Final Exam Study Topics and Questions: Chapters 23, 24, 27, 28, and part of Chapter 29(pp. 892-893)in The American Promise; Chapters 2, 4, 6 and 12 in Major Problems in American Popular Culture; Chapters 11 through 14 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Some topics may be combined in the actual exam.Feel free to view videos in the Webliography on eCollege (“Eyes on the Prize” episodes, the Rosa Parks article, and the 1950s videos that were utilized for Short Assignment 4).
Grades for the exam are based on comprehension, use of materials, and amount of detail. Please write thesis statements for all answers, and be sure to note timeframes and specific years.
- What was the New Deal, and why was Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected U.S. President? Describe the beginnings of the Great Depression, including possible causes, the Presidency of Herbert Hoover, and the Election of 1932. And how did radio change the nature of communications in the cases of FDR, Father Charles Coughlin, Huey Long, and James J. Braddock?
- How does the story of Malcolm X relate to the Great Migration of Africa Americans? What kind of experiences did he perceive that would shape his views on race, as well as his late speaking style? How could he be so different from Martin Luther King, Jr.? Describe the March of Washington as described in the textbook and videos, and Malcolm X’s perceptions of it.
- If the 1950s were a time of economic prosperity, relatively free of political conflict (outside of the Cold War and the start of the Civil Rights era), why was that so? Describe America’s image of itself, through the lens of popular culture and youth culture: comic books, films, rockn’ roll. How might economic prosperity contributed to creation of the “teenager”? If “juvenile delinquency” as a growing concern, how could the growth of new media and forms of popular culture affect that?
- Describe aspects of the Civil Rights era: The reactions and actions of presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. Describe social conditions in the South, direct action inspired by the Civil Rights movement, and Martin Luther King (and others) as national media figures in the struggle. What specifically were the 1950s events that led to mobilization in protest and legal actions against segregation, discrimination, and violence in the South going into the 1960s? What and who did Malcolm X represent? How did the followers of both King and Malcom differ, and why?
- Describe the conditions leading up to the Presidential Election of 1968: The Civil Rights Movement in the South; urban rebellions (“riots”) and the rise of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, hippies and the New Left, Vietnam War protests, the Democratic National convention. Who was elected President, and how did that have anything to do with the events described above?
- Describe the development of American popular culture from the advent of vaudeville and minstrel shows, Wild West shows, circuses, and movies, through the Rock n’ Roll era and “juvenile delinquency.” How would you describe audiences in each of these cases, and what made these forms of entertainment attractive to them? How did the historic backgrounds of these cases differ?