Fly Away North: African-American Short Stories of the Great Migration

Author: Bonnee L. Breese


Overbrook High School

Year: 2012

Seminar: "But Mostly I Lie A Lot" - The African American Short Story in the 21st Century

Grade Level: 9-12

Keywords: Great Migration, short stories, US distinction, US migration

School Subject(s): English, Literature, Social Studies

This unit will focus its content on African-American short stories, art, news articles and several films focusing on U.S. migration of African-Americans. The curriculum’s compilation is intended to introduce students to literary knowledge about short story development, but also to assist them in developing knowledge of African-American migration, also known as The Great Migration. By reading the stories, news accounts, and film students will find reflections of their own history. Because the African American short story often times juxtaposes social commentary, we will examine the stories that discuss the trends, patterns, and reasoning associated with the urbanization of Black people in the U.S. Distinction will be given to the literary tools and characteristics of the short story throughout the study of the curriculum unit.

By discovering the short story’s ability to present multiple perspectives, its depiction of the resolution of a predicament, and its use of microcosm, students will come to value their own forms of agency, as they negotiate everyday life.

Download Unit: Breese2012-unit.pdf

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