Bronx Masquerade Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the premise of "Bronx Masquerade"? What story is related through the narrative?

"Bronx Masquerade" centers on Mr. Ward's English class of mixed-race high school students. They have Open Mike Fridays, in which they read their poetry. The poems help break down racial and cultural barriers and show the students that they are not that different, especially in regards to their hopes and dreams.

2. How does Wesley describe Tyrone in "Wesley 'Bad Boy' Boone"?

In "Wesley 'Bad Boy' Boone," Wesley says that Tyrone, his friend, does not care about school, but Wesley keeps Tyrone going to school. Tyrone wants to be a hip-hop star, but he does not think he will live long enough to fulfill his dream. Wesley does not think about dying; he concerns himself with living.

3. How do Wesley's actions contribute to the establishment of Open Mike Fridays?

In Mr. Ward's English class, they study the Harlem Renaissance. Wesley writes a tribute poem to Langston Hughes called "Long Live Langston" and Mr. Ward asks him to read it aloud to the class. He does, and the other students want to bring their poetry in to read aloud. Mr. Ward says to bring their poems in tomorrow.

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