1. The home page of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center is http://www.pequotmuseum.org/. This site has links to Mashantucket Pequot history and details regarding the annual Schemitzun ceremony.
Review the content of this website. Read the history of the Pequots and read about the programs and events they sponsor. Considering that this website is a form of self-representation of the Mashantucket Pequots (that is produced and controlled by them), how would you account for the choices made by the website sponsors for this public representation of this group of people? What issues feature prominently in this website? What aspects of contemporary reservation life are not prominently featured?
2. The website American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology is found at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/wpa/wpahome.html.
From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the federal government’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). These former slaves, most born in the last years of the slave regime or during the Civil War, provided firsthand accounts of their experiences on plantations, in cities, and on small farms.
Select several of the narratives and read them. You can also listen to some of them on sound files. Try to organize your sample in a way that allows you to draw some conclusions (e.g., use urban-based narratives or rural community resident narratives in one state or region). While you absorb the narratives consider the issues of identity, identity maintenance, boundary maintenance mechanisms, and ethnogenesis. Try to identify in these narratives examples of these forms of cultural identity assertion.
3. The website http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/mixed/ contains multiple links for exploration concerning issues related to an episode of Frontline on PBS titled, “Jefferson’s Blood: Mixed Race America.” This documentary and website explore multiple issues and debates emanating from the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. In the documentary, which can be viewed at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/view/, descendants of this family debate the question of the race of Eston Hemings, the son of Jefferson and Hemings, and express multiple interpretations of their own identities as well as America’s mixed-race past.
Explore the multiple links to this website; understand the “one drop rule” and explore the questions raised by racial categories in the census. What is the "illogic” behind American census categories? Should race continue to be recorded in the American census?