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Text Set
Emily Mullins

ENG 308 Francis


Emily Mullins

ENG 308 Francis

Text Set

Introduction to Emily Mullins’ Text Set

This text set, a compilation of sources that revolves around

an anchor text, is an example of a group of texts that may be

used in a unit of instruction. Each of these additional sources

creates meaning for a diverse set of learners. I decided to begin

with the canon text To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and fin-

ish with the Young Adult Literature novel from this class, Mon­

ster by Walter Dean Myers. I decided to focus on themes both nov­

els   employ   such   as   the   African  American   experience,  making  im­

portant decisions, standing up for what you believe in, and the 

ability to  be  courageous in the  face of challenges  and  oppres­


I thought the best way to go about this unit was to focus 

more on the themes than on the time period, looking closely at 

how   racial   oppression,   intolerance,   stereotypes,   and   prejudice 

plays out in literature, as well as in historical and contempor­

ary society. The unit would show multiple facets of the African 

American experience from the time period of To Kill a Mockingbird 

to the Civil Rights movement, and to the current racial state of

our contemporary society.

Artifact # 1: Photo of Atticus Finch in the courtroom of the

movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird, along with the closing
argument Finch gives at the trial of Tom Robinson (written and

Atticus Finch Speech: To begin with, this case should never have 
come   to   trial.   The   State   has   not   produced   one   iota   of   medical 
evidence  that   the   crime   Tom  Robinson  is  charged  with ever  took  
place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses  
whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on 
cross   examination,   but   has   been   flatly   contradicted   by   the   de­
fendant.   Now   there   is   circumstantial   evidence   to   indicate   that  
Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led, almost ex­
clusively, with his left [hand]. And Tom Robinson now sits before  
you, having taken "The Oath" with the only good hand he possesses 
­­ his right.

I have nothing but pity in my heart for the Chief Witness

for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance.
But, my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's
life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her
own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt
that motivated her. She's committed no crime. She has merely
broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so
severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit
to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But,
what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human be-
ing. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to
her a daily reminder of what she did.

Now what did she do? She tempted a negro. She was white and
she tempted a negro. She did something that in our society is un-
speakable: She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a
strong, young negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke
it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.

The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sher-
iff of Lincoln County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen
-- to this Court -- in the cynical confidence that their testi-
mony would not be doubted; confident that you gentlemen would go
along with them on the assumption, the evil assumption, that all
negroes lie; all negroes are basically immoral beings; all negro
men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption that
one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is in it-
self, gentlemen, a lie -- which I do not need to point out to

And so, a quiet, humble, respectable negro, who has had the
unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to
put his word against two white peoples. The defendant is not
guilty. But somebody in this courtroom is.

Now, gentlemen, in this country our courts are the great

levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no ideal-
ist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our
jury system. That's no ideal to me. That is a living, working

Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without

passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and
restore this man to his family.

In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, be-

lieve Tom Robinson.

Auditory Clip:­


Explanation: I would use this short auditory clip, as well as the 
image and written closing argument all together before the stu­
dents read the novel by Harper Lee. I think this would be a good 
way   to   get   students   visually   and   actively   engaged   in   the   story 
before they begin reading. Atticus is definitely the moral center 
of the novel, as he understands the individual worth of a person 
regardless of the color of their skin. He was a wise man, well 
beyond the mostly intolerant opinions of the times.

Finch knew that when he took the case that the justice sys-
tem would not be fair, but he still wanted to fight for the
justice Tom Robinson deserved. This will be able to directly cor-
relate to the novel Monster later on in the unit as Steve Harmon
is directly affected by the racial bias in the American criminal
justice system, a bias that still lingers in the prejudiced minds
of many of the people in our society.

Artifact # 2: To Kill a Mockingbird, a Novel

This novel will be used as the “anchor text” as stated above to 
kick   off  a   unit   on   racial   issues   not  only   having   an   impact   on 
America historically but also contemporarily. This novel depicts 
the themes of misunderstanding and prejudice and this unit will 
allow students to explore these concepts and the themes that are 
related to them. I think this will be a great way to kick off a 
unit that will progress linearly through the racially oppressive 

and prejudiced societal, political and cultural events that have 
occurred in our histories and the events that are still occurring 

Artifact # 3: An essay.

