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The City in Black and White and Color: An interdisciplinary approach to teaching life in the city using literature, social studies, art, and photography.

Robert Johnson Moore

Contents of Curriculum Unit 81.01.07:

To Guide Entry

The city conjures up a variety of images in the mind of even the most jaded observer. The artist, however, has a sharper vision of what the city represents. The images reflected in art, music, photography, and literature range from positive to negative, often lingering in blurred areas of neutral gray. The blaring sounds of radios carried by urban youths echo the vibrant spirit of a new musical age in contrast to the Blues which still haunts storefront honky-tonks. Photographs of urban scenes reflect themes of alienation and brotherhood. Isolated characters with mute faces are foiled by casual scenes of smiling lovers strolling through scented parks. The subway provides one of many poetic images of closeness and intimacy juxtaposed with snobbery and fear. In the words of Langston Hughes, blacks and whites, rich and poor travel meshed together in a space where there is “no room for fear”. Similarly, bold murals on the sides of buildings startle us with images of joy and hope amid pain and despair.

A study of artistic and literary images of the city revolts against any stereotyping of today’s city as being all black or all white, all rich or all poor, all rock or all blues, island of isolation or “happening,” all good or all bad. The purpose, then, of this unit of study is to direct students to design an artistic and literary collage of contemporary urban life that seeks to interpret, analyze, and evaluate its mettle. Students will be given an opportunity to intergrate their impressions of urban life with established views, thereby enriching their understanding of their own present and future. The unit will culminate in a student production of a room-size scrapbook depicting the full range of complexities in urban living.

The Montage: A Tool for Interdisciplinary Studies
The montage will take the form of a large display in an oversize classroom featuring student work on related topics. The display becomes a teaching tool for the class, providing a focal point for classroom activities and lectures as well as an incentive for students to compete for space to show off their work. Students who are not academically talented are given an opportunity to show their artistic side. The use of the classroom project or the display is a technique usually dropped at the middle school level. High school students show that they could still profit from this method. The unit on the city may be used as a format for middle school students as well as students in a small high school structured for interdisciplinary studies.

The montage is particularly suited for the study of the city. Students are proned to stereotyping the city based on their own narrow experiences. New Haven students, particularly, view their own neighborhoods and others through the wrong end on the telescope. They see their city as fragmented, consisting of pocket “good” neighborhoods where those rich people live or “bad” neighborhoods where those poor people lurk, a city split along jagged lines of ethnicity, class, and race. Closer analysis reveals that their perceptions are not wholly accurate. New Haven, like other American cities, is ever-changing. There is room for change and growth. As members of the future city, theirs is the responsibility to become more aware of the potential for greatness.

The montage can visually show the contrasts of city life. At the beginning of the course of study, teachers will announce that the class project will begin as soon as students begin to write, draw, and create various assignments for the marking period. Written reports will be typed or neatly rewritten and mounted on construction paper before being taped to one of the four walls of the classroom. Art work and photographs will be mounted and displayed as they arrive. The walls will slowly become a living scrapbook of the classrooms’ actvities and will provide a constant incentive for expansion of major topics. Student work can be rearranged on a daily basis to make room for other work or to highlight comparative and contrasting elements in poetry, prose, photography and art.

Note on Teacher Responsibility:
The responsibility of teaching this unit should not be solely that of the English teacher, but should be shared with the Social Studies teacher who has a more solid background in teaching social theory. The Art and Photography teachers should be deployed to direct students in the artistic aspects of the montage. A tremendous amount of time is required for students to draw, mount, and construct the display.


I. Social Theory on the Origins of Cities
“The origins of cities go back to the vary dawn of civilization.” The word city itself comes from the Latin “civitas” from which the word civilization also stems. In ancient Greek and Roman civilizations citizens were the property owners and the tax payers of the city. The first cities known to Western man began to appear in the river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates in ancient Mesopotamia, of the Nile in ancient Egypt, of the Ganges in India, and the Yangtze in China. Mankind learned to live in established communities where the duties of food gathering and growing, hunting, and manufacturing tools and weapons were shared and structured to meet the needs of the entire community. These early communities became the first cities. Anthroplogists trace the role of cities from places of social gathering for food distribution to fortresses to repel attacks as in the case of medieval cities of Europe. Later the city became an industrial center, a focal point for the buying and selling and the shipping of goods. Farmers began to become increasingly dependent on industrialization for the production and distribution of produce.

In modern times industrialization made it possible for fewer farmers to produce enough food for larger portions of the population. In the United States, particularly, industrialization forced many small farmers out of business and compelled them to seek other jobs in the central city. To anthropologists cities are a fact of life for man. Men did not consciously form cities; cities grew out of man’s need for sharing food and other necessities and the need for communication and recreation. Cities were formed to serve those needs and inturn the cities molded men and women to serve their needs. Lewis Mumford in The Culture of Cities states, “Urban forms condition mind.” Cities cause men and women to behave in various patterns, not always to their betterment. For this reason people have long been suspicious of the city.

It was on the farm and in the joys of rural life that the good life, and good men, were to be found. Yet it was in search of the good life that men, almost without willing it, built cities, and from cities—at least as often as from farms—great men have risen. 2

This suspicion of the city is well represented in the poem “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg. The poet describes the city as “wicked” and “brutal,” full of “painted women under gas lamps luring the farm boys,” “gun men who kill” and are “free to kill again,” and hungry faces of women and children. Yet he defends the city. Inspite of the negative aspects, the city is proud and brawling with strong men building a future, “flinging majestic curses amid the toil of piling job on job,” a city laughing through the dust, “half naked, sweating/ proud to be a Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with/ Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.” The tension between the destructive and generative powers of the city in this poem reverberates throughout American Literature.

Another major paradox of the city is the fact that people may live in physical proximity, but be socially miles apart due to class and racial distrinctions. In the book Two Blocks Apart edited by Charlotte Leon Mayerson, Juan Gonzales and Peter Quinn, two urban teenagers, talk about life in their respective neighborhoods so different yet so close. They in fact represnt the result of two separate waves of migration and assimilation into the American city—Peter Quinn, an Irish Catholic, a descendent of the immigration wave of Northern Europe in the nineteenth century; Juan, of the recent immiration wave from Puerto Rico. The two boys

live in the same New York City neighborhood. They are both high school seniors in the same school district, both Catholics in the same parish, both ballplayers with the same parks and school yards at their disposal. That they do not know each other is an urban commonplace; that they are utter strangers in the conditions of their lives, in their vision of what they themselves are, seems a personal illustration of the apparent failure of the American melting pot.3

II. Images of the City in American Literature
Roots of the American city can be traced to London, England. “London” by William Blake and “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth present the duplicities of urban living. In “London” we are lead through “chartered” streets by some psychic “I.” The use of the word “chartered” is crucial to understanding the poem. Here it refers to the legal document (Magna Carta) specifying personal ownership, and therefore implying restriction or overt control. “The first line contains a struggle between opposites . . .—the looseness of ‘wander’ stands out against the tightness and control of ‘chartered.’ “London is the scene of a struggle between the unplanned and the planned. The fact that the Thames, a natural phenomenon, is also chartered makes the paradox more violent. In an industrial age the river must be harnessed to run the mills that feed a growing British Empire. All of London is enslaved to the machine age as revealed in the line : “In every voice, in every ban/ The mind-forged manacles I hear.” The chimney sweeper, the clergy, the soldiers and the nobility share with the harlot and her babe the barren marriage of the soul to the grave. The overall image of London is a direct “attack on the venality of institutions and the restrictions of reason. ”4 Unlike Wordsworth’s Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” there is no hidden subplot. Wordsworth describes his London as a majestic sight: “Earth has not anything to show more fair.” London, “like a garment, wears/ The beauty of the morning; silent, bare.” But the beauty and calm are deceptive and hide the uneasiness that the reader must sense. The hyperbole “Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!” should hint at a more sinister, cynical feeling. The city in all its beauty is asleep; its mighty heart lying still has yet to awaken. The sleeping Beauty awake becomes a raging beast.

