Students will be asked to complete the following activities based off racism issues within the movie Mississippi Burning.
Activity 1: “Warm Up” Discussion about the issue of racism
Break off into groups of three and discuss the following “warm up” questions about the topic of Racism.
What are your initial thoughts about the words prejudice and racism?
How would you react if a person treated you based off your skin color?
What would you in a situation that you felt as if you were being discriminated against?
How many different types of races are there in the world?
What are some words or phrases that you associate with the word racism?
What could you do differently that could potentially eliminate racism in our country?
Activity 2: Mississippi Burning Article
Read the following article about the true story based off the movie, Mississippi Burning.
Ex-KKK Leader Guilty in 1964 Killings
An 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, Edgar Ray Killen, has been found guilty of triple manslaughter over the mob killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, in 1964. Although he escaped charges of murder, he faces a maximum penalty of twenty years imprisonment, which means he will probably be incarcerated until his death. He was initially arrested for the murders 41 years ago but was released because of insufficient evidence. New evidence only recently came to light. The former white supremacist, now wheelchair bound, sank his head as the verdict was read and was consoled by relatives. The victims’ relatives waiting outside the court greeted the ruling with cheers of jubilation that justice had finally been done.
Killen was convicted of organizing the lynch mob that ambushed and then beat and shot to death Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, white New Yorkers, and James Chaney, a black man from Mississippi. All were in their early twenties. Their bodies were found at a Mississippi roadside seven weeks after they were abducted. The three were on a campaign to encourage black people to vote in elections in America’s southern states, which were deeply segregated at the time. The brutal slayings shocked America and galvanized the U.S. civil rights movement into fighting to end segregation. Their story was dramatized in the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning
Activity 3: Mississippi Burning Article Discussion
With a partner, discuss the following questions about the article:
What was your first reactions to this headline?
Were you interested to find out more about what the article entailed?
What did you know about this story before reading the article?
What do think of people who believe our own person race makes a person better than another?
Are you proud of your race or country? Why or Why not?
Do you think racism will ever be completely eliminated in your country or in the world as whole?
What is the best thing we can do to help completely destroy the issue of racism?
Activity 4: Photos from Mississippi Burning
Look at the following photos from the film Mississippi Burning and on your own and on a separate piece of paper write the first word or phrase that comes to your mind.
Activity 5: Mississippi Burning Writing Reflection
From these words or phrases that you wrote about the photos, you will be asked to write in two different perspectives. First you will write in the perspective of your personal race. Write how you might be feeling if you were in these situations displayed within the photos. Then you will write in the perspective of a person of the race of your choice. Describe the feelings that that person might be going through in the pictures displayed above. These assignments can be in the form of a journal, letter, news reporter, blog, ect. The choice is up to you. The following questions are here to help guide you through your through process.
How would this person be feeling in these photos?
What would their reactions be?
How would they be treated? How would they feel?
In what ways could that person make a difference in the problem of racism?
Students will be asked to complete to following activities revolving around the issue of racism within the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Activity 1: “Bug Day”
Students will be asked to respond to the following questions individually on a separate piece of paper. These questions are meant to ‘bug’ them and provoke emotion. Once they are finished with their responses, they will be asked to drop them anonymously into a bucket. I will then read their responses a loud anonymously to the class. This activity is to help jog student’s memory to think critically about how racism has affected their personal lives. There will be a class discussion based around the anonymous responses.
How were you treated when you felt as if you were being discriminated against?
What are some ways that you have treated others poorly based off the color of their skin?
What are some positive and negative characteristics of interracial relationships?
How would you feel about the issue of racism being in the way of pursuing an intimate relationship? Is it right?
Activity 2: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Photo Gallery
Students will be asked to look at the following photos from the movie gallery and compare/contrast the reactions they had with the photos from Mississippi Burning. Write down these compare/contrast reactions onto the chart.
Activity 3: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Writing Activity
Student’s will be asked to create a ‘dinner’ party later in this invitation, but first they will be asked to respond to the following question in their personal notebooks.
Separate your notebook paper into four sections. Label them ‘Me,’ ‘My Family,’ ‘My Country,’ ‘My World.’
Write down the first words or phrases that come into your mind when it comes to the issue of racism. For example, you may write under the ‘My Country’ section: People of all races live in my country, or people of the African American/Caucasian race live in my country.
Once all of the responses are written down, brainstorm certain people in society that resemble the descriptions and phrases on your piece of paper. If possible, try to write down four names of people from different ethnic backgrounds. You must have at least one female and one male included in your group. Once all of the names are compiled together, get into groups of four.
In these groups, discuss and choose four characters out of the sixteen choices. Then write up a rough draft of a ‘mini script’ in the perspective of the characters that were chosen. Write about the feelings and emotions that they may be going through as if they were sitting down at the dinner table together. Use the following questions/ideas to begin your brainstorming:
Are any of these characters romantically involved with one another? How would the other characters react?
What types of comments may be made at the dinner table that might prevent any form of racism?
How would the characters treat one another? Is there respect?
What types of projects could these characters work on together in order to help prevent the issue of racism? Would they get along? Why or Why not?
Activity 4: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner Skit
Students will be asked to perform their scripts in front of the class. Each student will be assigned to a character of their choice. They then will move their desks to the front of the room into a ‘dinner table’ position. Once they have finished moving the desks, they will then act out their skits. After they have all performed, there will be an in class discussion about the reactions to the skits and their observations about the issue of racism at the dinner tables.
Students will be asked to react to the following activities based off the issue of racism within the movie Remember the Titans.
Activity 1: Racism in Sports Discussion
There will be an in class discussion about the issue of racism. Students will be asked to react to the following questions.
Have you ever been discriminated because of a sporting interest? How did you feel?
Have you ever witnessed someone be discriminated against because of their sporting talents? What happened? How do you think that person felt?
Have you ever discriminated someone based off their sporting talents? What did you do? Why?
What can you do to prevent these types of racism acts within the sports world?
Activity 2: Inspirational Clip from Remember The Titans
Coach Boone’s Inspirational Speech:
After the clip is viewed, students will be asked to answer the following questions on a piece of paper individually:
Was Coach Boone’s speech effective? Why or Why not?
What was Coach Boone trying to prove to his athletes?
What were your reactions to the speech? Did it reach to the athletes? Why or Why not?
Was there anything Coach Boone should have said that was left out?
What would you have done if you were in Coach Boone’s shoes?
How would you handle this situation differently?
Activity 3: Group Discussion about YouTube Clip
Students will be asked to get into groups of three to share their reactions with each other. They will be asked to use the round robin approach where each person will talk about one of their reactions and rotate around in a circle until everyone has said everything they needed to say. Later, the class will come back as a group and we will write on the board what the group’s reactions were to the clip and discussions.