Urban Race Riots in the Jim Crow Era

An Overview Essay  
By Derrick Ward  
The violent, racial confrontations in which mobs of whites  
and blacks battled each other in U.S. towns and cities during the  
Jim Crow era were triggered by some of the same forces driving  
legalized   segregation,   disfranchisement,   and   the   lynching   of  
thousands of African Americans. These explosions of urban viol­
ence against blacks differed in several ways from the individual 
lynchings and systematic terror practiced by organizations, such  
as the Ku Klux Klan, in the 1870s. For one thing, the urban ex­
plosions   were   directed   less   at   individuals   and   more   at   entire  
black communities. They also reflected more the anxieties felt by 
lower­class whites, who feared competition with blacks for hous­
ing, employment, and social status as African­American newcomers  
began moving into urban settings following the Civil War. Also,  
although whites­­who felt enraged by some real or imaginary ac­
tions   by   blacks­­always   started   these   riots,   black   victims   in­
creasingly   defended   themselves   as   best   they   could.   Clearly,   the  
race   riots   also   were   backlashes   by   white   Americans   who   reacted  

with   contempt   and   rage   to   black   Americans’   cries   for   equality, 

justice, and decency. 
In general, the riots can be studied according to different 
waves of white violence. The first wave occurred in the post­bel­
lum era of Reconstruction. Southern defeat, emancipation, and the 
dramatic changes in the political and civil rights of blacks in  
the decade after the Civil War presented dramatic challenges to  
white   supremacy.   White   supremacists,   desperate   to   regain   their 
political power and restore their control over the recently eman­
cipated   African   Americans,   instigated   the   birth   of   the   Ku  Klux  
Klan and its members’ terrorist attacks on individual blacks and 
white Republicans in the South, as well as mob attacks on south­
ern black communities. Relatively few whites were killed in these 
affairs, which peaked in the two years before the 1876 presiden­
tial election. 
The second wave of riots, erupting in the last decade of the  
19th  and  the   first   decade  of  the  20th  centuries,  reflected  the  
new era of stepped­up Jim Crow rhetoric and attempts to legalize 
segregation and disfranchisement. Whites all over the nation par­
ticipated in this outbreak of racial politics, including many who  
feared   better   relations   among   white   and   black   farmers   and   the  
working poor posed by the Populist Movement. In this atmosphere, 
white supremacists used the same racist justifications to viol­
ence as those who lynched individual blacks: namely, the alleged 
desire of black men to rape white women. This decade also saw the  
codification of Jim Crow segregation laws and the passage of dis­
franchisement statutes and codes in most of the southern states.  
The United States Supreme Court upheld the "separate but equal"  
doctrine in their 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, throwing the 
country’s High Court on the side of white supremacy. At the same  

time, blacks began moving in ever­growing numbers to urban cen­
ters,  competing  with  lower­class  whites for  housing  and  employ­
ment, while growing numbers of African­American professionals and 
officeholders began successfully competing with their white coun­
terparts for jobs. With all of these factors in play, white viol­
ence erupted in many small towns and villages, and at least ten­­
four of them in northern cities­­escalated into major race riots: 
Lake   City,   North   Carolina   (1898);   Wilmington,   North   Carolina  
(1898);   Greenwood   County,   South   Carolina   (1898);   New   Orleans,  
Louisiana   (1900);   New   York   City,   New   York   (1900);   Springfield,  
Ohio (1904); Atlanta, Georgia (1906); Greenburg, Indiana (1906); 
Brownsville, Texas (1906); and Springfield, Illinois (1908).  
The   cluster   of   race  riots,  the  third wave,  that  broke out 
around   the   World   War   I   period   reflected   both   the   demands   for 
justice by angry African Americans and the increasing competition  
between blacks and whites brought on by the war and the black mi­
gration   to   urban   areas   in   the   North.   In   1915,   the   new   Ku   Klux  
Klan   spread   nationwide   and   signs   of   more   virulent   racism   ap­
peared in popular culture­­such as in the film Birth of A Nation  
and in advertising­­across the country. These events fueled the 
already uneasy fears of many lower­class whites about the growing 
presence of blacks in their midst. As thousands of young men went  
off   to   war,   labor   shortages   lured   larger   numbers   of   black   and  
white   workers   into   urban   centers   throughout   the   nation.   Blacks  
began   moving   into   previously   all­white   neighborhoods,   creating 
friction   between   the   races.   As   black   servicemen   returned   from 
Europe, they found the old racial hostilities unacceptable after  
having  fought   in   a   "war   to make  the  world   safe for  democracy." 
These black veterans, in the minds of many whites, had become too  
"uppity" overseas and posed a threat to white women as well as  

