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Elementary School

Discussion

Project Ernst Crichlow’s Untitled, Ed Wilson’s Middle Passage, and Romare Bearden’s Untitled for students to look. Take time to discuss each piece and help students interpret the meaning of each. What point of view is each artist taking about the experience of African Americans? While Crichlow and Bearden celebrate and uplift the accomplishments and potential of African American’s in our society, Ed Wilson wants to  invoke the memory of the Middle Passage and harsh realities of slavery. How does each of these works make students feel? Do they think that the message is important and/or effective in a school setting?

Application

Have students choose one of the works of art and create a journal entry as if they were the artist.  Why did they create the piece?  What did they want students to learn or think about with this work?  Why did they choose to work with particular materials or in a specific medium?  Have students consider the questions: How might they portray the theme of civil rights in today’s day and age? In 500 years if someone comes upon these works of art, what will the work tell them about the Civil Rights Era?