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Alabama Voices from the Harlem Renaissance

Teaching activities:

”Bullet Students may be given an assignment to search the Internet for information on the Harlem Renaissance and the Alabama writers.

”Bullet Students may write their own Alabama poems which can be read with blues and/or jazz as background music.

”Bullet Students may compile a collection of folktales, sayings, and beliefs from their localities.

”Bullet Students may write a research paper on an Alabama writer from the Harlem Renaissance; they may also compare one or more writers. The focus would be on illustrating Renaissance influences in the authors' thought and writing. They may research and write about Alabama artists and musicians from the Harlem Renaissance.

”Bullet Students may plot the route of the Great Migration north on a map, showing particular cities in which African Americans from Alabama may have settled, depending on the most convenient transportation available.

”Bullet Students may write a research paper on W. C. Handy and the music of the Harlem Renaissance. They may research the beginnings of gospel music during this period and trace its Alabama connections, if any.

”Bullet Students may be given a reading list of texts by Alabama writers from the Renaissance. Readings may be required for reports, panel discussions, and dramatic performances.

”Bullet Students may write and act out a dialogue between two Alabama writers from the Renaissance or between an Alabama writer and a musician, artist, or another writer from a different state. A good choice would be to write a dialogue between Hurston and Hughes illustrating their conflict over the play they were writing together, and perhaps differences and similarities in their theories of writing.

”Bullet Students may assume the persona of a writer, write and perform monologues reflecting the writers thoughts about the trends of the period, the craft of writing, and literary innovations of the time.

Music: Refer to "Alabama's Musical Heritage" in the Supplemental Resources section for information on Alabama blues, boogie woogie, and gospel music.

Field trips:

”Bullet W. C. Handy Museum and annual music festival in Florence

”Bullet Tuskegee University