Topics for Further Study

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  • Write a short story in which you travel to the future. Describe this world. What has changed? Does racism still exist in this society?
  • Read an original slave narrative of the 1800s, such as Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) or Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861). Use the details of slave life to write a mock diary entry describing a typical day in the life of a slave.
  • As an interracial couple, Kevin and Dana Franklin face legal obstacles to their marriage in the nineteenth century and social opposition in the twentieth. Do some research into interracial marriages: trace the history of miscegenation laws (laws regulating interracial relationships) and look up statistics. Are interracial marriages on the increase? Are they more or less likely to end in divorce? Write an essay discussing your findings.
  • The Missouri Compromise of 1820 established a precedent for how the United States would deal with the issue of slavery. Research the history of laws and Supreme Court decisions concerning slavery between 1820 and 1860. Create a timeline tracing these developments, and accompany it with a map illustrating the addition of new slave and free states during the same period.

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