the social status of all white men. Between 1917 and 1921, an un­
precedented outbreak of racial violence swept across the nation.  
Over   20   race   riots   broke   out   between   April   and   October   1919  
alone, a six­month period remembered as the "Red Summer." 
After the 1921 Tulsa riot and except for the 1935 New York  
(Harlem) disturbances, no major racial riots occurred until the  
world war era of the 1940s. Many of the same domestic demographic 
and social changes affecting blacks and whites that had unfolded 
during 1919 accompanied World War II, but this time, on a larger  
scale.   The   competition   between   increasing   numbers   of   working­
class blacks and whites for housing and employment in urban areas  
again  set   the   stage   for   racial  conflict.  Though  the  race  riots  
during the World War II era race were far fewer (only three) than 
their World War I precursors, they no less violent. The 1943 De­
troit   riot,   for   example,   resulted   in   the   deaths   of   25   African  
Americans and  nine  whites.  The  other  two riots occurred  in  New  
York City (Harlem) and Columbia, Tennessee, in 1943. Eight years  
later, the last major race riot before the 1960s inner city ex­
plosions   (which   most   historians   view   as   rebellions   rather   than 
race riots) erupted in Cicero, Illinois (1951).  
Although urban race riots in the United States between 1866­
1951 were unique episodes rooted in the particular historic situ­
ation of each place, they shared certain characteristics. To be­
gin with, the whites always prevailed, and the overwhelming ma­
jority of those who died and were wounded in all of these incid­
ents were blacks. They also tended to break out in clusters dur­
ing   times   of   significant   socioeconomic,   political,   and   demo­
graphic upheaval when racial demographics were altered and exist­
ing racial mores and boundaries challenged. Perhaps most import­
antly, the riots usually provoked defensive stances by members of  

the black communities who defended themselves and their families  
under   attack.   Seldom   did   the   violence   spill   over   into   white  
neighborhoods.   Finally,   the   riots   greatly   strengthened   the   re­
solve of blacks to challenge white supremacy legally, intellectu­
ally, and emotionally­­producing greater efforts by organizations  
like the NAACP and leaders such as W. E. B. Du Bois, as well as  
an outpouring of black cultural manifestations of defiance iden­
tified with the "New Negro Movement" of the Harlem Renaissance.  

Explanation: I thought this essay could be used as a supplemental 
reading when students are studying segregation, and how although 
the laws claimed they were for a “separate, but equal” status for 
black   Americans   and   members   of   other   non­white   racial   groups, 
this was definitely not the case. This essay will allow students 
to more fully engage with Jim Crow laws in the form of segrega­
tion of public schools, public places and public transportation, 
and the segregation of restrooms and restaurants for whites and 
blacks. It will hopefully get them interested in the next portion 
of the unit, leading them into the Civil Rights and Black Power 
Movements and the race riots that occurred during and on either 
side of the 1960s.

Artifact # 4: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X Speeches. 
Martin Luther King, an American clergyman and an activist, was a 
prominent  leader  in  the   African  American  civil  rights  movement.   Stu­
dents,   through   Martin   Luther   King   Jr.,   will   also   be   able   to   look 
closely at the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and the March on Washing­
ton,  1963, to see more clearly how courageous and important taking  a 
stand was and still is. The March will lead into looking at the infam­
ous “I Have a Dream Speech”:­
I also would like to include a more hip­hop infused response to 
King’s speech. This song is called, “Let Freedom Ring” by Flocabulary. has more hip­hop U.S. History songs teachers could use 
when   looking   at   history. 
Students   may   appreciate   this   more   because   of   the   large   role   hip   hop 
plays in our modern society. Common’s “I Have a Dream” song and video 
can also be a great way to get students to look at the Civil Rights 
Movement   and   MLK’s   speech. 
Classes can also compare MLK’s speech to Malcolm X’s speech “By 
Any   Means   Necessary”:  How 
are they different? Did they have any similarities? 

I   thought   I’d   make   a   fun   activity   for   students­­a   “Who   Said   What?” 
quote activity:

Who Said What?

In the space provided, write either a MLK for Martin Luther King Jr. or a X for 
Malcolm X to distinguish between the two civil rights activists. 

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and
sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more re-

I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew
right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life.
As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving
to be mentally alive.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.


I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as
such, regardless of their color.

We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.

I believe in the brotherhood of all men, but I don't believe in wasting brother-
hood on anyone who doesn't want to practice it with me. Brotherhood is a
two-way street.

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless
midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brother-
hood can never become a reality.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to

perpetrate it.

Both men spoke eloquently against inequality among races in America but 
with entirely different methods of action. King was guided by Gandhi’s 
non­violent   activism,   while   X’s   mantra   was   “by   any   means   necessary.” 
Both served as human rights icons during the times and still do today. 
They   serve   as   important   people   to   study   and   to   represent   the   main 
themes of the two main novels, themes of hoping and fighting for equal­
ity in a world that was and is still having trouble making it so. 

