In one of your required readings for this week, scholar Drea Brown uses close re


In one of your required readings for this week, scholar Drea Brown uses close reading strategies to explore Phillis Wheatley’s poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America”. In her essay (Links to an external site.), Brown unpacks the actions of “bringing” and “being brought” as they relate to the violence and traumatic legacy of the American slave trade.
As an African American woman, Brown’s response to Wheatley’s work is complex and poignant. After exploring Wheatley’s language within a larger historical context, Brown concludes, “My relationship with Phillis is composed of a kind of love and disaster that pushes me through and into gaps toward ancestral and personal healing. It feels right to me, even the most gnarled and tenuous spaces. Relationships are complicated.”
In the spirit of close reading and using Brown’s essay as an inspiration for your own work, compose a 250-300 word journal in which you reflect on a poem, song (focusing on lyrics), book excerpt, article, or other text which has stuck with you–for whatever reason. The piece you choose may resonate with you, as Wheatley’s work does with Brown, in relationship to your identity. Alternatively, you may reflect on a text that “will not let you go” because it brings up a certain memory or idea. You have some flexibility in how you respond and the text that you choose does not necessarily need to be authored by a woman.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re using close reading skills to unpack specific lines, words, or phrases in the text that you choose (see Brown’s discussion of “brought” and “bringing” (Links to an external site.) and June Jordan’s interrogation of a “nice day” (Links to an external site.)).
Possible Points: This assignment is worth a total of 35 pts.
Guidelines: Use MLA Format (Links to an external site.) for citations.
Grading Criteria: You will be graded according to the following rubric:
Creative approach to the assignment 5
Includes biographical information about the chosen text 10
Uses close reading skills to reflect on specific words/phrases/lines of chosen text 15
Follows MLA format 5


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