Harlem Renaissance Projects

Harlem Renaissance Projects

We’ll view portions of the film Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (who himself was a victim of racial injustice and was invited to the White House to discuss the state of race in America by President Barack Obama)

Prompt: Create an annotated bibliography & poster presentation using images and text covering a topic related to the Harlem Renaissance.  You can choose from the list of topics below or have Borger approve another related one before you start research. Choose your top three and get them to Borger asap. If there is a name next to a topic, it has been claimed either 1st or 7th hour.  IF TOPICS ARE IN RED, THAT MEANS THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN CLAIMED IN BOTH HOURS & ARE NO LONGER UP FOR GRABS.

Grading Criteria:  This project is worth 250 points.

Before you print anything

  1. Conduct research and compose annotated bibliography first.
  2. Then edit your choices from the information gathered.
  3. Then print/create images, compose text, and create poster.

100 points will be earned by making an annotated bibliography for your poster.  You will create a citation for the site you are using and write a summary with quotes below that citation.  Include any images you are contemplating using for your poster below the citation as well. In this way, you will know which images and text came from which websites.  Citations will be matched with appropriate text and images.  From this you will create a works cited page for your poster. IF YOU USE EASYBIB TO MAKE CITATIONS, REMOVE GREY FORMATTING PRIOR TO PRINTING (hit the copy and paste link below each entry to remove formatting).

100 points will be earned creating a poster that accurately represents your chosen subject visually and textually.  Your poster should be equally divided between text and images. Images can be accompanied by textual captions OR you may create larger blocks of text.  Text should be easily readable and should include citations.  Be creative – consider combining factual information with poetry and song lyrics to represent your topic’s location within the larger context of the Harlem Renaissance.  Use suggestions on this site for poster  guidelines.

50 points will be earned from presenting your findings in a panel presentation in class. You will be using your poster as a visual aid for the presentation.  Presentations will be grouped according to theme.

Sample citations for works cited page:

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access

 Apollo Theater. Apollo Theater Foundation Inc., 2013. Web. 05 March 2013.

“Ella Fitzgerald.” PBS. Ken Burns Jazz, n.d. Web. 05 March 2013.




Harlem Renaissance: Celebrate Good Times

After the systemic oppression of slavery & convict leasing followed by the trials of the Great Migration, African-Americans finally had space to express themselves through art, music, and poetry.

“I, Too” by Langston Hughes (all students will memorize & recite this by the end of the unit for a 100 point presentation grade)

It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing” by Ella Fitzgerald

Minnie the Moocher” by Cab Calloway

Jump and Jive” Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers

Cotton Club Dancers dancing to “Bugle Call Rag” by Duke Ellington

Lindy Hoppers dancing

Nightlife by Archibald John Motley

Students will pull from other Harlem Renaissance links for the duration of this unit.

Slavery by Another Name

Realism came out of a need to accurately represent what was actually happening in our country which included the horrors of slavery and the Civil War.

Students will watch most of the PBS documentary Slavery by Another Name which covers the period of time immediately following the Emancipation Proclamation.  Most Americans believe that freedom came easily and instantaneously after Lincoln’s speech, but that was not the case.  Through convict leasing and peonage, slavery in alternative forms lasted through the 1940’s in this country.

Isabel Wilkerson wrote The Warmth of Other Suns which chronicles the Great Migration out of the south to New York & the east coast, Chicago & the Midwest, and LA & the west. Wilkerson was interviewed on Democracy Now where she discussed the three primary tales in her book. The Great Migration led to the Harlem Renaissance, which we’ll be discussing in coming weeks.

We will seminar over the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs as well as Slavery by Another Name and the Great Migration Wednesday 02/17-Friday 02/19 before moving into our Harlem Renaissance projects.


2-One Pagers

Literature Response: Do 2 One-Pagers

1 over either “Silk Stockings” or “Story of an Hour”


1 over either Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass or Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


A one-pager is a way of responding to a piece of writing on a single sheet of paper.  It represents your own written and graphic interpretation of what you have read.  It may be very literal (just based on the facts or information in the piece) or it may be a symbolic representation of the piece. It helps you as a reader to visualize what you are reading. Complete a One-Pager for either “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” or “To Build a Fire.”


  1. Must be on standard sized, unlined paper
  2. Must fill the entire page
  3. Writing must be in ink or typed…no pencil
  4. Include the title and the author of the piece
  5. Use colored pens or markers unless otherwise directed

The following elements are required on the one-pager and may be arranged on the page in any way you choose:

  1. Must have one or two quotes from the reading.  (Passages that you like or think are important)
  2. Must have a graphic representation:  drawing, magazine picture, or computer graphic that ties to the piece you read and the quotes you chose. And color
  3. Must include a personal response to what you have read:  comment, interpretation, evaluation, etc.

Keep these directions with you, as we may do this activity several times throughout the course of this class.

Slave Narratives

Monday: 02/08

  1. Read the biography of Frederick Douglass on page 397 in your text.  Take notes / make an outline of the information on this page. 
  2. Copy down the vocabulary terms on page 398.
  3. Read from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (399-403).  Find and explain 3 quotes that describe the life of a slave – that use clear, detailed, descriptive language – to persuade us about the dehumanization of slavery. Put quotes in split-quote format.
  4. Answer questions 1-2 on page 404 of the text after the story.

Tuesday: 02/09

  1. Read the biography of Harriet Jacobs on page 405 in your text.  Take notes / make an outline of the information on this page.
  2. Copy down the vocabulary terms on page 406.
  3. Read from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (407-410).  Find and explain 3 quotes that describe either the dehumanization of slavery OR her internal and external conflicts as a slave and mother.
  4. Answer questions 1-5 on page 411 of the text after the story.

In-Class Essay: Character Study

Lit/Lang 3: Character Study In-Class Essay

Analyze one or both of the characters in the stories we read: “A Pair of Silk Stockings” and “The Story of an Hour.” Discuss the motivations behind their actions and  make an evaluative claim about the end of the story (like we discussed in seminar).

Single Character Essay:

Paragraph 1: Introduce the story with a short summary.

Paragraph 2:  Analyze one component of the character / analyze one character.  You cannot get an “A” on this assignment without quoting from the selections.  Move beyond summary and into analysis.  Pick quotes that give specific motivations behind the character’s actions & explain why.  Don’t just summarize the story – we already did that in seminar.  Pick the story apart.

Paragraph 3: Analyze another component of the character / analyze the second character.  You cannot get an “A” on this assignment without quoting from the selections.  Move beyond summary and into analysis.  Pick quotes that give specific motivations behind the character’s actions & explain why.  Don’t just summarize the story – we already did that in seminar.  Pick the story apart.

Paragraph 4: Discuss how & these authors’ texts are alike or different (something we didn’t get to do in seminar). Use a quote or example from each story – again, don’t resummarize, but pick one detail from each story to focus on.

Paragraph 5: Conclude your paper (tell me what you’ve told me and leave me with a final ‘ah ha’ thought).  Talk a bit about the role of women, the constraints of society at the time, the moral dilemmas and internal struggles these women exemplify, etc.