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the o.j. verdict

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Discussion Questions

Featured Lesson Plan
  • Re-Creating The Era Of The Trial
  • Student Handout: The Main Characters and Issues of the Case
  • Student Handout: Viewing Guide: Focus on Issues and People
  • Student Handout: "Dinner Guest: Me" by Langston Hughes

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • Examining Race through Poetry
  • Creative Responses to Invisible Man
  • Parallels and Differences: Exploring the Rodney King Trial

  • Additional Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Additional Resources

    A Note about Internet Resources
    Students need to be aware that Web sites sometimes present only one view of an issue. Encourage them to think about Web sites even as they are reading. Guiding questions as they review Web sites are: What did you learn from this site? What didn't you learn from this site? Who sponsors this site? What bias might the sponsor have? How current is the site?

    » Web Sites

    The O.J. Verdict
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/oj/
    The companion Web site to the FRONTLINE film provides exended interviews with defense, prosecution and journalists, analysis of significant issues, readings and links, and a Web-exclusive video roundtable with African American women talking about the trial's impact.

    O.J. Simpson Murder Case
    http://www.courttv.com/casefiles/simpson/
    This site includes additional material for students who want a more interactive site with additional material. The site contains trial transcripts, video interviews, photo galleries, and updates.

    » Books/Articles

    Black and White
    This 2002 article from CBS News gives a short but focused examination of the continuing role that race plays in the film industry. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/22/sunday/main504435.shtml]

    Invisible Man (Vintage 1947, ISBN 0-679-73276-4)
    Ralph Ellison
    This novel, copyrighted in 1947, still moves and stirs students of all races and backgrounds. Through the nameless main character, Ellison explores the roads open and closed to African Americans, and his words ring true even today.

    O.J. Simpson Facts & Fictions: New Rituals in the Construction of Reality (University of Southern California Department of Sociology)
    Darnell Hunt
    In this long article, Dr. Hunt discusses the volatile role that race plays in American society. It includes an extensive list of references. Download in PDF format at [http://www.usc.edu/dept/geography/SC2/sc2/pdf/hunt.pdf]

    To Kill A Mockingbird (Available in several editions)
    Harper Lee
    This classic middle school or early high school novel presents a story of racial injustice and racial justice. The novel is a sure-winner with students.

    Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O. J. Simpson (Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-10283-X)
    Linda Williams
    This scholarly but accessible book looks at the beginnings of racial stereotyping and its presence in books, films, and theater. Williams argues that we must be aware of the stereotypes ingrained in our minds if we are to have honest discussions about race.

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