- 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.
- Political Activism: What does Luis Rodriguez’s memoir Always Running reveal about the way Latinos transformed their minds and their lives? Discuss Always Running, the film Walkout, Rodolfo Corky Gonzales’s poem “I am Joaquin,” and the film Precious Knowledge as you explore how Latinos can remove the “shackles” from their minds.
- Texts in Conversation: Luis Rodriguez, Malcolm X and Tupac Shakur: In his writing, Rodriguez explores the impact the streets have had on his life. Explore the recurring themes of Always Running, the Autobiography of Malcolm X and Tupac Shakur’s poetry. You may also choose to include additional texts by Rodriguez: “The Price of Family,” “Race Politics,” “Watts Bleeds,” and “Mean Streets.”
- 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.
- Include a works cited page (bibme.org, citationmachine.net)
Handouts and Writing Resources:
You may also choose to use the following texts below in your essay:
- Excerpts from “I Am Joaquin” or Full Poem here (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)
- “Learning to Read” Excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Alex Haley)
- “Los Angeles Walkout” (PBS)
- “The Code of the Streets” (Elijah Anderson, The Atlantic)
- “Street Codes” (Elijah Anderson, YouTube)
- Walkout (IMDB)
- Precious Knowledge (IMDB)
- “Love Poem to Los Angeles” (Luis Rodriguez)