A Report from Occupied Territory by James Baldwin
1. There is a lot of cultural information present in James Baldwin’s essay. The usage of the N-word in the essay is symbolic of the brutal systems of racism present at the time and a system of which the effects can still be seen today. Baldwin also goes into great depths to explain how the police (and by extension the law system) works as an enemy of African American people in America. This creates a lot of resentment between the people and the law. Some people took it upon themselves to speak out against the police for the unjust treatment they faced but as Baldwin goes to great detail to describe, they were treated horribly, and in many cases beaten brutally by the police forces.
2. Some questions a fieldworker may ask are:
To people: Do you feel the police are against you? What kind of unjust treatment have you personally witnessed or have been affected by? Do you think people of color still experience this brutal, unfair treatment today? How can you survive in a system that is working to keep you down?
3. I think other sources of information a field worker can use are asking people who have lived in Harlem during the time period. Asking them questions such as “How their experience was like during the time period. the things they witnessed etc.” Even people who were not around then, but are currently living in Harlem would likely provide valuable information. In addition, simply living in Harlem for a time would be useful to get information on insider culture.
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