Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Workshop 4 Workshop 5 Workshop 6 Workshop 7 Workshop 8
Workshop 6: Historical and Cultural Context - Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore
Overview
Authors and Literary Works
Langston Hughes
Biography
Work
Christopher Moore
Biography
Work
Interview
Joyce Hansen/ Gary McGowan
Biography
Work
Barbara Chase-Riboud
Biography
Work
Key References
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Commentary
Student Work
Resources
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.

Authors and Literary Works
Key references

African Burial Ground
In 1991, the largest known African burial ground in North America was uncovered in Lower Manhattan during the construction of a federal building, and in 1993 this site was designated as a National Historical Landmark. Since its discovery, the African Burial Ground has been excavated, researched, and commemorated, but it has also been a source of debate and tensions between the federal General Services Administration (GSA), scholars, and members of the community who felt that the cemetery held their ancestors and should not be disturbed. However, cooperation among concerned members of the community, scholars, and local politicians forced the GSA to halt its building project and fund research on the cemetery, which it has done, though often amid more debate. The research at the site and on the skeletons of the interred has revealed a great deal of information that offers a glimpse into the everyday realities of slavery as it existed in the Northern American colonies.

Harlem Renaissance
The Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities at the beginning of the 20th century transformed Harlem into the cultural capital of black America. However, due to high rents and financial difficulties, Harlem also faced economic and social problems. These challenges, along with the emerging idea of the "New Negro," led many African Americans to create a new self-identity and group consciousness that would help them get out of their difficult circumstances. The leaders of this new movement were political activists as well as artists, writers, and musicians. Influential activists such as Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Du Bois advocated pan-African ideas and strove to improve black people's situation in the United States and elsewhere in the colonized world. Other important leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Paul Robeson, sought to re-create and raise awareness of the social, political, and economic hardships faced by many blacks through their writings, performances, and art. Their travels gave them a global perspective and audience, and helped them spread the mood of the Harlem Renaissance far beyond New York. In addition to the social and political significance of their works, these artists also created new forms of expression that became an influential and important part of American culture.

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