you personally. Incorporate the applicable readings to ground your ideas and discussion points. References should be properly cited using MLA format. Instructor chooses the page number guidelines.

Questions for Critical Reflection

  • What were your expectations coming into this class? What are you becoming aware of about Black Poetry (i.e., feelings, previously held information) as you read, watch, and discuss the course texts?
  • Describe and reflect on your racial and gendered identities as well as your membership in two other social identity groups (class, language, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, ethnoreligion, nation, etc.). When were you first aware of these identities? What are your earliest memories about these identities? What did your family and friends communicate to you about these identities? What messages did you get about your identities in school, media, and other institutions? How has it felt and what has it meant to belong to your social identity group(s)?
  • What information did you receive from family/community/society about social identities that differ from yours? How does what you have learned connect to and or disrupt depictions of others in the mainstream societal discourse, the media, and other institutions? What information were you given about how to deal with or talk about issues concerning identity and oppression?
  • How has your race and gender intersected with one other of your social identities?
  • In what ways do your identities interface or interact with the course material?

Your essay must indicate that a) you are engaging with these questions and b) you are able to support your discussion with references to your own identity, social location/positionality, and the readings.

Use key terms and concepts to help you discuss the complexities of identity.

As a comparative text, students could read “Black Like Everything” by Thylias Moss (Furious Flower 2019, pp. 367-372).


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The Furious Flower Syllabus Project: Opening the World of Black Poetry Copyright © 2024 by Anastacia-Reneé; allia abdullah-matta; Ariana Benson; Mary Beth Cancienne; Teri Ellen Cross Davis; Shameka Cunningham; Hayes Davis; Tyree Daye; Angel C. Dye; Brian Hannon; T.J. Hendrix; DaMaris B. Hill; Meta DuEwa Jones; Shauna M. Morgan; Adrienne Danyelle Oliver; Leona Sevick; James Smethurst; Dana A. Williams; L. Lamar Wilson; Carmin Wong; Dave Wooley; and Joanne V. Gabbin (preface) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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