The Rhetoric of Rebellion

In recent days, we have been perusing the argumentative writing of rebellion.  To borrow the famous phrase used by one of our authors, you have been exploring influential writers who used words as a powerful form of “civil disobedience.”  For this blog post, I want you to think carefully about one of these assigned readings (by Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X).  For your post, I would like you to consider one of these works in two different ways.  First, I want you to really think long and hard about the words and written approach of your chosen author.  Why, exactly, is their writing so powerful, so engaging, so convincing?  Be as specific as you can be in considering how your writer makes their point, and makes it well.  Then, I want you to talk about your personal view of their argument.  Do you agree with their “rebellious” perspectives, and why?  How, exactly, do you feel about their “disobedient” contentions and social challenges?  In total, your Blog post should be (at least) two in-depth paragraphs long.

On “Truth”, Christopher Columbus, and MLK, Jr.

I will not be able to meet with you all on February 4th, but we can still do some vital work with regards our unit theme of “truth” – and that is precisely what I want to do through your first Blogpost of the semester.  For “class”, you are to choose one of two well-known articles to read, written by Howard Zinn and Derrick Aldridge, respectively.  Then, for your Blog post, I want you to respond and share what you found to be most striking about the “truths” illuminated in your chosen article.  Please note:  your response should be no less than two robust paragraphs in length.  If you choose to respond to the Zinn article, you might consider, for example, the question of what, exactly, the “truth” is concerning Christopher Columbus’s journey?  What are some of the main obstacles to really knowing the “truth” on this contentious subject?  Also, does Zinn’s account demonstrate that it is “inevitable” that the writing of history takes sides?  Alternately, if you choose to respond to the Aldridge article, you might explore the ways in which Martin Luther King, Jr. is characteristically (and narrowly) portrayed in the mass media, working to identify which of his ideas are most commonly communicated to the public – and to think about why he is portrayed in this way.  Furthermore, what gets lost for those who aren’t able to see beyond the “master narratives” that Aldridge describes concerning King?  For both of these articles, what are the broader implications for our perceptions of the “truth”?