All English III AP Language students will need to read The Sun Also Shines by Anthony Ray Hinton AND the following fifteen essays from 50 Essays (feel free to read others that sound interesting as well). See letter from Mr. Falkner and Mr. Villareal for more details.
• E.B. White “Once More to the Lake”
• Eli Claire “Clearcut: Explaining the Distance”
• Walt Whitman “Slang in America”
• Thomas Jefferson “The Declaration of Independence”
• Stephen King “Reading to Write”
• Frederick Douglas “Learning to Read and Write”
• Amy Tan “Mother Tongue”
• Stephanie Ericsson “The Ways We Lie”
• Bharati Mukherjee “Two Ways to Belong in America”
• Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Paranoid Style of American Policing”
• Malcom Gladwell “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted”
• Henry David Thoreau “Civil Disobedience”
• Ai Weiwei “The Refugee Crisis Isn’t About Refugees: It’s About Us”
A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.
But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.
With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
Born in Alabama in 1957, Anthony Ray Hinton was 29 years old when he was wrongly convicted of the murders of two restaurant managers. Held on death row for nearly 30 years he was finally released on 3 April 2015 after his appeal was taken right up to the US Supreme Court, which ruled that his case should be retried. Since his release he’s become a popular and powerful speaker, planning to devote the rest of his life to help counter discrimination, bolster justice and share his message of hope and forgiveness.
If you read and liked one of these books, you might enjoy this title as well:
50 Essays: A Portable Anthology : The book’s carefully chosen selections engage students and include both classic essays and high-interest, contemporary readings. The editorial apparatus is flexible and unobtrusive enough to support a variety of approaches to teaching composition. The sixth edition features new voices on culturally relevant topics as well as sentence guides that help students develop an academic writing voice with templates for a variety of composing situations.
Samuel Cohen is associate professor and director of graduate studies in the University of Missouri’s Department of English and President of the Midwest Modern Language Association. He is author of the Choice Outstanding Academic selection After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s (Iowa, 2009), co-editor (with Lee Konstantinou) of The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (Iowa, 2012), and series editor of The New American Canon: The Iowa Series in Contemporary Literature and Culture. He is also author of two textbooks, 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology and Literature: The Human Experience (with Richard Abcarian and Marvin Klotz). He is currently at work on a book project, “What Comes Next: Recent American Fiction and the Question of Canon Formation.”
If you enjoy this title, you might want to try one of these as well: