Students will vicariously experience “freedom” for blacks nearly one hundred years after the abolition of slavery.
A) Students will be asked to read excerpts from “One Day When I Was Lost”, a screenplay by James Baldwin. Most of the text in pages 1-25 will be used. Certain dialogues are not age appropriate, and will be deleted to make the reading more suitable for children.
In the aforementioned pages, the play graphically shows the desire of Malcolm’s father to support the “back to Africa movement” led by Marcus Garvey. It shows the terror of the KKK, and the lack of protection for African-Americans. Furthermore, it shows the demise of the family at the hands of a racist system that allows the insurance company not to fulfill its duty to Mrs. Little and her children, and of white social workers who have deemed her “crazy” because she will not bow to the “powers that be.”
B) Students will openly discuss their feelings about the hardships Malcolm X and his family endured. Students will be asked to share family stories about hardship or injustice.
C) Students will participate in a mock trial, “Louise Little v Omaha, Nebraska”. Students will select roles as in a traditional mock trial. The facts of the case will be presented and a fair verdict decided by a jury, will be handed down.
During this class period, students will learn about the civil rights movement and the continuing unity between blacks and many whites. The following handout will be presented.
The Civil Rights Movement:
During the 1960’s the civil rights movement was born. African-Americans grew tired of the horrible injustices they suffered. In August of 1963, approximately a quarter of a million black and white demonstrators, assembled peaceably near the Washington Monument. These demonstrators marched to show their intolerance for a nation that promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all its people except black people. The major complaints were, 1) white police brutality against blacks 2) terrorist activities against blacks with no police protection 3) lack of redress for African-Americans in the courts 4) racist pressures from southern, white politicians 5) the economic deprivation and reprisals against African-Americans who dared to cry out for change 6) the continued interference with the right of African-Americans to vote.
One of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement was, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.. Although Dr. King headed the nonviolent SCLC -Southern Christian Leadership Conference, there were other organizations such as CORE—Congress of Racial Equality, SNCC—Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, NAACP—National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and The Black Panther Party.