Monday, November 29, 2010

U.S. History for Monday, November 29

Welcome back! 
In period 2 U.S. History, students completed the 1920s posters then had some notes on prohibition.  Be sure to copy the notes from a classmate if you were absent.

In period 3 U.S. History, we had a brief review of prohibition then focused on the Harlem Renaissance.  We watched some jazz performances from that time and read some pieces of literature from Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Langston Hughes.  Copy the notes from a classmate if you were absent.  Here are the poems we looked at in class:
If We Must Die  
by Claude McKay

If we must die--let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die--oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen!  We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

by Jean Toomer

Black reapers with the sound of steel on stones
Are sharpening scythes.  I see them place the hones
In their hip-pockets as a thing that's done,
And start their silent swinging, one by one.
Black horses drive a mower through the weeds,
And there, a field rat, startled, squealing bleeds.
His belly close to ground.  I see the blade.
Blood-stained, continue cutting weeds and shade.
I, Too, Sing America  
by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

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