Final Project

The Great Migration Stories of Ida Mae, George and Robert Translated through the Lens of Photography

Hospital Segregation,

Hospital Segregation, D.C., 1950s

Sharecropper

Sharecropper and Manager in the South 1870s

Detroit Race Riots, 1943

Introduction

For the final in this course, I read Isabel Wilkerson’s comprehensive oral history tome, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, written in 2010. Her rich narrative intertwines personal interviews with southern emigrants Ida Mae Gladney, George Swanson Starling and Robert Pershing Foster, and charts the course of their lives as they move from the South to the North for similar economic, political and social reasons. Interspersed with these accounts is the background of historical facts, causes and effects of the Migration on people and institutions of the North.

As part of an inquiry lesson in a unit on Immigration (or also Civil Rights) for 9-12 graders, this would serve as an activity in the middle of the unit (for about three class periods of fifty minutes each), where students can explore further content using the skill of asking supporting questions to build upon the compelling ones, given by the teacher. Students will use three case studies of the people mentioned above, along with images, providing a visual example for them to create further research and choose a new image to generate more questions, while answering at least one.

Compelling Question: What were some causes and effects of the movement of people in the Great Migration from South to North?

Supporting Questions: How did the influx of Great Migration Blacks from the South to Detroit affect the 1943 race riots and what were these about? How did segregation affect people’s economic, political and social lives? What was the economic phenomenon of sharecropping and why did it cause people to move from the South

Rationale

Through the use of the Iowa Core Social Studies State Standards and the C3 Framework,
using inquiry, this activity addresses how students can create more questions to further their
investigations by using visual images as primary sources. The standards themselves provide a
content and concept-based scaffold to help guide students’ investigations into three case studies of first-hand accounts of people in the Great Migration. Images are able to pique curiosity and ambiguity that can propel further research, specifically, when using case studies to ask and answer supporting questions (Sheridan Center, 2019). The C3 Framework emphasizes that students need to first focus on a societal problem, ask questions to frame their explorations, then communicate their conclusions.

Visual literacy is an integral skill needed in today’s digital world and is supported by literacy standards as being essential to understanding texts (Finley, 2014). We are bombarded by photography, memes, cartoons, artwork, slideshows, signs and videos at every turn. Students need to be able to traverse this terrain in order to decipher and interpret meaning and communicate through images, part of 21st century skills.

The principles of artistic interpretation, such as put forth by Terry Barrett (1994), mesh well with the methods of social studies as a discipline because they ask the viewer to find evidence or clues within the image and make an argument for the interpretation based on what is seen in the work to support it, so it’s not about opinions, although that might form the start of the inquiry; it’s about making a claim and building a foundation for it. These claims can be fairly subjective in the beginning, allowing for student creativity and multiple points of view in determining what the image is saying. As he states, “Interpretations are not so much absolutely right, but more or less reasonable, convincing, enlightening, and
informative” (Barrett, 1994, p. 10).

Students are also provided choice in the images that they select to research and generate more questions about as they proceed. This encourages them to use creativity to find images that might be personally relevant to them in some way and increases their motivation in examining case studies (Gedeon, 2019).

Finally, for an assessment tool, students will exhibit their learning through a Google doc as an artifact of their research. They will record their investigations by showing the supporting questions that they used to guide further research, as well as explain their interpretations of other images and sources that they found online. The extra images that they have found will be compiled in a shared Google doc that the teacher creates, so that they group can jigsaw and discuss what they have learned in a group discussion.

Standards & Objectives

Standards
SS-Geo.9-12.20. Geography: Analyze Human Population Movements and Patterns. Assess the impact of economic activities and political decisions on urban, suburban, and rural regions.

 SS-US.9-12.18. U.S. History: Analyze Human Population Movements and Patterns. Analyze the effects of urbanization, segregation, and voluntary and forced migration within regions of the U.S. on social, political, and economic structures.

C3 Framework: D1.4.9-12 & Iowa Core SS.9-12.2. Inquiry: Constructing Supporting Questions. Develop and explain how supporting questions that contribute to an inquiry and demonstrate how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge.

Objectives:
TLW investigate how sharecropping affected a person’s desire to leave the South through a case study by examining images, developing supporting questions and answering one. SS-Geo.9-12.20, D1.4.9-12, SS.9-12.2.

TLW connect segregation with immigration and its effects on people through a case study and
looking at images, creating more questions and answering one. SS-US.9-12.18. D1.4.9-12,
SS.9-12.2.

