During my Harlem Renaissance Unit, I allow students to watch Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. The purpose is to give students a visual of the history and literary content.
For example, they learned of the Great Migration as one cause for the Harlem Renaissance. Many African Americans left the South and traveled north for different reasons. Students are able to see how many had to live in poverty as housing was discriminated. In the beginning of the video, four families have to share one bathroom in a poor apartment building.
In her play, Hansberry approaches many different topics. I try to cover some of these topics in my questions such as:
Jim Crow Identity
Significant Character Conversations
Langston Hughes’ A Dream Deferred
In the video guide, there are eight higher order questions. Students’ answers to the questions must be turned in as a two-page response Word document. This ensures that students write their answers in paragraph form to sufficiently answer the questions.
The movie version I use is A Raisin in the Sun (TV Movie 2008). Phylicia Rashad’s performance is just awesome sauce!