African American Literature will guide students through the various cultural periods of African American history. This course explores the narratives of Africans and African Americans whose contributions have shaped the world. In Unit 1, students will study literature relating to Africans and African Americans from prehistory to 1750. Unit 2 will cover African American poets, authors, and civil rights activits from 1750-1865, including Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth. Unit 3 will discuss historical and cultural changes for African Americans from 1865-1945, including the civil rights writings of Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as the works of Langston Hughes and other figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Finally, Unit 4 includes modern selections from Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Queen Latifah, and more. Students will be exposed to African American literature and culture from the past to the present and will learn how these literary works have been used to strive toward a better future for all African Americans.
It is recommended that students successfully
complete English 9 or equivalent course work before enrolling in this course.
Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills
- Identify imagery while reading text selections.
- Analyze 20th century poets and epics.
- Analyze African American proverbs.
- Analyze strategies and components for writing a literary analysis.
- Construct, evaluate, proofread, and publish the literary analysis.
Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills
- Analyze the characteristics of a good argument based on reasons and evidence/facts.
- Define vocabulary terms by writing definitions.
- Use context and synonyms to determine word meanings while reading.
- Identify and analyze contents of a speech to determine how authors use facts and opinions to achieve their purposes.
- Review various literary elements.
- Analyze elements of autobiographies and strategies for writing a persuasive piece.
Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills
- Demonstrate understanding of an author’s tone.
- Formulate conclusions on how historical context affects events.
- Isolate meaning through context clues within the selection.
- Define vocabulary terms.
- Demonstrate the ability to make inferences about the speaker in a poem.
- Analyze how an author’s choice of words advances the purpose of writing.
- Identify figurative language in the text.
Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills
- Develop an understanding of synonyms and antonyms.
- Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics of an autobiography.
- Compare and contrast authors while reading two autobiographies.
- Identify the characteristics, theme(s), and figurative language within an essay or informational article.
- Analyze a writer’s argument.
- Demonstrate understanding of the conventions of free verse by reading aloud.
- Compare and contrast themes between poems.
- Holt African American Literature (textbook)