Monday, February 09, 2009

Still I Rise; A Graphic History of African Americans

I've noticed in recent years the popularity of graphic-novels. You know, the comic book style books you're students can't seem to put down. Though not quite award-winning literature, it was books like these that had kids reading. It gave them a break from reality, and the ability to get lost in the plot of an anime character.

I was a fan of anything that had kids reading. Whether it be a magazine, a website or a graphic novel. But there was always something about these books that just didn't sit well with me. Maybe it was the fact that they were reading a video game plot and weren't really learning anything.

Still I Rise, changes all that. It's a graphic-novel chronicling the struggle that is the history of African-Americans. This is a new version of the book which extends to the Presidency of Barack Obama. The previous version released several years ago stopped at the million man march.

From the slave trade to Denzel Washington and Halle Berry,
Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans does an excellent job of highlighting important events and introducing some astounding people most Americans never heard of.
Some of local Philadelphia significance include James Forten and Richard Allen, to name just a few.

I liked the book so much I'm going to propose that it become a necessary text for teaching African-American history at my school. It is the perfect compliment to any text. There is not an event in African -American history left unturned.

Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans - is much more than a comic book. It's got content. History is drawn onto every page. From Amistad and Nat Turner's rebellion to Abraham Lincoln and the assassination of Martin Luther King.

The book will do wonders in getting your students engaged. They won't see it as a text, but as a comic book. There are so many extension activities you can do within the pages of this book.

For example:

Students can choose a character from the book and create a mini-comic book highlighting a day in the life of that character.

The can research and write a biography of one or more of the people in the book. Would be more challenging to choose someone they've never heard of. And there will be plenty.

You could take certain scenes, vignettes from the book and have your students create a movie trailer for a movie about the event.

Regardless, your kids will read the book. They'll learn history.

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Rebecca said...

Those graphic history novels sound really neat! I looked on a while ago and found a whole series of graphic novels based on historical events.

Even though I'm not a comic book fan, I love the concept. Thanks for pointing these out and the suggestions for activities!

Keith Hughes said...

I stumbled onto your site, great ideas. I currently run a video program in Buffalo called CVCV, City Voices, City Visions and we train educators to work with DV, Genre and curriculum. And the trailer is my personal favorite. Keep up the good work!


Keith Hughes

Nate Levin said...

Kevin, this sounds like a terrific book, and suggested another book idea to me--the woman suffrage movement would be a great subject for graphic treatment.

college paper writing service said...

It's a good thing that African Americans survived the racism that inflicted bloodshed throughout centuries.

Electric treadmill said...

This book it's a moving, entertaining, and informative experience.

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