“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by the American poet Walt Whiman is faintly reminiscent of “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge.” Whereas Wordsworth is the cautious skeptic about the redeeming values of urban living, Whitman joyously embraces the duplicities and complexities of city life. The images paraded before him from the ferry present a lusty challenge to the human spirit. He challenges all: “Flow-tide below me! I see you face to face!” Locomotion dominates the poem; everything moves. Images float, swim, flow with the ceaseless tide. Whitman’s city does not sleep. The speaker identifies with the multitude. The spectacle of the fire from the foundry chimneys burning high and glaring into the night (abhorrent to Worthsworth and Blake) are witnessed as part of the fabric and vitality of the nation. “These and all else were to me the same as they are to you/ I loved well those cities, loved well the stately and rapid river.” The multitude of riddles and paradoxies of urban life perplex the reader also. “I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me.” But like others, the poet has no answers. The city is a fact of life to be experienced, tasted, and enjoyed. The nation is growing, must grow, and we with it: “Thrive, cities—bring your freight, bring your shows, ample and sufficient rivers/ Expand, bring that which none else is perhaps more spiritual.” Whitman’s city possesses a soul with a certain and yet unknown destiny which must be recognized. “We fathon you not—we love you—there is perfection in you also/ You furnish your parts toward eternity/ Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.” “The implications [of many of Whitman’s poems] are based upon a paradox: The larger mysteries of life remain unsolved, and it is in the realization of our profound ignorance that we approach truth and wisdom.”5

The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe , a contemporary of Whitman, hauntingly echoes the feeling that the city portrays realities that will remain a mystery. The quotation beneath the title warns us of the great evil of not being able to be alone in the city. The setting is London, that is, the London of Poe’s imagination. Beginning as a casual observer of the “principal thoroughfares of the city,” the speaker becomes gradually fixated on a dark figure “of a decrepit old man, some sixty-five or seventy years of age ”who evokes within the observer confused and paradoxical feelings “of vast mental power, of caution, of penuriousness, of avarice, of coolness, of malice, of blood-thirstness, of triumph , of merriment, of excessive terror, of intense of extreme despair.” Compelled to follow him, the observer is lead through the labyrinth of London’s underworld. He is led to “the most noisome quarter of London, where everything wore the worst impress of the most deplorable poverty, and the most desparate crime.” The old man is crime and poverty incarnate. He is the man of the crowd, a product of the city, an enigma. Perhaps there is some solace in not fully understanding his existence. “Perhaps it is but one of the great mercies of God that ‘es lŠsst sich nicht lesen.’ “—it does not permit itself to be read. We are better off in not knowing. Poe’s image of this urban phenomenon is in sharp contrast to the openess with which Whitman embraces every aspect of urban living without question.

The Bowery Tales of Stephen Crane thrusts us into realism. The city becomes the suitable setting for this pervasive literary movement spirited by Zola and Dreiser. Crane is the American disciple. The Bowery provided Crane with his artistic education. The characters in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and George’s Mother are representative urban prototypes to be more carefully developed by James Farrell and Richard Wright decades later.6 Crane’s tales are rich with symbolism, combining irony with pity for the lowly, poverty stricken creatures who have little or no control over their lives. The snow that beats down on the heads of the wretches in The Men in the Storm represent those forces that shape men’s lives. Whisky, poverty, and hunger plague George and his Mother. The church, religion, offers little hope of salvation and like the “black’ ning church” of Blake’s “London” is overpowered by the cold, hard city. “In a dark street the little church sat humbly between two towering apartment-houses.” The church is bathed in the red lights of the street lamp, reminiscent of the blood running down the palace walls of Blake’s “London.” In the struggle between George and his mother, between the city and the church, the city will win. “The roar of wheels and the clangor of bells . . . interwoven into a sound emblematic of the life of the city” symbolically pierces the little church and all those who would believe in it. 7

