In Patrick Henry’s famous speech, he is reported to have said “Give me liberty or give me death.” In
Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice, activists approach changing segregation laws differently. Both, however, were seeking change. As community members, we are often faced things we would like to see changed.
For this essay, evaluate when and why should one choose violence and/or nonviolence as a strategy/strategies for social or political change.
Remember there is no one “right” answer; the goal is to state and support your answer.
You must include Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice AND at least 2 of the following texts:
“The Success and Failure of Non-Violence” by Yoav Tenembaum “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” by Patrick Henry
“Is Political Violence Ever Justifiable” by Gwilym David Blunt
● 1000 words (approximately four full pages)not including your heading or Works Cited
● Include a major claim (also called a thesis)
● Use at least two pieces of textual evidence (a direct quote) from each text you choose
○ 2 from Hoose
○ 2 from 2 of the following: Tenembaum OR Henry OR Blunt
● All evidence must be cited in the body of the essay AND in a Works Cited (even if you don’t know how, try)
● Essay must be MLA-formatted
● Attach your work as a PDF so that I can leave comments in the margins. See Class Conversation for short tutorial on PDFs if you are having trouble converting files to PDFs.
● If the prompt is not a question, it can be helpful to rephrase the prompt as a question. Your answer will be your thesis. Greene and Lidinsky’s offer you “From Formulating to Developing a Thesis” which may be a big help.
● YOU CANNOT EDIT WHAT YOU DID NOT WRITE, so write something — even if it’s “not good” or if you don’t like it. We can work with a draft
● Use the M.E.A.L. before and after you write.
Some brainstorming questions/prompts that may help you continue writing (we’ve been writing since we started reading these sources!):
● What does nonviolence look like under a democratic government?
● Are there criteria that must be met that can help to determine if violence or nonviolence is appropriate?
● Are boycotts and other “nonviolent” tactics useful tools for change in 2023?
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