Artifact # 5: Riots surrounding MLK’s assassination: 
According to Jesse Jackson, who was present, King’s last words on the 
balcony were to musician Ben Branch, who was scheduled to perform that 
night at an event King was attending: “Ben, make sure you play Take my  
Hand, Precious Lord in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”

Explanation:  I   thought   students   could   discuss   two   things   concerning 

the final words of King as well as the violent wave of nationwide riots 
in more than 100 cities across the country. Would King, after all his 
hopes for a non­violent end to racial oppression, want to find that his 
blood had triggered off bloodshed and disorder? Is it disrespectful to 
his   memory   to  not  remain   committed  to  the  kind  of  dedication  to   the 
goals which his life served to solving the domestic problems?


Artifact # 6: This is the beginning of an episode of American Dreams, 
the TV series: (this is just 
part 1/5­the rest can be found in related videos. Also, the riot starts 
in   Part   3).   This   clip   gives   insight   into   the   racial   incidences   that 
have been occurring in Philadelphia prior to this episode, which also 
includes Meg and Sam being caught out after dark together by police of­
ficers. In the entire season finale, racial tensions begin to flare in 
North Philly sparking a massive riot while main characters Meg (white) 
and Sam (black) are stuck in the new store, also in North Philly, in 
the middle of urban chaos. The police try to quell the raging rioters 
but police brutality occurs, along with terrible destruction. The ri­
oters made it clear they would not disband until the police left the 
area. Other aspects of this episode include African American plans for 
dissent, the older son joining the Marines, and family bonds.

I thought using a TV show to depict the themes of the times might 
get students interested in not only the Civil Rights Era, but also the 
Vietnam War­­the backdrop to the TV show. There is also nothing wrong 
with students getting into a quality and historically informative and 
engaging show such as American Dreams. I know for sure parents might 
appreciate students watching this rather than Gossip Girl or 90210. 

Artifact # 7:  Taking a deeper look at Martin Luther King Jr. and his 
heroic efforts to end segregation and the Jim Crow Laws, leading up to 
his   senseless   death.   This   YouTube   clip   (however,   there   are   8   total) 
looks   at  King  and  his  movement, stemming from Rosa Parks’ courageous 
stand, as he tries to lead a movement against Jim Crow laws to abolish 
segregation in the deep South in peaceful protest. He was a spokesper­
son   for   people   who   were   denied   full   access   to   the   American   dream, 
people who have been struggling for a long time to be free. This clip 
is a historical look back at King’s legacy and all the subsequent ac­
tions against him. The clips have interviews from historical experts, 
excerpts   of   his   speeches,   and   real   clips   from   the   time   period.   Even 
just watching two of the videos will be enough for students to really 

get into the Civil Rights Movement and see just how important it was to 
stand up for equality and to stand up against the injustice of an obvi­
ously intolerant, prejudiced, and inhumane system. Students will also 
be able to see a little bit of MLK in Atticus Finch.
I thought the clip below could also be used as a supplementary 
video: The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. 40 years later­FIEEQ&feature=related

Artifact # 8: Rodney King, police brutality, and the Los Angeles 
Riots of May 1992. 
The LA riots were triggered by the acquittal of police of­
ficers for the brutal beating of Rodney King, who asks “Why can’t 
we all just get along?” The news of the acquittal triggered the 
Los Angeles riots of 1992. The destruction was extensive: 55 were 
killed,  over   2,000   injuries,  7,000  fires,   3,100  businesses,   and 
nearly $1 billion in financial losses. This clip shows the begin­
nings   of   the   LA   riots: 

This reflects upon the subjects of both  To Kill a Mocking­
bird and Monster, and the unjust Criminal Justice system that has 
long   since   been   a   staple   of   our   society.   Having   both   Rodney’s 
statements and a news clip from the riots will be a great way for 
students to see the destruction and the amount of passion people 
had surrounding this movement and the man who stood as its moral 
center and mouthpiece.

Artifact # 9: The Beatles’ song “Let it Be” performed in the mu­
sical   movie   “Across   the   Universe.”   A   great   film   in   its 
entirety, but I think this clip is most representative of the ra­
cial aspects of the 60s the class has discussed so far. They will 
get   to   experience   great   music   which   is   before   their   time   but 
still important and amazing music. Perhaps it will broaden their 
horizons.   Although   the   school   board   and   parents   might   have 
trouble with the drug culture, no one can deny the importance of 

understanding the history surrounding the 1960s including but not 
limited to Vietnam, Civil Rights, and music. 

Another song choice which also resonates with the themes of tol­
erance  and   acceptance,   and   not  having  prejudice   in   our   hearts, 
but having love for everyone despite our differences is “All You 
Need is Love”.

"There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that
can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy. Nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save
that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in
time. It's easy. All you need is love. All you need is love. All you need is love,
love. Love is all you need."
-”All You Need is Love” by The Beatles

Artifact # 10: Bono’s On The Move 
In this speech, turned into a book, rock star Bono gets to 
the heart of faith and humanity in a world where 6,500 Africans 
die each day  of  AIDS,  a preventable, treatable  disease.  In  the 
21st   century,   can   we   accept   that   longitude   and   latitude   decide 

whether a child lives or dies? This is Bono’s call to action at 
the National Prayer Breakfast in a Republican White House.
For me, this artifact is so important because of the lack of 
knowledge about the situation with AIDS and Africa. Nelson Man­
dela said, “AIDS is not merely a disease, but an assault on human 
dignity. We never anticipated that once we achieved our freedom 
we would face another challenge of this magnitude. We cannot win 
this fight on our own, and we rely on people like Bono to help us 
beat this pandemic.” Bono’s plea for justice, as well as charity, 
for those suffering from AIDS in Africa has helped change minds 
and hearts, as well as government policy. Getting the knowledge 
out   there   about   the   voiceless   who   don’t   get   a   voice.   My   hope, 
along  with   Bono’s,   is   that  this   speech   and  this  knowledge   will 
inspire the students. 

Transcript excerpt:
Well, thank you, thank you Mr. President, First Lady, King Abdul­
lah of Jordan, Norm [Coleman], distinguished guests. Please join 
me in praying that I don't say something we'll all regret.

That was for the FCC.

If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, 
well so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, un­
less that cloth is ­­ is leather. I'm certainly not here because 
I'm a rock star ­­ which leaves only one possible explanation: 
I've got a messianic complex. It's true. And anyone who knows me, 
it's hardly a revelation.

Well, I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural, 
something even unseemly about rock stars mounting the pulpit and 
preaching at presidents ­­ and disappearing to their villas in 
the South of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird 
enough to have Jesse Helms come to a rock show. This is really 

Now, one of the things I love about this country is the separa­
tion of Church and State and although I have to say in inviting 
me here both Church and State have been separated from something 
else completely: their ­­ their mind!

Mr. President, are you sure about this? It's very humbling, and I 
will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned: I am Irish.

This link contains a full transcript of the speech, an audio and 
a video.­

Artifact # 11: “Jesus Hopped the A­Train”

Although I didn’t read the whole play, as I skimmed the text 
I   found   a   lot   of   great,   perhaps   somewhat   inappropriate   for   a 
younger classroom, 

Artifact   #   12:­

text­obama.html. The New York Times has published Barack Obama’s 
Inaugural Address both auditory and the transcript. Obama, as the 
first black president,

Artifact # 13: Monster, a novel by Walter Dean Myers.
This   novel   will   expand   upon   the   many   themes   and   subjects 
covered in the unit thus far including the African American ex­
perience, courage and survival, standing up for truth and equal­
ity   and   tolerance.   It’s   also   about   making   decisions,   as   Steve 
wonders “What decisions do I make? What decisions didn’t I make?” 
(Myers 270). This novel can also help classes to discuss turning 
points and the events that lead us to where we end up and also 
the events that lead us to where we want to be and where we want 
to go. It will be interesting for students to read this novel and 
to understand just how far we haven’t really come, because even 
as our diverse population grows and changes, stereotypes, as well 
as   racial   intolerance   and   oppression,   still   exists   whether   it 
lies   in   an   American   courtroom,   in   race   riots,   or   in   the   AIDS 
crisis existing in Africa. 
Racism is both a moral and political issue and the govern­
ment should make sure every effort to insure that each individual 
is   allowed   his   or   her   “inalienable   rights”   as   outlined   in   the 
Constitution. The greatest need is that of the individual. Until 
we as a people learn to see each other through the eyes of God, 
we will never see one another without fear and prejudice.
I   could   bring   in   a   Bible   verse   to  look   into   how   a   higher 
power believes in equality:
“Then   Peter   replied,   ‘I   see   very   clearly   that   God   doesn’t 
show  partiality.   In   every nation  he  accepts  those  who  fear  him 
and do what is right.’” (Acts 10:34­35) 

This   is   such   a   quote   representative   of   Steve   Harmon,   who 

knows his own truth and knows he has to believe in himself. He 
knows   all   human   beings   are   born   free   and   equal   in   dignity   and 
rights. Students should be able to use each text used in the unit 
to depict in a formal or summative assessment the themes of the 
unit and of each of the novels and additional supplemental texts.