Portfolio Introduction

The two papers I have revised for my portfolio are: the synthesis essay which intertwines James Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain and Bell Hook’s We Real Cool. As well as a multimodal essay that includes themes and ideals from We Real Cool as it pertains to black masculinity and the false stereotyping of criminalization and generalizations of black men.

For the synthesis essay, I struggled in my first draft narrowing down a singular character as he pertains to topics of We Real Cool. This was be far the most challenging essay I have had to write because you had to find stark commonalities for one character through two books. This did help me become a better writer, however, because it forced me to rarely summarize my thoughts and instead, prove them with drawn out ideals and excerpts from the readings. I re-wrote my synthesis essay in its entirety, and as i got a better grasp on the readings of both books, i felt my writing greatly improved from my first go around to now.

As far as my multimodal essay went, my initial draft provided strong points, however i failed to incorporate, to a proficient extent, another form of media. The problem i had with the multimodal assignment, and what i candidly did not like about writing it, was that I felt as if too much emphasis was drawn on the fact that you had to convey yourself in other forms of communication others that written word. I feel as if in the real world that is the strongest form of communication you can develop, and the way in which one can most effectively get his/her point across. When I wrote my essay i talked with professor Imaani El-Burki- a professor of communications and gender relations at Lehigh. When i asked for her opinions and he take on the assignment, she greatly helped me because she could speak from a pair of shoes that I have never walked in before. She was the one who gave me the venn-diagram example I drew out in my essay. She said with a topic such as this, simplicity in visual context is most necessary. While this assignment bettered me as a person because it allowed me to reach out to parts of the Lehigh community I never would have seen before, I really do feel like it takes away from the messages and lessons we are supposed to take away from Bell Hooks and her readings. I most certainly do not want to be graded on my artistic/creative ability in a class that requires strong communication to translate often difficult topics to others. With that being said I did alter my multimodal in a way that I believe better represents the arguments I am trying to make through a more visual standpoint than what i had done in the past.