College writing is an essential skill by which college students should begin to craft and construct their academic voices as they see and interpret the world around them in a scholarly setting. At the same time, as a result of varying phenomena, students have struggled to articulate themselves in written form, often performing what some describe as ‘writing apprehension'. In an effort to explore these phenomena, I developed a first-year seminar that allowed for both the concepts of race, ethnicity, identity, and writing to come together in an academic setting as a way to have students understand identity and its complexities with specific regard to race as well as develop their voice as a scholar. This course served not only as a first-year seminar to acclimate students to the college academic process, but also to introduce students to the field of Ethnic Studies as an academic discipline. As a way by which to engage college writing, I employed the life and works of actor and director Shelton “Spike” Lee. Lee is an Academy Award-winning director noted for his works centered on discussions of race and identity in America. Lee’s works are often heralded as visual works of racial commentary. Through the exploration of his works and focusing primarily on one of his most notable works, Do the Right Thing, students were able to engage with race, identity, writing, and literacy as a transition into their college writing career. The course objectives were to lessen the fears that are often associated with the process of writing and discussions around race.
Quinney, Dominick N.
"Do the ‘Write’ Thing: Utilizing Spike Lee to Read the Word and World,"
Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 5:
4, Article 1.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/rpj/vol5/iss4/1