TLW explore how the Great Migration affected the beginning of the Detroit Race Riots in 1943,
through a case study with images, generating more questions and answering one.
SS-US.9-12.18, D1.4.9-12, SS.9-12.2.

Excerpt & Primary Source 1: Segregation & Sharecropping (Politics & Economics)

Ide Mae Gladney

(p. 165-169 – Please see the pdf listed at the bottom of this post)

Sharecropper

Sharecropper and Manager in the South 1870s

 Fig. 1. 1870s in the South

Activity:

  1. In relation to Ida Mae’s information, describe the image above and answer the following questions in a Google doc: a) Who and what is shown in the picture? b) What is the image medium: a photo, painting, etc.? c) What does the image reveal about the economic or political conditions in the South in the 1870s?  d) What does it show about sharecropping and power relations?
  2. Write two questions you have about this image. Answer one using online sources.
  3. Find another image online that relates to Ida Mae’s experience in some way, such as the way she makes a living, segregation or threat of violence and add to your doc.
  4. Provide two additional questions for the image you’ve found and list its source (as a link) and explain why you think the source is credible.
  5. Answer one of your questions.

Excerpt & Primary Source 2: Detroit Race Riots, 1943, Economics in the North

George Swanson Starling

(p. 130-133–Please see the pdf listed at the bottom of this post)

Detroit Race Riots, 1943

Detroit Race Riots, 1943

Fig. 2. From The Atlantic, Detroit Race Riots, 1943.

Activity:

  1. Describe the image and answer the following questions in a Google doc:
  2. a) Who and what is shown in the picture? b) What is the image medium: a photo, painting, etc.? c) What does the image reveal about race relations in the Detroit Race Riots?
  3. Write two questions you have about this image. Answer one using an online source.
  4. Then 2 choices:  a) Find another image online that relates to George’s experience in some way, such as his trolley ride or working conditions. Add to your doc.
    OR  b) Compare the Watts Riots in Los Angeles (August, 1965) to the Detriot Riots in a
    visual comparison, finding a similarity or difference and write a couple of sentences
    about your image.
  5. Provide two additional questions for the image you’ve found and list its source (as a link) and explain why you think the source is credible.
  6. Answer one of your questions.

Excerpt & Primary Source 3: Segregation in Culture Politics & Culture

Robert Pershing Foster

(p. 173-175–Please see the pdf listed at the bottom of this post)

Hospital Segregation,

Hospital Segregation, D.C., 1950s

Fig. 3. A Veteran’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s.
Activity:

  1. Describe this image and answer the following questions: a) Who and what is shown in the picture? b) What is the image: a photo, painting, etc.? c) What does the image reveal about segregation in hospitals?
  2. Write two questions you have about this image. Answer one using an online source.
  3. Find another image online of segregation in a hospital, school, public building or cultural place such as a movie theater and add to a Google doc.
  4. Provide two additional questions for the image you’ve found and list its source (as a link) and explain why you think the source is credible.
  5. Answer one of your questions.

Excerpts from The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson, 2010.

References

Barrett, T. (1994, September). Principles for interpreting art. Art Education. 47(5), 8-13.
Retrieved from http://www.jstor.com.

C3 Framework. (2010). National Council on the Social Studies. Retrieved from
https://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/c3/C3-Framework-for-Social-Studies.pdf.

End of racial segregation in VA Hospitals. (2016, August 1.) Museum of the American Military
Family and Learning Center.
Image retrieved from
https://weservedtoo.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/end-of-racial-segregation-in-va-hospitals/.

Finley, T. (2014, February 19). Common core in action: 10 visual literacy strategies. Edutopia.
Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/ccia-10-visual-literacy-strategies-todd-
finley
.

Gedeon, J. (2019). What is project-based learning? Arch for Kids, LLC. Retrieved from
https://www.noodle.com/articles/what-is-project-based-learning

History of racial injustice: Racialized poverty-the legacy of slavery. (1870). Equal Justice
Initiative.
Image retrieved from https://eji.org/history-racial-injustice-racialized-poverty.

Interactive Classroom Activities. (2019). Sheridan Center, Brown University. Retrieved from
https://www.brown.edu/sheridan/teaching-learning-resources/teaching
resources/classroom-practices/active-learning/interactive.

Taylor, A. (2015, January 14). Detroit in the 1940s. Atlantic. Image
retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/01/detroit-in-the-1940s/384523/.

Wilkerson, I. (2010). The warmth of other suns: The epic story of America’s Great Migration.
New York, NY: Random House.

