“Rastafarianism: Movement originating in the West Indies which takes its name from Ras (a term of respect in Africa) Tafari Makonnen (1892-1975) crowned Emperor of Ethiopia with the title Haile Selassie in 1930. Haile Selassie has a mystical role in the cult as has Ethiopia itself: as the one part of African that was never colonized, it is seen as the spiritual home of the black man. Life in the West Indies or in Britain is seen as time in Babylon by analogy with the sufferings of the Israelites as slaves in exile.”
Excerpted from: Cook, Chris. Dictionary of Historical Terms. New York: Gramercy, 1998.
“What did Zora Neale Hurston do before becoming a novelist? Hurston was a folklorist who studied with anthropologist Franz Boas at Barnard College. In Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938), she compiled black traditions of the South and the Caribbean. Her novels include Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).”
Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.
It’s finally starting to feel like spring in New England, for which I am grateful. In celebration of spring, and of Women’s History Month 2019, here is a reading on Bessie Smith, the justly named “Empress of the Blues,” with an accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.
If you find typos in these documents, 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.
“(1987) A novel by Toni Morrison, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It is the story of a runaway slave whose desperation forces her to slash her infant daughter’s throat with a handsaw rather than see the child in chains. But eighteen years after the child’s death, a young woman appears and the characters believe she is the slain infant returned to earth. Set in the pre- and post-Civil War era outside Cincinnati, Beloved is developed through a series of flashbacks to the Sweet Home Plantation. The main characters are Sethe, the heroine who is literally haunted by the baby daughter she killed; Beloved, the ghost of Sethe’s child; Paul D., a former slave who knew Sethe when they were together at Sweet Home; and Denver, one of Sethe’s other three children.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.
Moving right along with Women’s History Month 2019, here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on Gwendolyn Brooks (and if you like this, the good folks at Education World will give you a yearlong supply of them).
Also, here is a PDF of Ms. Brooks’ linguistically elegant poem “We Real Cool.”
Posted in English Language Arts, Independent Practice, Worksheets
Tagged Black History, Everyday Edit, fiction and literature, grammar, usage, and style, procedural knowledge, short exercises, Women's History
“I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”
Zora Neale Hurston
World Tomorrow “How It Feels to be Colored Me”
Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.