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Feb 06, 2012
While learning about the past is an integral basis for a solid education, celebrating modern-day heroes can be just as enlightening and inspirational for students.
The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE), which aims to advance cultural diversity in journalism, has a list of noteworthy African Americans to learn about for 2012 on its website.
Making the list of important current-day individuals:
Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton;
Derrick Albert Bell Jr., the first tenured African-American professor of law at Harvard;
Zachary R. Dowdy, a criminal justice reporter at Newsday who also teaches at as an adjunct instructor at Stony Brook University;
Amy DuBois Barnett, an author and magazine editor who has the distinction of being the first African-American woman to lead a mainstream consumer magazine (Teen People);
Henry Louis Gates Jr., a teacher, editor and scholar was the first African-American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow; and
For a list of all individuals of the site’s list, click here.
If your students are itching to get out of the classroom, you know what that means — fieldtrip! There are a couple of current movie offerings that should capture your students’ attention.
In some states, the film “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” is showing now or will soon. The film tells the story of Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash. If it’s possible, plan a journey to the theater to see this film.
Also out in theaters now is “Red Tails,” the story of the Tuskegee Airman — the heroic, African-American pilots of World War II. Rated PG-13, it would be appropriate for older students. Students can learn the stories of these real-world pilots, some of which are still alive.
If you can’t take a fieldtrip, there are several more movies that are informative and could help teach your students about the history of African-Americans in the U.S.
Note that some of these movies are only for older audiences.
Available on dvd is the movie from the wildly popular book of the same name, “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett. The narrator of the story tells of growing up in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s Deep South. A white woman writes a book from the perspective of several maids, which helps shed light on the need for change.
“Ray,” a 2004 film directed by Taylor Hackford tells the life story of blind musician Ray Charles. Charles is played by Jaime Foxx, and the film was nominated for six Oscars, winning best actor and best sound mix.
“The Color Purple,” is based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning book of the same name by Alice Walker. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the story tells of Celie who faces poverty, racism and incest by her father. This film was nominated for 11 Oscars. Because of the verbal, physical and emotional abuse, you should definitely get parental approval before showing it to your students.
For more BHM resources, including worksheets, videos, quizzes, audio and other printables, click here.