by Richard J. Boles
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.
Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage
- Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797), known by people as Gustavus Vassa, was a freed slave turned prominent African man in London. Equiano became an abolitionist and began to record his life story after being freed. This text is an excerpt from Equiano’s autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, in which Equiano tells the tale of his brutal voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.Pair “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” with “Let Them Speak” to provide students with a larger excerpt from Equiano’s autobiography. Ask students to discuss the additional details that Equiano provides about his enslavement and journey across the Atlantic. What can be learned from studying personal accounts? How do personal accounts contribute to our understanding of historical events?
- Diana Childress
In the informational text, “Lasting Contributions,” Diana Childress discusses how enslaved Africans shaped culture in the Americas.Pair “Lasting Contribution” with “Let Them Speak” to provide students with information about the lasting impacts of the slave trade. Ask students to discuss the traditions and practices that Africans brought to the Americas. How did African enrich America’s culture? What did Africans lose, or have taken from them, when they were brought to America?
From Africa to America
- Eric Arnesen
In the informational text “From Africa to America,” Eric Arnesen discusses the transportation of Africans to America to work as slaves.Pair “From Africa to America” with “Let Them Speak” to provide students with additional information about the history of slavery. Ask students to discuss the long history of slavery that goes back even farther than the Atlantic slave trade. How was the Atlantic slave trade different than previous examples of buying and selling people?