by Jason Miller
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.
The Negro Speaks of RiversLangston Hughes
The speaker in this famous Langston Hughes poem uses symbolism to explain the connection they feel between their ancestry and identity.Pair “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” with “Langston Hughes’ hidden influence on MLK” to provide students with a more accessible example of Hughes’ poetry. Ask students to discuss the themes Hughes explores in “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” How do students think Martin Luther King Jr. would have felt about this poem? Why?
Malcolm XBarrett Smith
In the informational text "Malcolm X," Barrett Smith discusses the life and contributions of the civil rights activist.Pair “Malcolm X” with “Langston Hughes’ hidden influence on MLK” to provide students with information about another important contributor to the civil rights movement. Ask students to discuss whether or not they think King would have distanced himself from Malcolm, as he had with Langston Hughes. Why or why not? How did the three men discussed in the two texts contribute to furthering African Americans’ rights?
I Have a DreamDr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic speech "I Have a Dream," he discusses the state of racism throughout the nation and his hopes for freedom and equality in America.Pair “I Have a Dream” with “Langston Hughes’ hidden influence on MLK” to provide students with the entirety of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech. Ask students to discuss how King’s speech builds upon the ideas expressed in the passage from Langston Hughes’ poem. In what ways is King’s speech poetic or lyrical?