Which one of the following phrases most accurately conveys the sense of the word "reconstructing" as it is used in li...

Elizabeth on July 14, 2020

"overturning degrading...."

As per the previous thread, I have the same follow-up question re: A vs. E. You point out that the passage is discussing nation-building, or "shaping a conception of. However, in the same part of the passage, it discusses "overturning degrading..." which seems to point to a misconception they are trying to correct. Can you explain why E over A when looking at these two points?

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Brandi on July 29, 2020

I also have this question (above). Could someone please explain?

Victoria on July 29, 2020

Happy to help!

There are a few reasons why (E) is a stronger answer choice than (A).

First, if we look at "reconstructing a glorious African past" in isolation and try to replace the word "reconstructing" with either answer choice, we can see that answer choice (E) makes more sense.

"Correcting a misconception about a glorious African past" - what is the misconception if the past was glorious?

"Shaping a conception of a glorious African past" makes more sense on its face.

Second, this sentence immediately above is supported by lines 45 and 46 where the passage tells us that the early black historians were engaged in "nation building" and "contributed to the formation of a collective identity." These words "building" and "formation" suggest that the historians were participating in shaping something new rather than correcting a past misconception.

Finally, the word "misconception" doesn't quite fit with "degrading representations of blackness." These degrading representations were created for the specific purpose of entrenching anti-black racism within American culture to facilitate slavery. In this way, they were not a "misconception" of blackness, but a deliberate idea created and used to reinforce anti-black racism, creating a "lower class" of human being in American society.

Hope this helps clear things up a bit! Please let us know if you have any further questions.

on November 4, 2022

Victoria, you are spot on. I chose A and had E as the contender.....I see the error of my ways.