Putting Both Fists in the Air: The Addition of Women's Voices To the Black Power Era, 1960s-70s

bySydney Coffin

How were women's voices essential to demands for justice in the 1960s-70s? Were Black Power and the Black Arts Movement men's movements? What role do poetry and narratives play in merging the personal with the political during this time period? Here we explore men and women's memoirs from the era and write our own; we analyze key poems and poets from the period and develop inspired poetry; we watch, evaluate, and review 3 films. Finally, students will also use access to cameras to film interviews with people who lived through the period. Throughout the unit, students will also read historical documents about the SNCC, Black Panthers, CORE, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, and other organizations from the same period. All students will participate in a dramatic reading of for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf. In summation, students will explore narratives of the Black Power era in poetry and prose in order to learn how to write their own, emphasizing how to improve our society through citizenship. Key Words: Black Power, Black Arts Movement, Women, Narratives, Poetry, Citizenship

(Developed for Poetry, grades 10-12; recommended for Poetry and African American History, grades 9-12)

Comments (1)

    Sydney Hunt Coffin (Tohickon Middle School, Harleysville, PA)
    Subject taught: , Grade: 9
    supplemental essay & article by Dr. Holloway & Mr. Coffin
    The Yale National Initiative published 2 follow-up articles that share reflections by Professor Dr. Jonathan Holloway (the seminar leader) and Mr. Sydney Coffin (the teacher, author of the curriculum unit, and a seminar participant with Dr. Holloway), available In \"Common Ground\" on pages 20 & 21, respectively: https://teachers.yale.edu/pdfs/ocg/ocg15.pdf.

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