Walking in someone else’s shoes can be one of the best ways to understand another human being. In the lesson plan It Takes Courage to Be Weak, students begin by analyzing quotations about activism and social change and rewriting them in their own words. Students view video segments from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross to learn about the philosophy of non-violence and about the role of nonviolent protest in the Civil Rights Movement. They conclude by writing first-person accounts from the point of view of a civil rights protester in 1950s and 1960s America.
NOTE TO TEACHERS: These segments of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross contain authentic archival footage of the struggle between African-Americans and white Americans during the Civil Rights era. They include some violence and the use of derogatory racial epithets. Before teaching this lesson, please preview the video segments and assess their appropriateness for your students.