The theme that man as he continues to live in cities becomes increasingly alienated from traditional forms of emotional support explodes full force in the literature of the Lost Generation of the 1920’s. The most important single poem of the decade was “The Waste Land“ by T. S. Elliot, an American expatriot.8 This theme appears again “Babylon Revisited“ by F. Scott Fitzgerald and continues into the next decade in Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathieniel West. The titles of these two works point directly to the logs of innocence or fall from God’s grace. Charles Wales, the protagonist of Fitzgerald’s work, repudiates the traditional ethics and morals America once held sacred and surrenders to the extravagant, lavish, and reckless life of the new Babylon, Paris of the twenties. The false sense of security engendered by the business boon that quickly plunders the Western world into the Depression takes Charles as one of its casualties. Ironically, during the “boom” Charles loses everything—wife, child, all. But the lost has a sobering affect on Charles’ character. Recovering from the depravities of alcohol and poverty, Charles regains much of his former state of rectitude.9

The protagonist in Miss Lonely Hearts has a more dismal end. In an attempt to offer salvation to the crippling throng of humanity that writes him daily in the advice column of a big city newspaper, Miss Lonelyhearts becomes a self-anointed crucifixion figure who dies tragically by the hands of someone he tried so desparately to help. Seeing “that the majority of the letters are profoundly humble pleas for moral and spiritual advice, that they are inarticulate expressions of genuine suffering,” Miss Lonelyhearts transposes himself to the ivory Jesus he has spiked to his wall. To him the world has become “a world of door knobs.” The grey sky “looked as if it had been rubbed with a soiled eraser. It held no angels, flamming crosses, olive-bearing doves, wheels within wheels. Only a newspaper struggled in the air like a kite with a broken spine.” To West, the newspaper has replaced traditional modes of seeking solace, compassion. Weighed in the balances of human suffering, the newspaper is found wanting. Religion that once provided man with some sense of security has been replaced by a hollow media.

James Baldwin in Go Tell It on the Mountain further develops this theme of the conflict between religion and the city. The best known writer of the contemporary generation of city dwellers, Baldwin explores how the city born child is affected by the problems his parents faced in the rural South. The scene in which John, the main character, stands in the center of Central Park forms the center of the book itself. To John the city offers new possibilities that his parents can not fathom. “These glories were unimaginable—but the city was real.” On top of the hill, his favorite spot, John’s imagination dazzles with the lights that illuminate the skyline. The city is his for the taking. “He did not know why, but there rose in him an exultation and a sense of power, and he ran up the hill like an engine, or a madman, willing to throw himself headlong into the city that glowed before him.” Yes, he knew that “Niggers did not live on these streets . . .” but “in John’s mind . . . the people and the avenue underwent a change, and he feared them and knew that one day he could hate them if God did not change his heart.” Like the fallen London woman in the movie “Of Human Bondage” that he sees after the experience in the park, John foresees a time when he too would learn to tell the world: “You can kiss my ass.” The city to John presents a multitude of paradoxies. The possibility of a better life, a life of books and school where he had found some success would open to him despite the gloomy web of poverty, ignorance and ugliness that surrounds him.

This struggle against lost dreams and the hypocrisy of city life also appears in the works of modern black writers such as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, and Qwendolyn Brooks and continues to dominate all aspects of contemporary American Literature.

III. The City in Black and White / Color


The purpose of this section is not so much as to give an historical account of the development of the use of the camera as an art form or as a documentary of American life as it is to justify its use as a means of providing students another perspective in studying certain themes of man’s relationship to the city. Once regarded by some artists as a threat, the invention of the camera has gradually opened new horizons, permitting man to reflect on himself and his relationshop to his environment. As Moholy-Nagy, a noted pioneer in photography points out: “Thanks to the photographer, humanity has acquired the power of perceiving its surroundings, and its very existence, with new eyes.”10

Contrary to what many people believe, the camera does not take pictures of reality or only what it sees. The resulting photograph must be interpreted just as any novel, poem, or story.11 Just as Sandburg’s poem “Fog,” describing a catlike form “on silent haunches” moving elusively through the city and harbor suggests truths about the impersonality of urban life, it cannot be taken more literally than the viewing of a photograph that attempts to show the same scene.

