by James Weldon Johnson
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.
- Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. In this poem, the narrator speaks of his wish to travel the world, one day, when he is “a man.”Pair “Travel” with “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” and ask students to discuss the adventurous spirits of the speakers in the two texts. What does the speaker in the poem “Travel” wish to see? How does this compare to the narrator’s desire to see France in the excerpt? How is the narrator impacted by everything he sees in Paris? How do students think the speaker in the poem would feel about traveling to Paris?
This informational text details the controversial policies of Reconstruction after the American Civil War.Pair “Reconstruction” with “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” to provide students with additional information about America’s social and political climate during this time. In what ways was America dangerous for African Americans during the Reconstruction era and following it? How might this have influenced the narrator’s decision to go to France in “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”?