by Karen Grigsby Bates
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Learning to Read
- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Francis Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African American parents. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and wrote for abolitionist newspapers. In this poem, Harper describes what it was like to have been discouraged from learning how to read.Pair “Learning to Read” with “A Child of Slavery who Taught a Generation” and ask students to discuss the importance of education, particularly in the lives of African-Americans.
Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Du Bois
- Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois
- 1895, 1903
These two excerpts capture the ideological debate about black social mobility after the Civil War.Pair “A Child of Slavery Who Taught a Generation” with “Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Du Bois” and ask students whether Cooper would have sided with Washington or Du Bois. How much do their ideas apply to our modern society?
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1
- Frederick Douglass
In this excerpt from Frederick Douglass' autobiography, Douglass describes the horrifying abuse of Aunt Hester by the slave master.Pair “Excerpt from The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass” with “A Child of Slavery who Taught a Generation” and ask students to discuss the importance of education, particularly in the lives of African-Americans.
Allegory of the Cave
- 380 B.C.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a piece of philosophy explaining the importance of knowledge in society and for the human soul.Pair “A Child of Slavery Who Taught a Generation” with “Allegory of the Cave” and ask students to consider how Plato’s allegory on education can be applied to this historical figure.
Who Is Katherine Johnson?
Katherine Johnson was a trailblazing African American mathematician who worked for NASA during the Apollo space missions.Pair “Who is Katherine Johnson?” with “A Child of Slavery Who Taught A Generation” and ask students to compare the progress made by the two women in the texts. How did the women face similar challenges in their professional lives? How might Anna J. Cooper have helped pave the way for Katherine Johnson?