Themes of Identity, Race, and Class in American Society

american-promiseAn  article in the N. Y. Times looks at a short  video, “An Education in Equality,” that evolved from a feature-length documentary entitled “American Promise,”  which was filmed over 13 years, beginning when Idris enters kindergarten at  the Dalton School, a prestigious private school in Manhattan.   One of only a few black children in a kindergarten class of about 90 students, Idris takes a journey that becomes a study of diversity in New York’s elite private-school world, with themes of identity, race and class emerging from his story.

Created by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson,  “American Promise” won a Special Jury Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will be broadcast on the PBS series POV in 2014.  Cllick here to read the article and view the 10-minute video.

When you search “identity, race, class,” at PBS LearningMedia, you find a rich assortment of classroom resources, including lesson plans.  Here’s just a sample:

A Class Divided 1:  A Daring Lesson and A Class Divided 2:  Day Two (Grades 3-12) These segments from FRONTLINE: “A Class Divided” profile the first and  second day of an experiment in discrimination based on eye color that took place in a third-grade class in 1970, shortly after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

won’t you embrace me, by Lucille Clifton (Grades 7-12)  Explore themes of identity, race, and gender as contemporary poet Lucille Clifton reads her poem, “won’t you celebrate with me” in this video segment from Poetry Everywhere.

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