 

 

 

Mini Lesson

Exploring Biography Through Art in The Great Migration

George Swanson Starling in Detroit, torn construction paper, glue, pencil, oil pastel, 8.5 x 11 in.

 

 

This activity is meant as an introduction to a unit on Immigration and Industrialization in an American history class for 9-12 graders.  It combines art and social studies in an inquiry-based lesson through creating a collage based on a person of the migration as well as the effects of their movements and experiences on the larger social, political and economic outcomes.

classmates’ examples

Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Bill Russell, Toni Morrison, James Earl Jones and Rosa Parks

 

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

 

Examples of People to Choose From:

Art:                                                       Music:
Jacob Lawrence                              John Coltrane       Thelonius Monk
Romare Bearden                             Miles Davis             Louis Armstrong /  Chicago Blues

Sports:
Bill Russell
Jesse Owens

Literature:
Toni Morrison                                           Richard Wright
Langston Hughes                                    Zora Neal Hurston
James Baldwin

Politics:
Dr. T.R.M. Howard https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/howard-t-r-m-1908-1976/

Arrington High – sent to an asylum in Mississippi illegally and ended up in Chicago smuggled out in a coffin (teacher has secondary source handout on paper).

Emmett Till (parents migrated but went back to the South to visit)

Eugene Williams and the Chicago Race Riots of 1919 (He was from Georgia.)

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-1919-race-riots-explores-racial-tension-eugene-williams-laquan-mcdonald/

Everyday People: Philadelphia Oral Histories (transcripts included)
https://goinnorth.org/

Harlem Renaissance People 1916-1930s
*Be sure to research if they were part of the Great Migration or were born in the North before beginning
https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/new-african-american-identity-harlem-renaissance

Marcus Garvey, Cyril Briggs, and Walter Francis White; performers Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson; writers and poets Zora Neale Hurston, Effie Lee Newsome, Countee Cullen; visual artists Aaron Douglas and Augusta Savage; and an extraordinary list of legendary musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ivie Anderson, Josephine Baker, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, and countless others.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam011.html
(Might find some people on here)

Kenyon College Biographies
http://northbysouth.kenyon.edu/1999/index.htm

Maps, Photos & Overview Resources
NY Public Library http://www.inmotionaame.org/migrations/landing.cfm?migration=8

_____________________________________________________________________________

Lesson Plan

1) Title: Exploring Biography through Art in the Great Migration

2) Grade Level & Subject: 9-12th grade

3) Time Needed: 50 minutes (Note: this lesson is part of a larger unit on the Great Migration, designed as an introduction.)

4) Materials: Computer, Internet connection, paper, pencils, erasers, colored construction paper, glue or glue sticks, scissors, colored markers, other decorative papers, rulers, oil pastels., thumbtacks.

5) Description & Purpose: Using a research-based inquiry method to probe the compelling questions, students will choose a person to research, find and evaluate sources and compile information on a person affected by the Great Migration in the years 1910-1970. This lesson seeks a balance between independently discovered content through inquiry and the practice of historical skills including research and evidence for claims, as well arts integration. Understanding history on a micro-level first, students will share knowledge about their person in an artwork they created to the rest of the class and relate how this individual was part of a larger movement that affected U.S. culture, politics or economics.

5) Standards:
Iowa Core Social Studies Standards:
Geography: Analyze Human Population Movement and Patterns, SS-US.9-12.17. Analyze the effects of urbanization, segregation, and voluntary and forced migration within regions of the U.S. on social, political, and economic structures.
History: Compare Perspectives, SS-US.9-12.25. Analyze how regional, racial, ethnic and gender perspectives influenced American history and culture.
C3 Framework: D1.5.9-12. Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of the sources.

National Arts Standards:
Creating, Anchor standard 2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Connecting, Anchor standard 11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.

6) Objectives:
TLW, either with a partner, small group or alone, investigate the effects of the Great Migration through the lens of biography, choosing one person to research how this individual has shaped American culture on a micro-level, creating an artwork about them and their experience, SS-US.9-12.25, National Arts Anchor standards 2 & 11.

TLW connect their person with the larger patterns of the Great Migration, with emphasis on the factors that caused their individual to leave and the effects of the migration on the North or South in either social, political or economic ways through the eyes of this person, SS-US.9-12.17.

TLW explore the types of sources available and analyze which ones would be most useful for their person’s biography, linking them to the larger story of the Great Migration, and checking for credibility, D1.5.9-12.

7) Procedure: (Total: 50 min.)
Launch/Introduction: (5 min.)

