by Michele Norris
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.
President Obama's Remarks on Trayvon Martin Ruling
- President Barack Obama
On the evening of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old African American boy from Florida, was fatally shot by a George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and was found “not guilty” by a jury in July of 2013. These are the remarks of President Barack Obama after the trial.Pair "President Obama's Remarks on the Trayvon Martin Ruling" with "For King's Advisor, Fulfilling The Dream 'Cannot Wait'" to spark a discussion about civil rights today.
We Shall Overcome Speech
- President Lyndon B. Johnson
This rousing speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson was delivered right after civil rights protesters were brutally beaten on “Bloody Sunday.” This speech is considered one of the best presidential speeches in history, and eventually led to The Voting Rights Act of 1965.Use “We Shall Overcome” with "For King's Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream Cannot Wait" and ask students to take an in-depth look at the role of the law in advancing social justice.
Little Things Are Big
- Jesús Colón
In "Little Things are Big," Jesús Colón, a Puerto Rican writer of African descent, describes an interaction with a white woman that changed his point of view.Pair “For King’s Adviser Fulfilling the Dream Cannot Wait” with “Little Things Are Big” to generate a conversation among your students about the effects of prejudice. Ask them to consider prejudice has evolved over the years and how it shapes how people interact with each other.
How Haiti Saved the United States
- David White
In the late 18th century, Toussaint L’Ouverture, a former Haitian slave, led a slave uprising that conquered the Haitians' French captors and helped America expand. This article explains how this remarkable event created lasting change not only in Haiti, but in other countries as well.Pair “For King’s Advisor, Fulfilling the Dream ‘Cannot Wait’” with “How Haiti Saved the United States” and ask students to discuss the impact prejudice and discrimination, and more importantly the fight to combat these social injustices, has had on North American history.
The Story of Ida B. Wells
- Shannon Moreau
This is a short biography of Ida B. Wells and the personal tragedy she experienced that pushed her to raise national awareness about violence and discrimination against African Americans.Pair “For King’s Advisor, ‘Fulfilling the Dream’ Cannot Wait” with “The Story of Ida B. Wells” and ask students to discuss the power of writing and speech in social change. Ask them to also discuss how the Civil Rights Movement has developed since the time of Ida B. Wells.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Jessica McBirney
The impetus for and impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are discussed in this informational text.Pair “The Voting Rights Act of 1965” with “For King’s Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream ‘Cannot Wait’” and ask students to consider the specific details about the roles of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Clarence B. Jones in the Civil Rights Movement provided by the latter text. How does this help provide insight into the political and cultural shift undergone in the United States in the 1960s? How does social activism become legislation? Consider the fifteenth paragraph of Norris’s text. Do you see parallels between the existing social ills Jones identifies and those described in McBirney’s text? How can we address the racism that remains in our society?
Showdown in Little Rock
This informational text explores the 1957 incident in Little Rock, Arkansas where white segregationists and the governor illegally tried to block black students from integrating into white schools.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “For Kings Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream Cannot Wait” and ask students to discuss the urgency of integration in Little Rock amid such protest in light of Jones’ view of the civil rights movement.
Empowering the Black Power Movement
“Empowering the Black Power Movement” is an informational text that discusses how the Black Power movement emerged as a major political force for African American empowerment in the 1960s and 1970s.Pair “Empowering the Black Power Movement” with “For King’s Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream Cannot Wait” and ask students to discuss the difference between what King’s peers and Carmichael’s peers considered essential for achieving racial equality. Ask students to discuss how black lives have been bettered by both the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power movement, as well as how society can continue to improve.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr., outlines his nonviolence approach to addressing injustice while responding to criticism.Pair “For King’s Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream Cannot Wait” with “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to provide students with more information about the individuals who worked with King and how they relate to his legacy. Ask students to identify how Clarence B. Jones was involved in the publication of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and how this shapes his perception of issues of racism today. Consider how King describes his “associates” in the letter and how individuals like Jones impacted the Civil Rights Movement.
Women in the Civil Rights Movement
- Barrett Smith
In the informational text “Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” Barrett Smith discusses the role that women played in the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “For King’s Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream ‘Cannot Wait’” with “Women in the Civil Rights Movement” to provide students with another perspective on the March on Washington. Ask students to compare how the two texts present women’s contributions to the march. Are students surprised that Mahalia Jackson was not allowed to speak, despite the respect that Martin Luther King, Jr. had for her? Why or why not?