Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 227
‘‘Roselily’’ was removed from a statewide reading test in California because many people believed the story to be antireligious. What message, if any, do you think the story presents about religion? Write a letter to a newspaper editor or school administrator explaining why you think ‘‘Roselily’’ should or should not be taught in your local high school.
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Investigate the beliefs of the Nation of Islam, especially those regarding the proper roles for men and women. Does Roselily seem to have an accurate idea of what her new life will be like?
Women in Arabic Islam countries often wear a veil, or purdah. Learn what you can about this custom, and find some accounts by women who wear the veil. Why do many Muslim women see the purdah as freeing, rather than confining?
Roselily supports herself and three children on her wages as a sewing machine operator in a factory. Find out how much she might earn at this job, and calculate her expenses for food, shelter, and daycare. Do the math. How much of a factor in her decision to marry is her economic situation?
Look at some accounts of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. How many educated white men and women from the North came, like Roselily’s married lover, to help with the movement? What kinds of work did they do?