by Teri Ellen Cross Davis
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.
Behind Closed Doors: 'Colorism' in the Caribbean
- Michel Martin
In the interview “Behind Closed Doors: ‘Colorism’ in the Caribbean,” Michel Martin discusses colorism in the Dominican Republic with Frances Robles.Pair “Behind Closed Doors: ‘Colorism’ in the Caribbean” with “Process” to provide students with additional information about the significance of hair presentation. Ask students to discuss how the two texts explore why black people feel pressured to straighten their hair. How are they treated if they decide to wear their hair naturally? Do students think wearing one's hair naturally is an important form of self-acceptance? Why or why not?
- Nikki Grimes
In Nikki Grimes’ poem “Jabari Unmasked,” a speaker describes hiding their identity from the world.Pair “Jabari Unmasked” with “Process” and ask students to discuss how both poems explore being judged on physical appearance. How does the speaker in “Jabari Unmasked” describe being judged for the color of their skin? How do their experiences compare to the experiences of the speaker in “Process”? Do students think the speaker in “Process” was trying to hide behind a “mask” by changing the appearance of her hair?
East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)
- Teri Ellen Cross Davis
In Teri Ellen Cross Davis’ poem “East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl),” the speaker describes how she feels after having her hair braided by her mother.Pair “East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)” with “Process” and ask students to compare how Teri Ellen Cross Davis describes a speaker’s experience with their hair in the two poems. What does it mean to the speaker in “East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)” to have her hair braided? How does this compare to the speaker’s feeling about having her hair straightened in “Process”? How is the mother in “East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)” teaching her daughter to love her natural hair?