Current in the Classroom:
To Kill A Mockingbird
and Civil Rights
2 - 128
Through Harper Lee’s classic novel we will study how people’s perspectives change as they grow, how prejudice clouds our judgment, and what it means to be a just person. We will study civil rights / human rights issues and rhetoric through important speeches from such influential figures as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Malcolm X, John Kennedy, and Elie Wiesel.
We will also study the historical issues surrounding the Jim Crow South, including lynching from post Civil War through very recent history. We will also study other impacts of race not only in the 1930s and the 1960s, and the racial issues we still struggle with today. Aside from speeches we will look at art, poetry, and music from Paul Laurence Dunbar, Norman Rockwell and Billie Holiday, to Jim Henson, Langston Hughes, and Maya Angelou.
By the end of this unit students will develop not only an understanding of race issues, poverty, and social justice, but also how perspective taking can help them in all aspects of life, how to make effective stands against injustice, and how to best argue rhetorically in pursuit of justice.