My project looks at flat characterization and how it can lead to racism. I argue that it is easy for a person to view others as characters. To consistently see the same story about people of color can prompt flattening because of race, which is racism. I further implicate police officers of racist flattening. I discuss racial profiling as a continued practice and provide evidence of the high amount of black men in prison. Finally, I look to the Innocence Project as a means to confront and reject that flattening. I explain potential ways they could do that, while addressing potential criticisms.
The biggest challenge was working the Innocence Project into my new vision of flat characterization and racism. I had initially pitched my project as only being about the Innocence Project, relating it to empathy, but I found new inspiration in the second prompt of the first paper. I didn’t want to let go of that former idea completely, though, so I had to find ways to readjust. I realized the Innocence Project could be used as a way to end such a prevalent yet disheartening problem. Once I began looking into that, I arrived at two solutions which I discuss in detail in the project. I was pleased with how that argument came together and made the situation somewhat less bleak.
The biggest payoff was the overall appearance of the project. I had never used ePortfolio before this class, and so by extension I had never had the chance to present a project through it. I enjoy the images and graphs I was able to find, and how a video could break up the monotony of all the reading. I also made use of links. Instead of a dry research paper, it’s a semi-interactive exploration into a topic I didn’t realize was so important. It taught me about a platform I was unaware of, something I’m interested in returning to in the future.
This project helped me meet four out of the five listed course goals. I used key terms such as round and flat as ways to describe characters and people, though to be fair I could have brought in a bit more literary terms in my discussion. I analyzed the specific context of disproportionate incarceration from a literary point of view, and I did provide the literary example of The Hate U Give in giving an example of a flat character. I analyzed all of my sources, including the outside images and the video. It’s clear why I used them and how they are relevant to my topic. The goal I didn’t achieve was not leading a class discussion regarding it. I brought up potential rebuttals but I didn’t engage my fellow classmates very much. Finally, I did develop ideas through writing and revision. The presentation helped me consider new directions.