General Education Common Graded Assignment: AASD 101
Cultural Product Analysis
AASD 101-Introduction to Africana Studies is a general education course designed to assist students in the development
of critical life skills. One of the goals of this assignment is to assess student competence for each of these objectives:
I. Written and Oral Communication—Evaluate the thoughts, values and traditions of peoples of the African
Diaspora in the past and present (CCO 2)
II. Critical Analysis and Reasoning— Recognize connections between the Black culture and experience in the
United States and the rest of the world (CCO 6)
IV. Information Literacy— Find, evaluate, use and cite both primary and secondary academic resources related to
Africana Studies (CCO 11)
VI. Local and Global Diversity— Analyze the impact that gender and class have upon social, cultural, political, and
economic issues relevant to the experiences of people of African descent. (CCO 7)
VII. Personal and Professional Ethics— Examine their own viewpoints and assumptions concerning race and ethnic
relations in cultures throughout the African Diaspora (CCO 5)
In addition to the above general education objectives, this assignment assesses students’ understanding and application
of the following skills and knowledge specific to Africana Studies:
I. Identify the impact of media (print, electronic, etc.) in shaping race/ethnic relations (CCO 10)
II. Identify social, political, economic, and cultural forces that shape the racial and ethnic division throughout the
African Diaspora (CCO 3)
III. Identify the uses of Afrocentrism as an analytic tool in a number of social science and humanities disciplines
In a 3-6 page essay, students will analyze how a cultural product constructs perceptions of African American culture
and traditions in the United States. Students will consider how it shapes our notions or understanding of what it means
to be an African American, how it confirms, resists, or revises stereotypes of Blacks in the American context. A cultural
product is a human-created object that expresses values, beliefs, norms, and interpretations.
Purpose: To demonstrate knowledge of the ways in which race and ethnicity are socially constructed and maintained
through culture, and to illustrate mastery of the core concepts concerning the development of African American
culture by utilizing history and theories of power, privilege, hierarchy, race, ethnicity, and class.
Audience: The course instructor
Cultural Products Include:
Literature: a short story, mythology, novel, poem, greeting card or play
Music: a song, performer, or specific genre (hip hop, R & B, jazz, blues, etc…)
Cinema: a character in a movie or a movie in a specific genre (Blaxploitation, action, etc…)
Television: a character in a series or a specific genre (comedy, reality shows, music videos, etc…)
Print Media: a specific magazine, newspaper, newsletter, journal or periodical
Visual Art: photography, painting, sculpture
African American Holidays: Kwanzaa, Juneteenth, Jubilee, etc…
Guiding Questions: In whatever cultural product that you choose, determine the following;
1. What do you learn about African American culture and traditions?
2. Is there evidence of stereotyping or racial hierarchy?
3. What messages does this cultural product send to African Americans and non-African Americans?
4. What conclusions can you draw from completing this assignment about the way that African Diasporic culture has
• The paper should be at least three (3) pages of substantive analysis and no more than six (6) full pages.
• The paper must be typed, double-spaced, have a one-inch margin and be 12 point font.
• You must include a copy, facsimile, or internet link to the cultural product that you are analyzing.
In addition to your cultural product, you must use a minimum of two additional sources for a minimum of three
resource items. One secondary source may come from the assigned readings of the course. The other should be a
scholarly source that you acquire through the CCBC library databases.
The following CCBC Library resources may be helpful:
• African America History CCBC Library Research Guide
• African American Literature CCBC Library Research Guide
Remember to integrate the sources into your analysis with appropriate introduction, qualifiers, and to document the
sources with academic integrity. The discipline of Africana Studies has produced a vast amount of serious scholarship on
the contemporary popular culture. Utilizing scholarly sources will improve the level of your analysis. You may not use
Wikipedia. You must cite and integrate the sources found into your analysis.
MLA 9 style format is required for documentation via parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page.
• The assignment is due on or before _________. Faculty: Students’ work should be submitted in the last third of
the course and before Final Exams.
• Electronic submissions should be made with the student’s ID number (900#) as the file name through
Brightspace. Student and instructor names should not appear on electronic submissions.