October 2010

You can only see the face of William Forrester. He slightly opens the door for Jamal Wallace.

William looks very sceptical and seems to be unfortunate about Jamals visit.

William seems to be a person who likes to be alone.

The two are in Forresters study room.  On the desk are many books.

W.F seems to teach Jamal in something. He is standing and watches at Jamal in an authority way.

Jamal is holding something in his hands. It’s looking like a script.

The situation seems a little bit warmer than in the first picture.

-eye contact

Jamal is rotating a basketball on his finger.

In the backround are a lot of books, which are batched high. Jamal seems to be intelligent and eager to learn.

But because of the basketball he also seems to be sporty.

  • Jamal and Forrester are talking. Forrester is holding his bycicle. He wears a draft. Jamal wears the school uniform.
  • The relationship seems much better than in the other pictures. Jamal looks fortunate and also Forrester looks less sceptical.
  • Forrester now seems to be opener toward Jamal

2. Bronx in 1990s

After the second World War new houses where built. Construction ranged from luxury apartment buildings in Riverdale to public housing in the southern Bronx. About 170,000 persons displaced by slum clearing in Manhattan, mostly black and Puerto Rican, moved to Hunts Point and Morrisania, as well as to Melrose, Tremont, and Highbridge. In 1950, social workers reported enduring poverty in a section of the southern Bronx. A period of rampant arson in the late 1960s and early 1970s ended only after the policy was changed and a limit was imposed on insurance payments for reconstructing burned-out apartment buildings. From that time one-family houses and row houses were built, hundreds of apartment buildings restored, and several apartments converted to cooperatives and condominium units, permitting more residents of the southern Bronx to own their homes.

Flynn: the Democratic leader of Bronx county, the construction in the 1950s and 1960s of housing and a network of highways linking the Bronx with the rest of the city.

As commuting by automobile became more convenient, high-rise apartment building were erected in southern and eastern neighborhoods along the new roads. Co-op city, a complex of 15,372 units built in the northeastern Bronx between 1968 and 1970, housed sixty thousand persons and was among the largest housing developments in the world. Industries occupied new industrial parks in the Bronx. Puerto Ricans accounted for a growing share of the population (20 percent in 1970) and became more active in politics.

By the mid 1990s the population of the Bronx was increasing. It was about a third black, a third Latin American, and a third Asian and white.there were also growing numbers of Koreans, Vietnamese, Indians, Pakistanis, Cubans, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Greeks, and Russians. Many Albanians settled in Belmont, many Cambodians in Fordham. Co-op City remained a successful development, luxury apartments built in Riverdale in the 1950s became cooperatives, and the housing stock continued to include the world’s largest concentration of buildings in the art deco style. Entrepreneurs formed new businesses, and the borough’s public schools were overcrowded with new immigrants.

3. The trailer

The trailer shows that Jamal is living in the Bronx. He and his friends are talking about someone who is watching them trough a window, while they’re playing basketball. They call the person “the window”. In the next scene Jamal surch for something in the apartment of “the window”. The owner suprised him and he forgot his bag. Jamal is good in writing literarily texts. His notebook was in the bag and when he got it back, the text is corrected. In consequence of that he knocks on the door and asks “the wondow” to correct some other works. He worked out that the person who correct his work is the famous author William Forrester.

I didn’t expect that a succesful author like Forrester lives in the Bronx. I imagined him in a nice suburban homestead.  In addition I suspect him to be  more unapproachable. But the trailer shows how enthusiastic Forrester is, while working with Jamal. He is pleased that he “found” such a great talent. Jamal, with his cool image approved my expectations. He got into Forresters apartment because his friends “want” it. He wants to be accepted in his community. Moreover he plays basketball to answer the expectations of a normal boy.

The trailer suggests that you find your passion and find your courage when you watch the film. I think people watch the film because it is interesting, how a black boy of the Bronx is getting better in writing with the help of an educated author.

Forrester learns that his life as an unapproachable living old man isn’t that nice.  It’s the developement of Jamal and Forrester which is interesting for the viewer.

The film seems very exciting. The narrator speaks mysterious and the scenes also show interesting parts of the film. You can get an overview of the plot because the trailer shows many different scenes.The coulours are also mostly dark and in sepia. Specially when Forrester and Jamal are working. The light is dimmed and they work in a room with dark coloured furniture. That fits to the mysterious narrator voice. The camera settings change very often. That enables to have a bis overview about the topic.

The Bronx is depicted as a basketball playing community, who are living on their own.  The trailer shows that Jamal wants to be accepted in this community. He plays basketball and tones down his literarily talent to match in the Bronx. In addition they are discriminated by others, like Jamal is dicriminated by his teacher.

4. Comparison

A Coming of age story is memorable because the character undergoes adventures and inner turmoil in his/her growth and development as a human being.

