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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 358

Wright’s ‘‘Bright and Morning Star’’ takes place outside of Memphis, Tennessee, probably in the 1930s. Research the history of this city during this time frame to find stories about incidents of racial violence. Were there any crimes recorded against African Americans? What were they? How were the defendants treated? What...

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Wright’s ‘‘Bright and Morning Star’’ takes place outside of Memphis, Tennessee, probably in the 1930s. Research the history of this city during this time frame to find stories about incidents of racial violence. Were there any crimes recorded against African Americans? What were they? How were the defendants treated? What was the racial breakdown of the population of prisoners in Tennessee at this time?

Write a paper about the Communist Party in the United States. How active was the party in American politics? Were there any candidates in U. S. Senate races or the U. S. House of Representatives? What were the major causes of the party during the 1930s and 1940s? Were any of these causes taken up by other organized groups?

Research the disenfranchised African-American voters in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. Then create a short story as Wright might have written it, using his style and tone of voice. The story does not have to match historical events, but make it relevant to modern times. Focus on one person’s specific and personal frustrations with the voting that year.

James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison were Wright’s contemporaries. At one time, Ellison even considered Wright his mentor. Find out what happened to these relationships. How did they begin? When and how did they fall apart? What were the differences between these men? Be as objective as possible, showing both, or all three, sides of the arguments and their different political philosophies as well as their literary philosophies.

In Chicago during the 1990s, several black men were released from jail after investigators discovered evidence that these men had been sentenced for crimes they did not commit. Research one of these cases and write about it. The story could be told as a journalistic article, a short story, a poem, or the lyrics to a song.

Wright published a collection of haiku. Research the history of haiku, including the definition and format. Then write your own collection of ten haiku. The topics of the haiku do not all have to concern themselves with social issues, but try to include at least one that deals with racism.

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