Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice: Exposing Racism ObjectivesActivities will help students: • analyze the time period of a photograph to gain a greater understanding of history • explore issues of racism, stereotypes, and bias • explore how photographs can expose racism Guiding Questions • How can photographs capture a moment in history? • What significance do historical photographs play in the present? • Why is it important to understand the context of a photograph?
Introduction Photographs have captured important moments in American history. They can elicit many emotions, raise questions, even preserve and teach important history lessons. There are many photographs from the civil rights movement in America, but in this activity, you will focus on a couple.
Photograph #1 • Examine the photo… With a partner, write a list of predictions or hypotheses about the photo. Use these questions to guide you: • Who is the young woman ahead of the crowd carrying a book? • Why does the crowd behind her seem angry? • What do you think is happening in this photo? • What else do you notice about the photo?
Now learn about the real origins of this photograph by reading from the information and the link below… Photograph #1 shows one member of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African American students attempting to enter a school that had previously been racially segregated. This followed the momentous 1954 Supreme Court ruling that ordered the end of segregated public schools. In the picture, Elizabeth Eckford, the black student, is carrying her books and trying to go into the school as Hazel Bryan Massery shouts at her from behind. As you read the information about the photo, take notes to answer these questions: • Who are the subjects of the photo? • What do you think the photographer was thinking when he took this photo? Why do you think that? • What major events in the United States were taking place when this photo was taken? Click the link to read more… http://www.america.gov/st/diversity-english/2007/August/20070822172142berehellek0.267265.html Video Clip: http://www.history.com/videos/little-rock-9
Now compare your prediction list with your notes. • What similarities do you have? • What differences?
Another historical photo was recently found…Experts believe that this photo was taken around 1860 and shows two children who were enslaved.Click the link to learn more about this photo…http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37623310/ns/us_news/t/rare-photo-slave-children-found/ Photograph #2
Compare the two photographs… Work with a partner to discuss the following: .1) What is the time period of each photo? 2) In what ways are the time periods of these photos similar? In what ways are they different?3) Both photographs expose some element of racism. How?4) How are the subjects of each photo similar? How are they different?5) How are the historical events surrounding each photo similar? How are they different?
Record your ideas about what is similar and different about these photographs in a Venn diagram. Find 2 other people in class to compare your Venn diagram with. Are there similarities and/or differences that you didn’t pick up on that others did? Venn Diagram
One thing that both photos have in common is that they capture moments in history. Go back to two of the Guiding Questions for this activity and answer below your Venn Diagram: 1) What significance do historical photographs play in the present? 2) Why is it important to understand the context surrounding a photograph?