Define integrity using evidence from “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” (James Baldwin 1963)

But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. “ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (1968)

Writing Project 2: Applying Integrity (Baldwin, King, Black Panther, Lamar)

Prompt: What is your definition of “integrity” (or your own keyword)? What evidence can you find in Baldwin and King (and Lamar|SZA– optional) to support your definition? Does your definition apply to Black Panther? Why or why not?

6-7 pages  MLA Style with internal citation and works cited page


Prompt explication: This prompt explication offers suggestions and questions for WP 2 organization and content:

Define integrity (OR your own keyword ) using evidence from “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” (James Baldwin 1963) and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (text and audio by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1968).

If you choose, your definition can include evidence from Kendrick Lamar’s “i (love myself)” and/or “All the Stars” (lyrics and video by Kendrick Lamar and SZA)

What evidence can you find from each text to support your definition?

Does your definition apply  to “Black Panther”? Why or why not? Why is this significant?

What would an academic audience challenge in your definition and application? How would you respond to that challenge? Why?



 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1968)  I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”: Speech to Striking Sanitation Workers in Memphis, Tennessee.

 Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler (2018).

Baldwin“The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” and Lamar “i.”



Be sure to include:

Summarize and analyze King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” Baldwin’s “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity,” and Lamar’s “i” in your own words. Relate your ideas to definitions of integrity.



Choose one or more scenes from Black Panther to define integrity in depth. Write a journal entry that explains your choice. Relate your choice to King, Baldwin, Lamar. Refer to previous journal entries to expand on your ideas.



Choose one or more scenes from Black Panther to define integrity in depth. Write an essay that creates a conversation between you, the film, and our previous readings. You can write the conversation as a play between authors and characters, or as a conventional journal entry in paragraph form. Refer to previous journal entries to expand on your selections.


Define integrity (or your own keyword). Include evidence from Baldwin’s “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” and King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” to synthesize and pull together your ideas. (500-700 words). If relevant, Kendrick Lamar’s work may be included.


Apply your definition of integrity (or your own keyword) to Black Panther. Does Black Panther fit your definition? Why or why not?



Recommended videos: Content alert for Racism, Violence, Graphic scenes and language, Historical trauma

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop: Excerpts from the speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

James Baldwin and Martin Luther King: Excerpt from the film “The Price of the Ticket”

All the Stars are Closer: Kendrick Lamar and SZA

Introduction to Black Panther: Trevor Noah introduces Black Panther at the Oscars (ABC TV)



Assignment Goals: At midterm, we will focus on the practices of application, synthesis, persuasive evidence, and interpreting multimedia texts. Our second essay will apply principles of artistic, personal, and community integrity from Baldwin, Lamar (see WP 1), and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to a viewing of the film Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler (2018). WP 2 will examine multiple and conflicting rhetorics as a means of grappling with the meanings of Black Panther for everyday life. How is the idea of  “integrity” (or another keyword) defined across multiple texts? What relevance do these definitions hold for an understanding of rhetorical power and Black Panther?”


Checklist for WP 2:

As in Essay 1, students should practice and demonstrate independent, original analysis. Students are not expected to produce a unique or radical thesis; however, they must conduct their own focused analysis of evidence to develop their arguments.

Essay 2 should not require library research or use more than three sources from our course readings to successfully complete this essay. In Essay 2, students should implement an appropriate citation convention. The sources used for this essay must be assigned as readings for the class.

As in Essay 1, students will learn, practice and develop critical reading strategies required for writing. However, Essay 2 goes further than Essay 1 by requiring students to use sources to develop critical lenses for their analysis and/or to orchestrate a critical dialogue between their sources.

As in Essay 1, students will practice summarizing sources as a precursor to analysis.

Students will learn about and practice the expectations and structure for writing organized around a thesis. However, in Essay 2, added focus will be given to the role of theoretical/critical/secondary sources in developing a thesis.

As in Essay 1, students will write for a specified, relevant audience and rhetorical situation with the awareness of the expectations for academic writing. The essay will require students to imagine writing within a context that is pertinent to the writing assignment and understandable to freshman students.

Students will practice drafting and incorporating feedback toward revision. Therefore, instructors should provide written feedback to students at least once during the revision process.









KEYWORDS, QUOTES, AND IDEAS THAT LINK “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.”


Keywords: action/activism, connection/unity, integrity, suffering, issues, struggle, crucial/importance







“The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee — the cry is always the same: “We want to be free.”” (Martin Luther King)


“You survive this and in some terrible way, which I suppose no one can ever describe, you are compelled, you are corralled, you are bullwhipped into dealing with whatever it is that hurt you. And what is crucial here is that if it hurt you, that is not what’s important. Everybody’s hurt.” ( Baldwin, 52)



Ideas: What ideas or thoughts do you have about the ways in which “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” are connected to each other? What similarities do you see?

The integrity of a people who are fighting for a sense of identity amidst a cruel world of conformity.





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