Rags to riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth, or sometimes from obscurity to fame.(wikipedia)

Both terms go with the story of Finding Forrester. Jamal is getting better in writing because Forrester helps him. He grows and goes to a private school. In addition he rises from a basketball playing boy, who wants to be accpeted in the Bronx to a succesful writer who is accepted of an educated author. Jamal learns that he has a talent and can be proud. At the beginning of the trailer Forrester is an unapproached old man who is living in his apartment without having contact to anyone. At the end he is going out with Jamal, and talking in Jamal’s school. He established the contact to the rest of the world.


Pre-Civil-War Conflicts

  • The fugitive slave Act which allows salve owners to catch any black fugitive for themselves.
  • That promotes abolotionists, so the slaves were smuggled into Louisiana.
  • In the 1850s the slave prices increades and some white southeners were prompted for repeal of the African slave ban. But that was unsuccesful.
  • The conflict between the antislavery acticists and the slaveholding interests was growing.
  • Therefore the Congress negotiated the Compromise of 1850s.
  • In many northern cities military units were formed in anticipation of the Civil War.

1. What religious and philosophical background led to anti-slavery sentiments?

  • Christian religious principles
  • egalitarian philosophy

2. Where was slavery first abolished? In the North or in the South?

  • In the Norther states

3. What does THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD refer to?

  • a secret system of hiding places in the homes of abolitionists

4. Name a very famous black abolitionist and say how he felt about the progress of the movement.

  • Frederick Douglass
  • he was impatient with the slow progress

5. Why did the FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT make life even harder for slaves?

  • because if they escaped they still were in danger of other slave owners

6. Why were military units formed in the Northern cities in the 1850s?

  • because the conflict between Souther slaveholding interests and Northern antislavery activists was growing. In anticipation of the Civil War they formed miltary units.

7. What economic reasons prompted white Northerners to be suspicious of an expansion of slavery?

  • slaves meant a cheaper competition for jobs

8. What position did Southerns take regarding slavery?

  • they feared that reducing slavery would cause its abolition

9. How many Southern states broke away from the union as a result of the conflict?

  • 11

10. In July 1862 President Lincoln had the chance to use new troops. Who were they and what did they fight for?

  • they were black and fought for the abolition of slavery

11. Name and explain the important event which took place on 1st January 1863.

  • the president issued his Emancipation Proclamation which initiated the abolition of slavery

12. Who won the Civil War?

  • the Northern antislavery activists

13. Did Lincoln manage to enjoy his triumph?

  • No, he was assassinated in April,1865.

14. When was the 13th Amendment issued and what was its content?

  • In December 1865 the slavery was formally abolished

15. Name the steps comprising the RECONSTRUCTION between 1865 and 1877 and point out which new rights the blacks were awarded as a consequence.

  • 13th Amendment: slavery was abolished formally
  • 14th Amendment: all states were required to revise their constructions and to ensure that Blacks had ctizenship rights, including the right to vote. Also the Southern states had to ratify the 14th Amendment.
  • 15th Amendment: forbade the denial of right to vote based on race
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875: forbade racial discrimination

16. How did Southern democrats try to undermine the process of granting blacks more rights?

  • they used violence

17. What role did the KLU KLUX KLAN play in this scenario?

  • groups conducted terrorist attacks and lynchings on African Americans and their allies to limit Republican political power and restrict black opportunities.

18. Sketch the development in the South after 1877.

  • black rights still taken away in different ways
  1. laws that force the separation of races
  2. systems that kept blacks economically dependent on Whites
  3. increased incapacitation of blacks

19. What changes did the Jim Crow Laws bring along for black citizens?

20. What Supreme Court verdict must have been particularly depressing for all those in favour of equality?

21. Explain the role terrorist attacks against black Americans played in the Jim Crow era.

22. Sketch Booker T. Washington`s view on what should be done to achieve more equality.

23. What position did W.E.B. DuBois advocate?

24. What problems did the Great Migration cause in the North?

25. Name some examples of Race Rioting which took place in 1917.

26. What black behaviour was new during the RED SUMMER of 1919?

27. What different approaches did Malcolm X on the one hand and Martin Luther King on the other take towards black protest?

28. How were black soldiers treated after WWI ?

29. What attitude did a new type of black person, the NEW NEGRO take towards whites and the struggle for black equality?

30. What courageous action has ROSA PARKS become famous for?

31.  Imagine you had been on the committee selecting Dr. M.L. King for the Nobel Peace Prize. What reasons could you present that would confirm your decision?

32. What effect did the 2nd Civil Rights Act have on the lives of African Americans? Check the website below for more information


33. What new aspects did the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION LAWS from 1972 bring along?

34. Comment on the significance of the joint observance of MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Day in all US states.

35. Name some influential black politicians from the late 20th and early 21st century and point out their significance for the FACE OF AMERICA.

36. Speculate on the road ahead for African Americans on the backdrop of the rough economic climate.