Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Newspapers: Meghan Markle writes for Elle

Actress Meghan Markle has been in the news recently, as stories have emerged about her relationship with the UK's Prince Harry. He recently issued a statement addressed to "fair-minded people" about how he believes the press has been treating her. In this earlier article, Markle herself talks about her own history and experiences as a biracial woman.

'What are you?' A question I get asked every week of my life, often every day. 'Well,' I say, as I begin the verbal dance I know all too well. 'I'm an actress, a writer, the Editor-in-Chief of my lifestyle brand The Tig, a pretty good cook and a firm believer in handwritten notes.' A mouthful, yes, but one that I feel paints a pretty solid picture of who I am. But here's what happens: they smile and nod politely, maybe even chuckle, before getting to their point, 'Right, but what are you? Where are your parents from?' I knew it was coming, I always do. While I could say Pennsylvania and Ohio, and continue this proverbial two-step, I instead give them what they're after: 'My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white.'

The full article is here: www.elleuk.com/life-and-culture/news/a26855/more-than-an-other/

Some questions to consider in preparation for our discussion in class:
  1. How is the article structured? Examples:
    • as a personal story or stories, 
    • narrative of an event,
    • essay (series of arguments advocating an idea or point of view),
    • analysis with bullet points, 
    • etc.
  2. Given the structure as you’ve described it, list the segments of the article
  3. Summarize or paraphrase each segment of the article
  4. Is there a ‘take-away’? (One point that the author wants you to remember?)  If yes, please describe.
  5. Is there another thing you will remember, in addition or instead, a week or so from now?
  6. What are three good discussion points that the article brings up? Anything that made you think or question?
  7. Did you notice anything illogical in the article's arguments? Do you have information that tends to contradict or supplement the info or perspective in the article?
  8. Describe the voice and register (formal, informal, personal, or others -- see list here),
  9. Who is Meghan Markle's audience? Why did she choose this periodical to communicate her message? (And why might this magazine have chosen her to write for them?)
Please search for an journalistic article about Markle to help us build a context for the article above. (This may count toward your two articles per week.)

Useful words and phrases from the article:

verbal dance (and proverbial two-step)
lifestyle brand
firm believer
dip my toes
drawn to
in tow
craft the world around
mess up
act of defiance
pit in the stomach / belly
prey (to ignorance)
not on the cards (not in the cards)
dorm mate
plagued with
Rodney King, Reginald Denny
fitting in, not fitting in
label driven, x-driven
girl next door
Eighties Benetton
face that launched a thousand ships
run the gamut
boil over
shattering, shatteringly
start anew

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