Complicated Textures: Confronting Racism + Sexism
During the second Teach-In, teachers will focus on historical biases and help students to learn both the language and the critical thinking skills they need to address, confront, and process inherent racism, sexism, and classism. Using NVLP visionary interviews that discuss the strategy of nonviolence as an entry point and a webisode about dealing with racism and sexism during the modern Civil Rights Movement, students will be introduced to visionaries who describe their own experiences with processing these difficult concepts.
Copies of the “Viewing Response Sheet”
Television or Computer to view the webisodes and videos
Access to the Internet
Postcards from Teach-In #1
- If students completed the optional assessment, have them share out, and discuss what diversity looks like through their eyes.
- Lesson Review: Remind the students that last month they used video and text to examine the March on Washington, a key moment in our American history quilt, and today they will explore the strategy of nonviolent resistance and they will develop strategies that can be used to confront racism and sexism.
Explain to them that the practice of nonviolent resistance has its roots in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the work of Mahatmas Gandhi and that it takes training to be able to stand in the face of hate and violence and actively choose not to fight back.
- Using both the “Timeline” and the “Words and Phrases” from the online Civil Rights Movement dictionary, create a timeline on the board to highlight some of the key events that took place during the modern Civil Rights Movement to help students understand what was happening throughout the South prior to Dr. King’s arrest. Time permitting (and depending upon your classroom’s access to technology), have students work through the “Timeline” website in small groups or individually.
- Tell the students that this month’s webisode, “Dealing with Racism and Sexism,” highlights the ways in which civil rights leaders confronted and dealt with racism and sexism.
- Time permitting, share clips of Coretta Scott King talking about how the MontgomeryBus Boycott started and C.T. Vivian discussing the “Freedom Rides”.
Tell the students that they will work in pairs or groups of three to read through and deconstruct Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” his open response to the Call to Unity.13
If necessary, explain to them that Dr. King was in Birmingham to participate in the targeted Birmingham Campaign, which consisted of coordinated marches and sit-ins against racism and segregation. He was later arrested and after the “Call to Unity” was published (a letter written by eight white Alabama clergymen, who felt that black Civil Rights leaders should not get involved in Birmingham’s affairs), Dr. King responded (with the help of Rev. Wyatt T. Walker) by writing and publishing his “Letter.”
- Students will share-out their notes on Dr. King’s “Letter” and discuss how the Birmingham Campaign (as described in the “Letter”) later led to the March on Washington.
- Students will revisit their postcards (from Teach-in #1) and under the definition, they will add a real-world example of the word.
- Using the Time magazine photos of the “Top 10 Nonviolent Protests,” students will look through the website to understand how the use of nonviolence was not limited to the modern Civil Rights Movement.
- Students will complete a movie analysis, where they will watch a movie that focuses on some area of race, class, and gender and complete a worksheet and write a one-page mini- reflection about the movie.
Suggestions for movies that focus on race, class, and gender may be found at http://dansfilmblogonraceclassandgender.blogspot.com/