Topics for Further Study

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Research the religious differences between Baptists and Methodists. Consider if the differences outweigh the similarities between these different branches of Protestantism.

Discuss whether you think that Mule Bone is perpetuating stereotypes about southern blacks. Why or why not?

Look at some early black sheet music. What do the lyrics tell the listeners about rural black life in the South in the first half of the twentieth century?

A modern reader might wonder at the legitimacy of the trial Clarke holds for Jim. Research early town life in the rural South. Is Jim’s trial representative of how small black communities might deal out justice?

Joe Clarke thinks he has control in this town, and yet, at the play’s conclusion a banished Jim can return to town in defiance of Clarke’s orders. Who really maintains control? You might consider the role that church elders play or what women contribute to such action.

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