My students need a class set of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" with a text of supplementary essays.
My students are an energetic group of 11th grade teenagers. They hail primarily from African-American and Hispanic backgrounds. While they are fortunate to live in a resourced city like New York, filled with libraries, museums and historical landmarks, many of them arrive to high school without the skills, experiences, and tools necessary to be truly prepared for life.
Precisely because some of my students haven't been given many opportunities, I love challenging them with new ideas and experiences.
As a history teacher, I have been privileged to use history to expand students' minds about contemporary social, economic, and political issues. From immigration to race, students and I engage in all sorts of thematic studies. By learning from the past, we begin our journey in making a difference today.
The U. S. History class is nearing World War II. As we approach the 1940s and 1950s, I am preparing to present those decades through a lens of race and power. Normally, we focus on the end of the Great Depression, the geopolitics of war, and violence and technology. This time, I want to focus on the black experience of the war and the decades before and after, when African Americans experienced the weight of racism and when communism was more prevalent.
Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" is the perfect novel for this exploration.
First, the novel dives deeply into the experience of being black in 1940s. As stated, this time period is often spent focusing on other things, but blacks were still struggling to win equality. The text will contribute to our understanding of this historical time period. Second, the novel is a literary masterpiece. While U. S. History class isn't primarily meant to explore the merits of literature, exposing students to some of America's greatest writing is an added benefit. In college, some of them will certainly continue reading literature through the lens of historical themes. Last but not least, students will make all sorts of personal connections, and notice similarities between the 1940s and today. The added layer of existentialism will give students the language to describe the forces they often feel around themselves but cannot always describe or process.
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|Invisible Man • Amazon Business||$9.29||32||$297.28|
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