Art & Resistance: Frederick Douglass
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Language Arts And English +2 Age Levels High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults
Why art & resistance in a novel study of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass?
- This lesson may be used as a pre-reading activity for a study of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. My two year literature course begins junior year with the reading and interrogation of Douglass' Narrative.
- Students often have a limited view of the author, the historical context of 19th century America and especially the resistance against oppression and struggle for agency of racialized groups (like the kidnapped Africans who were stolen from their homes, trafficked and enslaved).
- This collection is designed to help students construct meaning around one of Douglass' many means of resistance to oppression by the careful curation of his image.
- My rationale for centering our literature study on the concept of resistance was born from conversations with students last year that revealed their false beliefs that enslaved people (specifically the kidnapped and enslaved Africans trafficked and sold into the American Slave Trade) did not by and large resist. There was large scale ignorance across all my classes of the scale of acts of resistance as well.
- Additionally,I thought since my students are developmentally at a stage of differentiating themselves from their parents/ families (often looking like resistance to norms) that they would find relevance and resonance with a unit centered on resistance.
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