Use the Activities
In this lesson, students meet Dr. Manassa T. Pope, an African-American doctor and entrepreneur in the early 20th century, and learn about his efforts to gain civil rights well before the modern Civil Rights Movement. The following activities will help them apply what they have learned.
Activity 1: Mock election
B) Hold a mock election, either with student candidates, or for a referendum on some kind of classroom issue (e.g., changing the way the room is arranged). Randomly tell some students that they cannot vote, based on something beyond their control like where they sit or what they're wearing. Hold a class discussion after the exercise. What was the outcome of the vote? How did those students that were not able to vote feel? Would the verdict have been different if the other students were allowed to participate? Why is voting so important?
Activity 2: Constructing a Biography
Suggestions include: Marian Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, George Washington Carver, Charles Chestnutt, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Scott Joplin, Thurgood Marshall, Jelly Roll Morton, Madam C.J. Walker, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, and Richard Wright.
Activity 3: Race relations in your hometown
Alternatively, ask students to conduct an oral history interview with a community member who remembers life during the Jim Crow period. What does she/he recall about race relations in the community during this time? Did she/he attend segregated schools, or go to segregated public facilities? How did she/he feel about race relations then, and how has this shaped the person she/he is today? Have students submit their recordings either on paper or on tape to the local library or historical society.