- Code of the Streets: How is Elijah Anderson’s “The Code of the Streets” connected to Luis Rodriguez’s Always Running? How is “The Code” a guide to the Rodriguez’s choices in East Los Angeles? What are the causes/effects and possible solutions for gang-affiliated youth in Los Angeles? Write a synthesis essay including evidence from both texts.
- The Chicano Movement: What does Luis Rodriguez’s memoir Always Running reveal about the transformative nature of the Chicano Movement on young Latinos in the 1960s and 1970s? Discuss his memoir, the film Walkout, and Rodolfo Corky Gonzales’s poem “I am Joaquin,” as you explore the impact of the Chicano Movement.
- Poetry Connections: Rodriguez explores the impact the streets have had on his life through his non-fiction, novels, poetry and journalism. Explore the recurring themes of Always Running with his poems “Race Politics,” “Watts Bleeds,” and “Mean Streets.” You may choose to include “The Price of Family” and Tupac Shakur’s poetry as well.
- Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
- A clear thesis statement (main argument).
- Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
- Creativity and sentence variety.
- Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.
You may also choose to use the following texts below in your essay:
- Excerpts from “I Am Joaquin” (Rodolfo Corky Gonzales)
- “Watts Bleeds” and “Mean Streets” poems (Luis Rodriguez)
- “Race Politics” poem (Luis Rodriguez)
- “The Price of Family” (Luis Rodriguez)
- Selected Poems (Tupac Shakur)
- “The Code of the Streets” (Elijah Anderson, The Atlantic)
- “Street Codes” (Elijah Anderson, YouTube)
- Walkout (IMDB)
Handouts and Writing Resources: