by Reverend H.T. 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.
The White Man's Burden
- Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was a British writer who is best known for The Jungle Book. In 1899, he wrote “The White Man’s Burden,” a poem about America’s imperative to colonize and rule the Philippine Islands. This poem sparked considerably controversy when it was written.Pair “The White Man’s Burden” with “The Black Man’s Burden” and ask students to compare the poems. How does each writer portray the “burden” placed on white and black persons? What stance does each piece take on colonialism?
Andrew Jackson's Speech to Congress on 'Indian Removal'
- President Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the seventh president of the United States. In this speech he discusses the “Indian Removal Act,” which relocated native tribes to what is now Oklahoma—but not without great loss of life by those forcibly removed, on what is now known as “The Trail of Tears.”Pair “Andrew Jackson’s Speech to Congress on ‘Indian Removal’” with “The Black Man’s Burden” and ask students to discuss the history of American colonialism.
- Daniel Beaty
In Daniel Beaty’s poem “Knock Knock,” the speaker describes his relationship with his father and how he is impacted by his eventual absence.Pair “The Black Man’s Burden” with “Knock Knock” and ask students to discuss how poetry is used to shed light on prejudice. Why is poetry a powerful tool to inform people on prejudice, as well as empower those who encounter it?
Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery
- Benjamin Franklin
In this historical document from 1790, Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, argues that slavery must be abolished in the United States.Pair “Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery” with “The Black Man’s Burden” and ask students how each author uses rhetoric to call for change. Is it similar or different? How does each author draw upon American values to support their claim? Is the tone in each similar or different? Why? Is one text more powerful than the other? Explain. Use evidence from each text to support your answers.