Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

15. Poetry of Liberation

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•  Using the Video
•  Authors
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•  Activities
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Activities: Author Activities

Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) - Teaching Tips

Back Back to Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) Activities
  • Choose one of the longer speeches in Scene II of Dutchman. Practice performing the excerpt. What choices have you made about delivery? What have you chosen to emphasize? Why? What gestures, pauses, or inflections make sense to you? Why?

  • Baraka's work has been controversial because it often calls for violence. Whether or not readers accept the anger and vengeance expressed in these works, it seems important to talk about audience. Have students imagine that they have been asked to do the publicity for a production of Dutchman. Whom do they imagine attending the play? What text would be on the flyers and in the program notes? Whom is Baraka trying to reach? Why does he feel violence and anger are successful tools? How have different groups of people responded to his work? Does his militancy affect his credibility as a thinker and artist?

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