A couple of days ago, my "Becoming a Rap Genius" class began annotating Gordon's article "Black Intellectual Tradition." We first spent class time discussing the first part of the article. During our class, most students acknowledged that they had not heard of "black intellectual traditions" before reading Gordon.
Students also acknowledged that they had not heard of many of the people that Gordon mentioned in passing. So there were a couple of reasons why we might benefit from annotating the essay together.
I've been most enthused about the collective contributions that our group has made notating and providing images to people, sentences, and phrases in the essay. Over the last few days, our class produced 115 annotations. We provided embedded links for biographical information on figures such as Benjamin Banneker, David Walker, Anna Julia Cooper, Huey Newton, and many, many more.
It's been rare to involve so many students in the process of utilizing online annotation to engage scholarly writings by African American thinkers. Working on the Gordon essay has been an important step in our developing process.
• Notebook on Lewis Gordon