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English I--Annotated bibliography: Home

Brown Girl Dreaming

Questions for Reflection

As we read Brown Girl Dreaming, we are on a journey with Jacqueline and the characters of the novel, and are considering her resiliency, as well as how her community affects her identity and her sense of belonging. Some questions we are asking:

  • How do the American conflicts of the 1960s affect Jacqueline’s coming of age? Specifically, how does Jacqueline’s family navigate conflicts (both internal and external) regarding their race as African Americans?
  • What are the written and unwritten rules of Jacqueline’s “moral universe” and how do they impact her?
  • Why is Nicholtown called “Colored Town”?
  • What are the similarities between Jacqueline and Kya?
  • Who is included in Jacqueline’s community?
  • How do history and research help us understand our characters and themes in our novels?

Assignment in brief

  1. You will select one of the questions above that most interests you and research the historical context of Jacqueline’s life, or “moral universe”, in the1960s.
  2. You will reflect on your personal interest in this question and how you are seeing it connect to our novel.
  3. You will select THREE sources that relate to your question.
  4. You will write the following for each source:
    1. Full MLA citation
    2. Paragraph 1: A summary of the source, including one quotation
    3. Paragraph 2: A short reflection of how this source matters to our contemporary (current) understanding of identity and community, as well as Jacqueline and characters in our novel

We will choose from the following topics:

  • The Great Migration
  • Segregated schooling in the US, 1950s
  • Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
  • Jim Crow laws
  • Civil Rights movement and non-violent action (MLK, Freedom Riders, Jr. etc.)

Library Catalog

Electronic resources


Electronic Books

Keyword search terms


Use the list of terms below to find information on your topic:

Civil Rights               segregation            school segregation                 redlining

Great Migration         green book            Jim Crow                               

 Freedom riders

March on Washington           civil disobedience         

lunch counter sit-ins

Montgomery bus boycott        Voting Rights Act           

Fair Housing Act         


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