1. Compelling questions: What economic, cultural and political factors might cause people to
move, voluntarily or involuntarily from place to place? During the Great Migration, what were
the reasons people left the South for the North?  How did this affect the culture, politics and
economics of the North or South? (1 min.)

2. Students will be asked to write on the board why someone in their family (or someone they
have known or read about) migrated from one place to another. Then, the teacher will ask
them to categorize these into social, economic or political arenas in order to clarify the
definitions of these terms, needed later in the lesson. (4 min.)

Main Body: (40 min.)
Background Information: (10 min.)

  1. Students view a slideshow presented by teacher on basics of the Great Migration, without giving too much away about the causes and effects, in order for them to find their own reasons through the lives of individuals.

Create: (30 min.)

  1. Teacher explains that students will be asked to create an artwork using the materials provided that relate to this person’s experience in the Great Migration including reasons they left and the effects of their departure, in some way of their choosing, but collage is recommended. It can be abstract or figurative, literal or symbolic.
  2. Teacher explains that they must include the following in their artwork (this is also shown on the slides as reminder): a) Visual representation (abstract or figurative) of an experience of your person related to the Great Migration, for example, a job in the North or a reason why they left the South. b) An image representing an effect of their lives on the larger culture, politics or economics, especially in the North. How does their experience tie into the larger movement?
  3. Teacher also explains they are to research these people using sources online or in the books provided, either alone, with a partner or small group and fill out the supporting worksheet.
  4. Teacher reviews in slides how to choose supporting sources, going over types and ways to check credibility with a paper handout. This includes audio files, images, written material, films or other types of primary and secondary sources.
  5. Students choose partners and have work time.

Conclusion: (5 min.)

  1.  Students will present their artwork to the class, pin to the bulletin board and explain
    who they chose, their experiences or stories and what they depicted in their artwork
    that relates to the larger, “big picture” effects of the migration.

8) Assessment:

Formative: Teacher will meet with small groups and see if they have collected relevant and credible sources and make sure they have started asking supporting questions to help guide further research. Teacher will ask each group to inform her of the person they have chosen and their strategy for creating the artwork product and determining sources.

Summative: Teacher will collect artifacts from students including art piece and worksheet and check for completion.

9) Visuals:
Teacher Example:

George Swanson Starling in Detroit, torn construction paper, glue, pencil, oil pastel, 8.5 x 11 in.

Slide Images

10) Books available in class

Reich, S. (Ed.). (2006). Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration, Vol. 1, 2, 3. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press.

Wilkerson, I. (2010). The warmth of other suns: The epic story of America’s Great Migration.
New York, NY: Random House.

*Excerpts from Wilkerson’s book on Arrington High, Jesse Owens and Eugene Williams will be available as a few paper copies for use in class. These are also attached in ICON and on the blog.

11) Worksheet and Handout

12) References

Beardon, R. (1967). Three folk musicians. Retrieved from https://jjacoblawrence.wordpress.com/romare-bearden/.

Civic online reasoning poster. (2019). Standford History Education Group. Retrieved from
https://sheg.stanford.edu/civic-online-reasoning/classroom-poster.

Lawrence, J. (1941). The migration series. Phillips Collection. Retrieved from
https://lawrencemigration.phillipscollection.org/artist/about-jacob-lawrence.

Lawrence, J. (1941). The migration series. MoMA. Retrieved from
https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2015/onewayticket/.

Marshall, J., & Donahue, D. (2014) Art-Centered Learning Across the Curriculum. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Migration resources. (2019). New York Public Library. Retrieved from http://www.inmotionaame.org/gallery/detail.cfm?migration=8&topic=99&id=465408&page=6&type=image.

Newman, M. (2004). The civil rights movement. Edinburgh, U.K.: Edinburgh University Press.

Reich, S. (Ed.). (2006). Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration, Vol. 1, 2, 3. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press.

The African Americans: Many rivers to cross. (2013). PBS. Retrieved from
https://www.pbs.org/video/african-americans-many-rivers-cross-great-migration/.

The Great Migration. (2017). Sound Smart. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TfgJnXlaxo.

Wilkerson, I. (2016, September). The long-lasting legacy of the Great Migration. Smithsonian.
Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/long-lasting-legacy-great-
migration-180960118/
.

Wilkerson, I. (2010). The warmth of other suns: The epic story of America’s Great Migration.
New York, NY: Random House.

Wills, M. (2019, February 6). JSTOR Daily. Racial violence as impetus for the Great Migration.
Retrieved from https://daily.jstor.org/violence-as-an-impetus-of-the-great-migration/.

Art Education Integration Resources Helpful for Social Studies