I teach eleventh grade in a high school on the west side of Chicago. Our school is Title I which means that we qualify for financial assistance from local agencies because we serve a low-income community, and most families do not have the resources to contribute to our educational institution. This also means that our classroom resources are almost non-existent.
My students are mostly 16-year-old and 17-year-old African Americans who have to emotionally, socially, and academically fight against the systemic injustices they’ve dealt with their entire lives while growing up in a neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence that is often at the center of negativity in our news.
They are well aware of these injustices but also know that they deserve every opportunity to be successful after high school the same ways that students from more affluent neighborhoods do. In our global economy, it is imperative that as community members we help empower them and build their literacy skills that transcend the high school classroom so that they can be college and career ready.
I believe it is our duty to fight for these students to have the same access to quality education as their peers.
I am requesting a class set of The Hate You Give. This project will help me build a classroom set of novels for my American Literature curriculum. I need relevant and timely novels. I currently do not have any modern young adult literature novels for my students. For this project, my goal is to pair The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas with Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as students explore the power of individual voices in society in regard to issues of justice- Whose voice gets to be heard? Can one voice make a difference?
The connection between To Kill A Mockingbird and The Hate U Give will encourage students to examine marginalized voices in America over the last century while also giving them access and space to explore incredibly talented modern authors, like Angie Thomas.
If we meet this goal and are able to have a class set of The Hate U Give, the students and I will simultaneously work with their U.S. History teacher to critically examine politics and power in our history as it connects to the issues in the novels.
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