Quest for the American Dream Essential question: What does it mean to achieve the American dream? How has this dream changed over time.
Objectives • Lesson Objectives: A04: Make personal and literary connections to the theme of the American Dream in “A Raisin in the Sun” A02: Understand and discuss the social and economic factors that influenced "A Raisin in the Sun" • Language Objectives: A03: Analyze “Harlem” by Langston Hughes using the TPCASTT method. A03: Define and apply the following terms: Great Migration, scientific racism, Jim Crow.
African American Life in the 20th Century • Brainstorm everything you know about African American Life in the 20th century: Evolving in American Culture Great Migration Fighting for Equality (Civil Rights) Segregation (Jim Crowe Laws) Afrocentric (Black Pride)
American Life in the 1950s • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbkTmvz0q7E
The Flip Side… • The Black Experience http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYEuTQLphVU • Desegregation • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGRjW-bsCIA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH-eC4LgZT4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be6RYJT1NCg
In 1954, the Supreme Court found in favor of the plaintiffs in the Brown v. The Board of Education case. However, the segregation of schools did not begin to take effect until 1957. Moreover, the case’s decision did not abolish segregation in other public areas, such as restaurants and restrooms. Critical Question: Using context clues and your knowledge, create a definition for Jim Crow laws.
The Great Migration: Blacks in White America • Thousands of African-Americans migrated north looking to escape the racism of Jim Crow in the South. • Black migration to the north lasted from 1890-1970s, with dramatic increases in the 1910s and 1920s. • More than 6 million southern blacks made the move North during this period. Critical question : Using your prior knowledge and historical understanding, make an inference as to why so many African Americans moved out of Southern rural areas and into Northern urban areas between the 1890s and 1960s. List three reasons.
Understanding black voices • "The wisest among my race understand that agitation for social equality is an extremist folly. It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of those privileges." --Booker T. Washington • "Up you mighty race! You can accomplish what you will! The negro of yesterday had disappeared from the scene, and his place is taken by a new negro who stands erect; conscious of his manhood rights, fully determined to preserve them at all costs" --Marcus Garvey • Critical question: In the space provided, paraphrase each of these quotes. Look up vocabulary as necessary.
White attitudes and "scientific racism" Many whites turned to late-nineteenth century "science" to justify segregation and racism: --Evolutionary science T.T. Waterman, an ethnologist, wrongly argued that the Negro race had not had time to develop and was therefore inferior to other races. He urged fellow whites to "save out a few good Negro types." --Hereditary science Scientists like W.E.D. Stokes felt that racial interbreeding would destroy the Caucasian race, and they could selectively breed the best human traits. --Psychology The Psychology of the Negro by George O. Ferguson claimed the average I.Q. of a white American was 100, while the average score of an African-American was 75. It also argued that lighter-skinned African-Americans scored higher on intelligence tests.
Scientific racism cont... • Critical question: Explain how these "scientific findings" (evolutionary, hereditary, and psychological) are unfounded in common sense and what we understand about science and people today.
1930-1965 • A Raisin…is the 1st play by a black woman to be produced on Broadway Other Works: • WHAT USE ARE FLOWERS? • THE MOVEMENT: DOCUMENTARY OF A STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY, • THE SIGN IN SIDNEY BRUSTEIN' WINDOWTO BE YOUNG, GIFTED, AND BLACK: • LES BLANCS: THE COLLECTED LAST PLAYS: The Drinking Gourd / What Use Are Flowers?
$100,000 Problem • A Raisin in the Sun is about an African American family living in Chicago in the 1950’s who inherits some money, thus giving rise to conflict over how it will be spent. I want you to imagine that your “family” has just won $100,000. Remember $100,000 may not be enough for everything you want and choices will have to be made.
How would you “family” spend the $100,000? Solutions Conflicts
Look at the raisins and grapes : • A raisin is a dried grape; how do grapes dry? • How are dreams like a grape? • What happens to dreams if they turn into raisins?
“Harlem”by Langston Hughes What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore – And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over – Like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
Making Connections • How does this poem relate to what you know about African American life in the 1950s? • How does this poem relate to what you know about the American Dream?
Digging Deeper • How does this poem reflect a feeling of frustration? Many African Americans had dreams; white community made sure they didn’t get a piece. “Or does it explode?” • How does Hughes use structural techniques (meter, rhyme, line length, and alliteration.) to create this effect? Short lines gives the poem an intense feeling. Asks questions followed by dashes
Create a metaphor for dreams in your family. • A dream is like a_____________because…
Acting Out • In your “families” choose your favorite line of Hughes’ figurative language. • Create a gesture and a sound that communicates that line. Teach us your gesture and sound.
Final Five • What is one thing you learned about the American Dream or one thing about the American Dream you think differently about? • Which class activity do you feel helped you learn most today and why?
A RAISIN IN THE SUNby Lorraine Hansberry • Written and set in the 1950’s • Partially inspired by racial tensions of the time and the personal experiences of the author • “White only” neighborhoods and restrictive covenants • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) • Brown v. Board of Education (1954) • Partially inspired by Langston Hughes poem: “A Dream Deferred”
Lorraine Hansberry • Born into a wealthy black family • Her Father was a lawyer • When she was 8 her family moved to an “all white” neighborhood challenging restrictive covenants • “Raisin in the Sun” was the first “black” play produced on Broadway • The play made Sidney Poitier a star • Hansberry died of cancer at the age of 35