Frederick Douglass on Patriotism

“No, I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of this country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins.”

Frederick Douglass

Speech at Market Hall, New York, N.Y., 22 Oct. 1847

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Cultural Literacy: Kenya

The country has interested me since I studied it at Hampshire College in Frank Holmquist’s course “Grassroots Perspectives on Third World Development,” so I can say with some confidence that this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Kenya, a full-page document with a reading of three sentences and six comprehension questions, is the sparest of introductions to this diverse nation and its rich history. If you’re thinking you’d like to conduct an inquiry into, say, the British Royal Family’s involvement in the suppression of the Mau-Mau uprising, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church)

“African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church): African-American Methodist denomination, formally organized in 1816. It originated with a group of black Philadelphians who withdrew in 1787 from St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church because of racial discrimination and built Bethel African Methodist Church. In 1799 Richard Allen became minister of Bethel, and in 1816 he was consecrated bishop of the newly organized African Methodist Episcopal Church. Limited at first to the Northern states, the church spread rapidly in the South after the Civil War. It founded many colleges and seminaries, notably Wilberforce University (1856) in Ohio. Today it has 3,600 churches and more than a million members worldwide.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Busing

This Cultural Literacy worksheet on busing is a full-page document with a reading of three sentences and five comprehension questions. I’m old enough to remember this period, and remember well seeing the shameful and violent behavior on nightly network newscasts, particularly of white Bostonians, directed toward children being bused. This was an ugly moment that recent history reminds us, alas, has not yet passed.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Great Migration in American Culture, Politics, and Society

Toni Morrison’s parents migrated from Alabama to Lorraine, Ohio. Diana Ross’s mother migrated from Bessemer, Alabama to Detroit, her father from Bluefield, West Virginia. Aretha Franklin’s father migrated from Mississippi to Detroit. Jesse Owens’s parents migrated from Oakville, Alabama, to Cleveland when he was nine. Joe Louis’s mother migrated with him from Lafayette, Alabama to Detroit. Jackie Robinson’s family migrated from Cairo, Georgia, to Pasadena, California. Bill Cosby’s father migrated from Schuyler, Virginia to Philadelphia, where Cosby was born. Nat King Cole, as a young boy, migrated with his family from Montgomery, Alabama to Chicago. Condoleeza Rice’s family migrated from Birmingham, Alabama to Denver, Colorado, when she was twelve. Thelonious Monk’s parents brought him from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to Harlem when he was five. Berry Gordy’s parents migrated from rural Georgia to Detroit, where Gordy was born. Oprah Winfrey’s mother migrated from Koscisusko, Mississippi, to Milwaukee, where Winfrey went to live as a young girl. Mae Jemison’s parents migrated from Decatur, Alabama, to Chicago when she was three years old. Romare Bearden’s parents carried him from Charlotte, North Carolina, to New York City. Jimi Hendrix’s maternal grandparents migrated from Virginia to Seattle. Michael Jackson’s mother was taken as a toddler from Barbour County by her parents to East Chicago, Indiana; his father migrated as a young man from Fountain Hill, Arkansas, to Chicago, just west of Gary, Indiana, where all the Jackson children were born. Prince’s father migrated from Louisiana to Minneapolis. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’s grandmother migrated from Hollyhill, South Carolina, to Harlem. Whitney Houston’s grandparents migrated from Georgia to Newark, New Jersey. The family of Mary J. Blige migrated from Savannah, Georgia, to Yonkers, New York. Queen Latifah’s grandfather migrated from Birmingham, Alabama, to Brooklyn. August Wilson’s mother migrated from North Carolina to Pittsburgh, following her own mother, who, as the playwright told it, walked most of the way.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Vintage, 2011.

The Weekly Text, 3 February 2023, Black History Month 2023 Week I: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on the Boston Massacre

It’s the first Friday of Black History Month 2023. For this and the following three Fridays, Mark’s Text Terminal will offer (as it does every year), materials for the observance of the month. That said, let me offer my usual disclaimer here: at this blog, and in my own teaching practice, every month is Black History Month. However, I work on this blog to observe this month, first proclaimed by Carter G. Woodson, because I am not in the business of second-guessing a scholar of his stature.

This week’s Text is this reading on the Boston Massacre with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Interestingly, this reading fails to mention Crispus Attucks, one of the dead of the Boston Massacre–history records him as the first to die. He was a Black man who was one of the first martyrs to the cause of independence for the 13 colonies that would become the United States. So there are a couple of critical issues here for students to mull: the first is the erasure of Crispus Attucks, whose martyrdom is a salient fact in the history of this event, and therefore to the history of this nation; the second is the bitter irony of a Black man dying for the freedom of a country whose inhabitants, just about anywhere outside Boston, at the time of his death, would have enslaved him.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

R.D. Laing on Insanity

“Insanity: a perfectly rational adjustment to the insane world.”

R.D. Laing

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

Common English Verbs Followed by an Infinitive: Attempt

Reducing the pile one document after another, here is a worksheet on the verb attempt as used with an infinitive. I attempted to design some materials on gerunds and infinitives, but failed in the end.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Ottava Rima

“Ottava Rima: In prosody a stanza of eight lines rhyming a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c. The form, which arose in Italy in the 14th century, was used by Boccaccio, Tasso, Ariosto, and many other Italian poets. In English is is usually written in iambic pentameters. It was used, for example, by Keats in ‘Isabella‘ (1820); in ‘Don Juan,’ Byron strikes the mock-heroic, almost burlesque note that has come to be associated with the form.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Cultural Literacy: Quotation Marks

Moving right along this morning, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on quotation marks. This is a half-page worksheet with two comprehension questions and space to write practice sentences. Even in this short reading, the authors and editors manage to explain, simply, with an example, the single/double quotation mark rule in punctuation.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.