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Lesson Plan Overview
PDF Instructions
Harlem Renaissance
Japanese American Internment
Urban Renewal



Classroom Content - Overview

Created by KQED Education Network (KQED EdNet), The Fillmore Web site includes activities and lessons that, in conjunction with the television program, support thematic studies of the Harlem Renaissance, Japanese American Internment, Urban Renewal, Neighborhoods, and Community Activism.

Below are brief summaries of the 5 lesson plans that link to their corresponding and complete versions. You can download* them and then adapt the lessons for use in your classroom.

*All of the lesson plans are available in PDF format, please see the PDF instructions.

To the residents who called it home in the 1940s and 1950s, San Francisco's Fillmore district was a vital center of African American social, economic and cultural life. How did this once mostly Japanese American neighborhood become a center of black life? How was the Fillmore district like Harlem during its renaissance 30 years earlier, and how was it unique? What tensions threatened to end the heyday of the Fillmore district and displace its thriving community?

What would it feel like to suddenly have your neighbors and classmates disappear because of their race? In this lesson, students will experience the internment of Japanese Americans from San Francisco's Fillmore neighborhood. By connecting local experiences with national events, students will understand both the constitutional issues at stake and the human impact of this government policy.

How could public policies created to improve a neighborhood end up destroying its vital fabric? Urban renewal policies enacted in San Francisco's Fillmore district in the 1950s-60s provide a vivid case study in public policy, federal and local government, and citizen activism. This important history sheds light on present-day urban renewal policies, such as empowerment zones and welfare-to-work.

In these activities, students will be asked to think about the neighborhoods in which they live, to consider what exactly makes up a neighborhood, and the current issues their neighborhood may be facing.

When the city of San Francisco announced phase two of "urban renewal" in the Fillmore district, the mostly African American community was skeptical. The real impact of phase one, as James Baldwin noted in 1963, was not improvement of life for residents, but the "removal of Negroes." This time residents fought back. Ordinary citizens became leaders as they formed the Western Addition Community Organization, a group whose legal victory against the city marked the first time in U.S. history that the people won the right to participate in their community's redevelopment.

The Authors
KQED Education Network (KQED EdNet) inspires learning through innovative understanding, use and creation of media that respects diverse perspectives. KQED EdNet is committed to the exchange of ideas and resources in partnership with the community. To this end, it provides an instructional television service, curriculum materials, projects for youth and professional development for teachers, child care providers and families; organizes public forums; and sponsors local events.

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