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RACE – Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas


Essay must be typed double spaced using 12pt. Times New Roman font with 1­-inch margins on all sides You must have a proper APA cover page and Running Head, but you do not need to include an abstract page for your essay. Essay must have a clear thesis statement that is argued well throughout Essay must use a minimum of five (5) outside sources—no more than three (3) of which can be from the textbook, and the film, Pleasantville, does count as one of these three should you choose to use the film as one of your sources. Therefore, you are responsible for researching at least two (2) academic sources through the Library’s website on your chosen topic independently. All citations as well as the References page must be in proper APA form. Instructions: You must pick ONE of the following options for this assignment.

The examples you choose to illustrate your arguments with are entirely up to you; however, you must present a coherent and cohesive argument regarding issues of race in 21st-Century America. Essays submitted that do not meet all of the above requirements will not be considered for full credit, and depending on which requirements you choose to ignore (such as the use of sources), will not receive a passing grade. (Historical): For this option you will take an historical approach by using one of the court cases discussed in class—e.g. Dred Scott Decision v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, etc.—and analyze its implications for race relations within modern society. Some questions you might wish to ponder (but are not limited to) are: do you find any contemporary instances where the spirit of these court decisions are alive and well, even if they are no longer legally valid? Or, have we moved on (so to speak) and have nothing to learn from these bits of American legal history? In your estimation, were we perhaps hasty in overturning any of these decisions? Why or why not? How much of our maintenance of the status quo in law (and in society in general) is based on fear? Note: for this topic, you need to be as specific with your contemporary examples as possible. Also, it is not enough to say, “that was the past, and this is the present.” You need to make sure that your “significant so what” about what influence (or not) the past has on the present is explicitly clear.

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