ENGL 100 UC Irvine English Idea Generation Activity Essay

I’m trying to study for my Literature course and I need some help to understand this question.


This essay project will require you to work closely with Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Referring back to and reflecting on your annotations and experiences as a reader of that text will be essential for developing ideas that will become your thesis and essay development.

This exercise will help to organize your experiences as a reader, navigate complexity and consolidate the ideas for easier insight.

Activity Instructions

Step 1: Referring back to previous experiences and annotations made while reading The New Jim Crow, identify passages where Alexander helps you understand what this work reveals about American democracy through its critique. Identify as many passages as will be useful to develop a fully fledged essay on this topic.

Step 2: After rereading and identifying relevant passages, you should reflect on these ideas using a synthetic or ‘big picture’ approach, considering them together as a whole. In this forum, post a reply wherein you summarize your findings of Alexander’s ideas. Try to carefully understand, how does Alexander critique American democracy and what does she reveal about this institution through that critique? Answer these questions in a free-writing activity response, referring to the text for support.


If we live in a such a democracy, then why do we take away the right for people to vote? A democracy is supposed to voice everyone’s opinion and base the final decision off the majority. Alexander writes that once you are labeled a felon your right to vote is taken away and to get to be able to vote again you must go through this extremely difficult process. Majority of felons are people of color more specifically African American males, and by taking away their right to vote it slowly scrapes away the voice people of color have in our government as more and more of them are being labeled as felons.

Michelle Alexander in her text defined democracy the way it is supposed to be and how people are equal in determining the future of their country, yet she summarized how voting rights developed from completely no vote for African Americans and them being described as three-fifths of person all the way till the war on drugs where many African American were accused of drug dealing and their voting right was taken away from them leaving them pointless with no rights for present and absolutely no clue for tomorrow.