Lewis Hine, an early photographer, clearly understood the power of the photograph in revealing certain realities about the city. Hine saw the value of Social Photography and exhibited countless photographs that exposed violations of child labor regulations and poor working conditions for immigrants in the 1900’s. Fully aware that photographs could be faked, Hine, neverthe less, lectured that the photograph could serve as a metaphor for certain urban realities. Supported with other documentations, Hine had little trouble substantiating that child labor was abused in New England. His photograph “Newsies, Brooklyn Bridge, 1908,” a startling image of six newsboys frozen in expectation of making a sale one snowy morning, is a moving illustration of the power of the photograph. To Hine:

. . .the picture is a symbol that brings one immediately into close touch with reality. . . . The picture continues to tell a story packed into the most condensed and vital form. In fact, it is often more effective that the reality would have been, because, in the picture, the nonessential and conflicting interests have been eliminated.12

Photographs of urban life present single images suspended in time whose total significance cannot be grasped until studied by the viewer. The photographer’s use of light and shadow, framing, and perspective serve to guide the attention of the observer. It is in the act of observation and study that the true power of the photograph is revealed.

Walker Evans’ subway series taken in the late 30’s and early 40’s entitled Many Are Called (1966) and Robert Frank’s “The Bus Photographs of New York City, 1958” discussed in Trachtenberg’s article illustrate the variety of interpretations in viewing single images framed by different photographers. The plight of mankind in the American city has been a major topic of many photographers even before Hine. Jacob Riis, a descendent of Dutch Immigrants, dedicated much of his work “to provide believable, indeed deliberately shocking pictures of the slums of the Lower East Side of New York and of their poverty-stricken inhabitants.” “Baxter Street in Mulberry Bend, N.Y. 1888,” “Street Arabs in Sleeping Quarters at Night, 1888,” and “The Short Tail Gang under Pier at Fort Jackson Street,” are carefully framed to show the stark, harsh realities of poverty, hunger, and despair.13 In contrast, Max Yavno’s photos of New York of the 1950’s reveal a sense of humor and irony in the lives of the poor people of New York. “High Fashion,” “Delancy Street,” “West 14th Street,” and “Canal Street” show a wider range of emotions for the city and its people.14 The people in the Riis collection are defeated victims imprisoned by their environment—like the characters in Crane’s works; the people in the Yavno series are alive and functioning, despite the looming menace of towering stone buildings, gigantic artifacts of industrialization, that dwarf their importance.

The traditions of the early pioneers of photography have been continued through the years by other noted photographers such as Helen Levitt, Robert Wilcox, Sally Stein, Alfred Stieglitz , John Szarkowski, and Jerome Liebling. An examination of a variety of photographs from these artists will enrich the discussion of urban life.


Black photographers such as James Vanderzee contributed to the development of photography as a chronicle of black life in Harlem of the 20’s and 30’s.15 A unique contribution of black artists in depicting urban life, however, has recently been in the use of the mural. This particular genre of folk art began in the Summer of 1967 when a group of black artists in Chicago created the “Wall of Respect,” an outdoor wall covered with portraits of Black leaders with the inscription: “This wall was created to honor our black heroes and to beautify our community.” Four similar murals were painted in Boston. The purpose of the Boston murals was beyond beautification. Dana Chandler, one of the artists, wanted “his murals to awaken a feeling for the cultural heritage of the Negro race, to strike a chord of blackness.” The muralists were seeking social purpose as well as aesthetic excellence. The mural of Roy Cato depicts in stark primary colors a black man and woman looking steadfastly into the sky. Beside them a head expands in concentric circles, a graphic symbol of a growing black consciousness.16

These murals bring art and a political message to empty lots. The murals of the Pocock collection of the New York Cityarts Workshop “in their exuberance contrast with the reality of the urban ghetto . . . . These images are both pictures in themselves and documents of ephemeral gestures made in brick,” surrealistic renderings of scenes that do not exist in the urban environment. In one mural a single lion majestically rests in the cool shade beneath an actual circus poster. In another an enchanted tree spreads out in a silhouetted corner. In yet another, a fiery city skyline lies over haunted catacombs where ghostly figures stumble along tomblike cells. Jungle motifs entangled in lush vegetation amble above to mock the black asphalt below. Muscular forearms of sable drummers beat pulsating tomtoms, protesting the displacement of a tropical people. The mural depicting a white middleclass couple enjoying a sip of wine in a pleasant backyard setting sharply contrasts that of the ragged pair of youths—one black, one white—playing a cheerful game of basketball against a bright blue sky. Viewed together, these two murals reveal the range of experiences in city life—of middle age versus youth, of wealth versus poverty, of white verus black, of comradery between racial groups verus group isolation. 17

