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The year is 2008, when close to 200,000 American soldiers were on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Your 19-year-old cousin who flunked out of high school and spends

PART A (20%) 2 PAGES

The year is 2008, when close to 200,000 American soldiers were on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Your 19-year-old cousin who flunked out of high school and spends his time on the couch smoking weed and watching old war movies has decided to enlist in the Armed Forces. While you respect his desire to serve his country, his history of bad decision-making worries you.  Does he know what it means to fight in a war? Has he thought this through?  You have just read THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE for this class and you think it might be a good thing for him to read it before he shows up for his physical. Write the letter you would send to your cousin describing this book, its impact on you, and an explanation of why he needs to read it.

PART B (40%) 3-4 PAGES

  1. Write an essay in which you examine the aftermath of the failure of LBJ’s Great Society to be fully realized and lnk this failure to the emergence of the Hip Hop Nation and ultimately the carceral state. Use lecture material, Pruitt-Igoe, Schulman and, of course the reading from Jeff Chang’s CANT STOP WON’T STOP
  2. Stokely Carmichael once made the claim that what is good for Black people is good for American democracy. Discuss this claim and build a case for or against it for the period from 1954 to the present, drawing on course readings, lectures and films.
  3. Cornel West has argued that America’s will toward racial justice is weak. Make an argument for or against this claim, using evidence gleaned from the text, lectures. films and most important James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.
  4. Write an imaginary panel discussion (in the form of a script) concerning the history of race relations in the United States during the period we have studied. You can certainly include current issues and the matter of mass incarceration in the discussion. Include five of the following people on your panel: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, a member of the Black Panthers, Stokley Carmichael, or an artist or political leader of your own choosing. Please make sure that the words spoken by the panel members do, in some way, represent them as accurately as possible. Yes, you are putting words in their mouths but they need to be words they might have spoken. This question is not an invitation to blather on impressionistically. WARNING: This is not an easy question.

PART C. (40%)3-4 PAGES

  1. I have stated that an apt title for this course could be: America Since Television. Write a well-organized essay describing the impact of television on U.S. history since its popularization in the late Forties. Be sure to include both fiction and non-fiction offerings.
  2. . The central philosophical underpinning of all of the significant social movements of the 60s and the 70s was the concept of participatory democracy. We now live in an age in which the gathering and the dissemination of information has been greatly democratized by a whole range of social media.  Write an essay in which you 1) trace the influence of participatory democracy on one of the following social movements, paying particular attention to the ways in which the broad participation of adherents shaped the movement as a whole: Women’s liberation, environmental, Black Power, Gay & Lesbian rights movement, Chicano Movement. 2.) In a brief conclusion you might want to imagine 21st century social media might have impacted that movement.
  3. Write an essay in which you analyze the factors leading to the development of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and the rise of a new political coalition. What social, political, and economic developments led the weakening of the old Democratic coalition and the rise of a new Republican one? Why were people willing to change long-standing political affiliations during the late 1960s and 1970s?
  4. One historian has argued that Watergate was the crucial event which brought down the “imperial presidency” which emphasized a powerful activist president. Evaluate this view, examining presidential power and challenges to this power between the 1960s and the Reagan Administration.
  5. Interview a family member or acquaintance about their participation in a significant historical event that took place in the period we have studied. Write out your questions in advance and make sure that they are well grounded in historical fact. The person must have been an active PARTICIPANT in a historical event. It doesn’t count if your father once saw a protest going on outside of his window when he was in school. This essay should be in Q & A format. And no, you can’t interview me.
  6. A historian has referred to the 1970s as a time in which it seemed like “nothing happened, “suggesting a more complacent and conservative decade after the social activism and upheavals of the 60s. Discuss. The Schulman is particularly helpful for this question
  7. Write an essay in which you describe the waves of social movements that took place in the 60s and 70s and discuss their influence upon one another as well as their ongoing legacy within the context of  American political, social, and cultural life.
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