This essay exam is made up of two required questions. Please write up both answers in a single document, and submit here.
Question #1. 1000 words.
The last paragraph of the introduction to Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital reads as follows:
“The story we tell in these pages shows that racial progress is neither linear nor inevitable. It takes serious, difficult, often discomforting work, and advances can be (and often have been) reversed. We know that this story may agitate, frustrate, and anger our readers — as it should. But we hope, too, that it will inspire them to commit themselves to the struggle of building a more just, egalitarian, and democratic city that embodies the best of what this nation can be.”
Choose five stories from the city’s history, 1890-2010, that you believe could inspire Washingtonians to work to build a more just, egalitarian, and democratic city today. As you summarize each story, make sure to include (in parentheses) the page numbers in Chocolate City where the story is told; include what you think are the most important details of the story; and explain why you think that story could be inspiring to people today. Even if you personally have not felt inspired by this book, I urge you to stretch your imagination in order to imagine what might be inspiring to others.
Question #2. 250 words.
Reflect on your experience reading Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital together this semester. How has this book changed how you see Washington D.C.?