How is where we come from important to who we are?
Much of Brown Girl Dreaming deals with the theme of how where we come from affects who we become. This includes time as well as place. The time period a child was born into, what was going on in history during your early life, affects the adult she grows up to become.
For this project you will research a person or event from the time period covered in Brown Girl Dreaming, the Civil Rights Era in American history. You will then create a "Cornell Box" that illustrates your research as a visual metaphor. You will also write up a short $1.50 account of your research. Both your research and your Cornell Box will be presented to the class as a speech. You will then write a first person poem based on your box which you might choose to present at the class poetry slam.
You must select a topic/person from the list below. As part of your research, you will use the audio/visual link attached to your topic, photographs of the event/person you can find online and one article that you locate on your own.
Here are the people/events you can choose from. Be sure to let the teacher know what your selection is. No more than two people may do the same topic.
- Dorothy Mulkey (Fair housing advocate)
- Shirley Chishom (First woman to run for president)
- Ruby Bridges
- The 16th Street Bombing
- The Children's Crusade
- Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
- Mississippi Burning
- The Loving Decision (Mixed Race Marriage)
- Greensboro Lunch Counter
- Freedom Riders
- James Brown's concert the day after M.L. King was killed
- Muhammad Ali's decision to refuse the draft
- Black Like Me
- Petula Clark/Harry Belafonte (television controversy)
- Dance Theatre of Harlem
- John F. Kennedy
- Malcolm X
- Rosa Parks
- United States Colored Troops 54th Regiment
- Lena Horn
- Black Panthers
- James Baldwin (Author, Civil Rights Activist)
Each person is linked to an audio/visual program about them. You are required to use this program as part of your research. Listen to it once, then listen again while taking notes about it.
Find a second article about that person or event and a few photographs to help you understand the importance of your selection. You may print out a few photographs (1 to 3) to use as part of your Cornell Box. However, you may not use a picture of the actual person or event. You Cornell Box must be a metaphor, not an exact representation.
You will use your research to create a box about your selection in class later this week.