The downloadable teacher guide is designed for high school social studies
and/or language arts teachers to use in close conjunction with the film. The
activities are suggested for grades 10 and 11 with adaptations for grades
9 and 12. The guide includes general discussion questions and four classroom
activities as well as suggestions for promoting "active listening."
View a PDF version of the teacher
This requires the Adobe Acrobat
and the PDF plug-in.
are provided for classroom discussion based on the film. Discussion can be
an effective way for students to increase their awareness and understanding
of the many issues addressed in the film. Consult the Active Listening tips
and share them with your students before beginning classroom discussion.
- "Racism is not just between colors, but within colors
What does this quote from the film mean? Do you have direct experience with
- The film deals with the topic of reconciliation. In the cases of slave
trading in Senegal, apartheid in South Africa, and slavery in the United
States, what are appropriate acts of apology and reconciliation? How possible
is it to adequately address historic crimes? What role does fear play in
stopping the dominant group from giving up or sharing power?
- Compare the function and success of South Africas Truth and Reconciliation
Commission and the United States Affirmative Action program.
- How can art (music, visual art, dance) be used to improve understanding
between races? What examples did you see in the film?
- Tutu and Franklin have a wealth of experience to offer the young people
assembled in Senegal. In what ways are the racial problems different now
than when John Hope Franklin was a young man? In what ways are they the
same? What were Tutu and Franklins main concerns when they were your
age? In what ways did their early experiences shape their career paths?
- Archbishop Tutu says that poverty is the greatest threat to racial progress.
Do you think economic inequalities pose the biggest problem? Why? If not,
what do you think is the greatest threat to racial peace? Who has economic
power in the United States? Is there a connection between economic wealth
and societal acceptance? Are educational and professional opportunities
distributed evenly across economic brackets
- Currently, the United States Census uses the following categories to
determine a persons race: Spanish/Hispanic/Latino (Puerto Rican, Cuban,
Mexican, Other Spanish), White, Black, African American or Negro, American
Indian or Alaska Native, Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean,
Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guanamian or Chamorro, Samoan, and Other Pacific
Islander. Are these categories sufficient to accurately assess the racial
composition of society in the United States? As America becomes a more multiracial
society, what is the purpose behind assigning categories to people? How
would you assign categories?
Note: As an additional activity, assign students
the task of looking for definitions of race and ethnicity using the dictionary
and/or other resources. Discuss the different definitions in class. What
is the purpose of having definitions of these terms? Is the concept of race
Active Listening Tips
In any classroom discussion, and particularly those in which emotions may
run high, it is important to engage with others in ways that ensure everybody
has the opportunity both to speak and to be listened to. It is advised that
you set guidelines or norms for ways to "actively listen" in advance
of classroom discussions. Here are some suggestions for you and your students
Techniques for Active Listening
- Listen in order to fully understand what is being said to you.
- Rephrase what you heard the person say so you can be sure you heard
- Ask questions that help you get more information. For example,
"What did you mean when you said
- Offer encouragement and support.
Ask how the person feels. Be careful not
to assume that you know how the person feels.
|Blaming and attacking
||Asking for more information and
problem solving together
|Being distracted or using other
body language that is non-attentive
||Making eye contact, leaning toward
the other person, giving full attention
|Dismissing or making light of
||Showing empathy, validating the
other persons feelings
||Staying silent until the person
is finished speaking
from Media Education Consultants handout © 1999