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Lesson Plans

The lesson plans to follow reflect the interdisciplinary approach to learning. While the major emphasis of the narration has been literature, there is considerable room for further development in the area of Social Studies. The intent of this unit is to have the English teacher share his responsibilities of teaching the city through literature with other disciplines, mainly Social Studies for historical perspective and to a supportive degree to art and photography, particularly but not exclusively, for those students who are more easily motivated by the visual.

The First Day (Literature)

The first day of the unit, the English teacher will announce to the class that they will be studying about the image of the city in American Literature. The unit of study will be supported in their Social Studies and art classes. A grand list of assignments and activities will be issued to each student stipulating which assignments are required of all students and which are for extra credit. Due dates will also be given. Students will be told that certain projects or activities will be undertaken in social studies and art classes while the remainder will be for English credit. The best examples of completed projects will be displayed in a room size montage, reflecting the range of experiences in urban living.

The First Week

Leaving the indepth study of the origins of the city to the Social Studies teacher, the English teacher may begin class discussion with the question: When you think of the city, what impressions first come to mind? A good technique is to write as many of the responses on the board. No doubt, the range of answers will be from positive to negative. During the discussion the teacher will tell the students that class discussion and activities will be devoted to how the city is represented in literature. During the first week of study selected poems about the city will be presented. These might include:

“London” by William Blake

“Composed on Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth

“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman

“Chicago” and “Fog” by Carl Sandburg

or any other poems that the teacher feels depicts provocative images of the city that will get the student’s attention. *

* Refer to “Images of the City in Modern Lyrics and Verse: A Sequential Approach to the Teaching of Poetry” by Pamela Kabak And Caroline Jackson The Stranger and Modern Fiction: A Portrait in Black and White Yale New Haven Teachers Institute, I, (1979) pp. 110-151, for excellent suggestions in teaching urban students about the city through poetry.

Focal questions for discussion might include:

What impression of the city do you get from reading this poem?

What words does the poet use to arouse our emotions?

Is the overall image of the city in this poem positive or negative, or a mixture of both?

How does the poet use simile, metaphor, and personification or other poetic devices to create his poetic image?

The First Month and so on

Further reading and discussion of the following:

The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe

The Bowery Tales by Stephen Crane

“The Waste Land” by T. S. Eliot

“Babylon Revisited” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

or any other work the teacher feels is appropriate for discussion of man’s relationship to the growth of the American city.

Focal questions for discussion might include:

How are the characters in each work affected by urban living?

What statement is the author of each work making about life in the city?

Point out any paradoxes or ironies presented

Note: A directed study of selected poems and short works about the city should allow students to anlyze how writers view the urban scene. The works need not be confined to the same decade, but should be related in theme. Excellent texts for study include The Urban Reader, edited by Susan Cahill and Michele F. Cooper, Cities of the Holt Impact series, On City Streets by Nancy Larrick, The Me Nobody Knows edited by Stephen M. Joseph, and The Inner City Mother Goose by Eve Merriam. Students may also wish to compose their own poems about life in the city. A sample of what two students may do as a class project follows this note.


(figure available in print form)
City life is crowded,
Rushing here and there.
No time to stop and see,
No time to hear.
Set to a schedule,
Nobody sees,
Nobody hears,
Because nobody cares.
Kathryn Martinex

The First Day (Social Studies)

The first day of the unit in Social Studies, the teacher will announce that the course of study in class with parappel that of the English class. Gerald Leinwand’s The City as a Community provides clear perspectives on the development of urban living and is written at a workable reading level for average high school students. Lengthy lectures on social theory should be held to a minimum. Basic trends should be highlighted through selected readings. Students will be assigned short reports on specific topics. Suggested topics for reports include:

What is a city?

