- Cultural Appropriation
“I Speak of the City” and “Central Park,” by Octavio Paz
“Notes of a Native Son,” by James Baldwin
“Chike’s School Days,” by Chinua Achebe
“The Deep River,” by Bessie Head
“To New York,” “Night in Sine,” “Prayer to the Masks,” and “Letter to a Poet,” by Leopold Sedar Senghor
Summary & Lesson Plan
Although we traveled to another continent this week, it seems as if we didn’t leave the Native American scene. Perhaps the reason is that the African literature we covered is written with much of the same earthiness and native soul we find in Native American culture. Last week we looked at the Native American experience, with an exploration of some of their most intimate ceremonies with the Nightway chants, to the more complex and unpleasant dive into the cultural conflict occurring within the “Americanized” Native American of the time. This week was on a similar level, as we move through time we see a similar impact occurring within African natives.
The colonization that occurred with British presence cultivated mixed opportunities for Africans. Since we focused on the identity of African natives and the inner conflicts which occur at such a cultural intersection, perhaps we shall incorporate some artifacts from the time and place.
Perhaps we play a modified version of monopoly. You can either make a Monopoly set from scratch or modify an existing set. I understand that this may seem a bit odd but the idea is to have the students understand some of the socio-economic struggles that occurred for these people.
Remove unique pieces from the board, so there will be two teams competing, rather than six individual players.
Team One (community team) – will consist of three students who will share a common game-piece.
Team One (community team) – although this team will technically consist of three different students, none of the students on the team will be allowed to make a decision about their movements, they will only be allowed to execute the decisions of their leader (teacher will designate a leader – perhaps a TA)
Team Two – will consist of three students who will use three unique game-pieces to compete against the team.
Although the community team members aren’t allowed to make their own decisions, or even vote on the group decision, they will be granted a higher amount of money than the individual players, and they will be allowed other concessions which will give them a slight advantage over the other team as well; this is to illustrate the give and take of socialism, although they aren’t allowed to make deacons or vote or have a sense of individual identity, they will have slightly more resources, and other rule allowances to help highlight the strength in numbers ideal.
Once the game completes, play it once more but swap the players. Students previously on Team One will move to Team Two etc.
Remind the class of the importance of classroom interaction, particularly engaging in classroom debates and “Q&As” to improve comprehension and to drive home the lesson. Encourage each student to participate.
Remember, the key to the classroom experience is to get the students to understand and remember the concept(s), theme(s), and principles while making a connection to the time and place as it related to that particular experience as well as how it relates to our world today.
Ask each student to complete a written summary (500-800 words) about powerlessness, cultural oppression by government and personal choice as themes within the context of the readings and lesson this week, as well as how these themes are evidenced on a global, or even local scale, in today’s world.