The Final Stop on this Journey
My Final Reflection
I mentioned in my initial writing assignment that I had somewhat mixed feelings about this course. After attending and completing the course, my opinion has undoubtedly changed. First, let me say that I gained an immense amount of knowledge about not only African American literature, but about black history as well. Although I have always considered myself “colorblind”, I have never really had a concept of how different my perceptions were as compared to both blacks and whites. I think that the open discussions in class allowed me to experience, on an academic level, these differences of opinion. If I had to narrow down the texts that I enjoyed the most, I would have to say Graceland, Fanon, and Things Fall Apart would be my favorites. Although I disliked Fanon the first time I read it, as I continued to read, discuss, and reflect on it’s complexity, I developed an appreciation if not a liking for the book. I also enjoyed doing research for the Graceland project and wish that I had infinite time and space to tear the text apart and place it into other contexts. It has a unique complex simplicity that can be easily manipulated into many situation. I love it for that. I also enjoy the bits of traditional Igbo culture that are found throughout the novel. Abani is a genius, what else is there to say?
As far as instruction, Dr. Mason presented the class in a way as to allow students to not only expand on the text and the lessons to be learned within it, but to apply the text to their own lives and opinions in many ways. I think that this type of model should be used on every level of education, especially concerning African American literature and history, as to help dissolve the racist teachings that are passed down through people, literature, and textbooks and allow students even at a young age to form educated opinions about peoples who are different from themselves.
Overall, I really enjoyed this class and feel that I learned a lot from it. I plan to continue to look at these books, especially Fanon, during the summer to continue the unraveling process.