Why is the City a Community?

How did cities get their start?

What is the lure of the city?

which are taken directly from chapter titles in the Leinwand text.

The First Week

Other topics for discussion are found at the end of each article in part two of the Leinwand text. These readings from a variety of sources, modern and ancient, describe selected world cities such as ancient Babylon, Brasilia, and Chicago. The best examples of these reports will be displayed on the class scrapbook.

The First Month and so on

A directed reading of the book Two Blocks Apart should be followed by having students write about life in their own neighborhoods. Students may chose to interview one another on the size of family, type of dwelling, places of recreation available, general characteristics of the neighborhood, ethnic composition, proximity to retail stores and any other topics of interest. An interesting assignment might be asking students to make a pictoral map of their neighborhood. The best examples should become part of the scrapbook.

(Art and Photography)

In addition to those photographs presented in the works already cited, the following photographic essay may be used: Black in White America by Leonard Freed, The Family of Man by Edward Steichen, and Harlem on My Mind by Allon Schoener. Photographs may be presented by use of an opague projector available in most schools. Students will be directed to study and analyze selcted photographs of urban scenes and will be required to write short interpretations of what the photographer is attempting to say about his subjects. Some students may elect to take their own photographs of the city which thematically parallel or contrast those that they have studied in class. A collection of photographs from various sources may be organized around established themes to be displayed as part of the class scrapbook along with the short written analyses.

Color pictures of murals appearing in magazines will be available to accompany this unit. They will be on file at the Institute. In addition color slides of murals from several sites in New Haven will be made available. Talented students may elect to make their own mural as a group project.

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1. Gerald Leinwand (ed.) The City as a Community (New York: Washington Square Press, 1970), p. 28.
2. Leinwand, pp. 33-34.
3. Charlotte Leon Mayerson (ed.) Two Blocks Apart (New York: Avon Books, 1965), p. 9.
4. Donald Hall, The Pleasures of Poetry (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 56-60.
5. Edwin C. Custer, Adventures in Poetry (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964), p. 52.
6. Robert J. Moore, “Parallel Studies in American/Afro-American Literature” 20th Century Afro-American Culture: Curriculum Unit Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, II, (1978), pp. 125-128. Features comparative study of the works of James Farrell and Richard Wright.
7. Robert Wooster Stallman (ed.) Stephen Crane: Stories and Tales (New York: Vintage Books, 1955), p. 18.
8. Robert J. Moore, “Black and White Images in Alienation,” The Stranger and Modern Fiction: A Portrait in Black and White Curriculum Unit Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, I, (1979), pp. 151-158. Features a detailed discussion of “The Waste Land” by T.S. Elliot and its influence on Modern Literature.
9. Winifred Lynskey (ed.) Reading Modern Fiction (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1968), p. 205.
10. Allan Trachtenberg, “Camera Work: Notes Toward An Investigation,” Massachusetts Review, IXIX, 4, (1978), p. 835.
11. Tod Papageorge, “Aesthetics or Truth,” The Connecticut Scholar, 4, (1981), pp 19-20.
12. Trachtenberg, pp. 839-40.
13. Beaumont Newhall (ed.) “Flashes from the Slum: Pictures Taken in Dark Places by the Lighting Process,” by Jacob Riis, 1888, Photography: Essays and Images (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1980), pp. 155-57.
14. Ben Maddows, The Photography of Max Yavno (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), pp. 56-59.
15. Allon Schoener (ed.) Harlem on My Mind (New York: Random House, 1968).
16. Victor Rosewall,“The Black Murals of Boston,” The Harvard Art Review, Winter III, (1968-9), pp. 29-32.
17. Philip Pocock, “The Obvious Illusion—Murals from the Lower East Side,” Photography Annual, (1981), pp. 66-72.

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*Baldwin, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain. New York: Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1953. Novel about urban black child with rural southern roots.

*Brooks, Charlotte (ed.). Cities. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1968. A collection of photographs and short literary works in urban settings.

*Cahill, Susan and Cooper, Michele F. (eds.). The Urban Reader. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1971. Features a wide array of writings (poetry and prose), photographs, murals representing the paradoxies in the urban experience.

Custer, Edwin C. Adventures in Poetry. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964. Contains “Fog” by Carl Sandburg and “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” by Wordsworth.

*Davidson, Edward H. (ed.) Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1956. Contains The Man of the Crowd.

Hall, Donald. The Pleasures of Poetry. New York: Harper and Row, 1971. Contains “London” by William Blake.

Joseph, Stephen M. (ed.). The Me Nobody Knows. New York: Avon Books, 1969. A collection of original writings of children from the ghetto.

Kabak, Pamela and Jackson, Caroline. “Images of the City in Modern Lyrics and Verse: A Sequential Approach to the Teaching of Poetry” Curriculum Unit : Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, I, 1979. Features excellent suggestions in teaching urban students about the city through poetry.

*Larrick, Nancy (ed.) On City Streets. New York: Bantam Books, 1968. Collection of writings and photographs about life in the city.

Lynsky, Winifred (ed.) Reading Modern Fiction. New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1968. Contains “Babylon Revisited” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Merriam, Eve. The Inner City Mother Goose. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968. A collection of cynical poetry on the black urban experience highlighted by even more cynical photographs.

* Student Reading List

Moore, Robert J. “Parallel Studies in American/Afro-American Literature” Curriculum Unit Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, II, 1978. Contains comparative study of the works of James Farrell and Richard Wright.

———. “Black and White Images in Alienation” Curriculum Unit Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, I, 1979. Features in depth study of “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot.

Schorer, Mark. American Literature. New York: Houghton Mifflin Comapny, 1965. Contains “Chicago” by Sanburg.

*Stallman, Robert Wooster (ed.) Stephen Crane: Stories and Tales New York: Vintage Books, 1955.

* West, Nathanael. Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locusts New York: New Directions Paperback, 1962.

Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass and other prose. New York: Rinehart and Co., Inc., 1949.

Social Studies

Dickens, David. Urban America: Problems and Promises. New York: W.H. Sadlier, Inc., 1971. Student resource book presenting controversial urban problems.

Green, Constance. The Rise of Urban America. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities . New York: Random House, 1961.

* Leinwand, Gerald (ed.) The City as a Community. New York:. Washington Square Press, 1970. Excellent selection of short articles on the growth of the American city.

Lerner, Max. America as a Civilization New York: Simon and Schuster, 1952.

* Mayerson, Charlotte Leon (ed.) Two Blocks Apart. New York: Avon Books, 1965. Comparative study of the lives of two boys growing up separately in the same neighborhood.

Mumford, Lewis. The City in History. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961.

———, The Culture of Cities. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1938.

Photography and Murals

Freed, Leonard. Black in White America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1960. Photographic Essay on the Rural and Urban experience of American Blacks.

Maddows, Ben. The Photography of Max Yavno. Berkele: University of California Press, 1981. Collection of photographic works of Yavno from the early 1920’s to the 60’s.

Newhall, Beaumont (ed.) Photography: Essay and Image. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1980. Featuring photographic essay of the Riis collection, New York, Lower East Side, 1888.

Papageorge, Tod “Aesthetics or Truth” The Connecticut Scholar. 4, 1981.

Pocock, Philip. “The Obvious Illusion—Murals from the Lower East Side” Photography Annual, 1981.

Rosewall, Victor. “The Black Murals of Boston” The Harvard Art Review. Winter III, 1968-9.

Schoener, Allon (ed.). Harlem on My Mind : Cultural Capital Of Black America 1900-1968. New York: Random House, 1968.

Steichen, Edward (ed.). The Family of Man. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1955. Photographic essay.

Szarkowski, John. The Photographer’s Eye. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1966. Photographic Essay.

Trachtenberg, Allan. “Camera Work: Notes Toward An Investigation” Massachusetts Review XIX 4, 1978. Issue contains photographic samplings of various camera artists including Helen Levitt, Walker, Evans, Lewis Hine, Robert Wilcox and Robert Frank.

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