Education

 

The Literary Freedom Project is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit arts organization that seeks to restore the importance of reading books as an essential tool for creating intelligent, productive, and engaged young people. Towards this goal, LFP publishes Mosaic Literary Magazine; develops literature-based lesson plans; and hosts the Mosaic Literary Conference, an annual literature-education event. We invite educators, community organizers, and parents to take part in our programs.

Mosaic Literary Conference
MLC provides a platform for literature-based creative thinking and knowledge sharing. Each year we invite educators, community and arts organizations, and artists to participate in various professional-development workshops.

We Are Family Book Club
With professional instruction from a teaching-artist the We Are Family Book Club & Writing Workshop will engage in a literary “call and response” by reading, discussing, then writing short stories, essays, or poems based on the reading selection.

Bronx Literary Festival (co-presenter)
The Bronx Literary Festival is dedicated to engaging and growing the community of poets and writers in the Bronx and to connecting those literary artists to readers and booklovers of all ages. Through readings, workshops, and presentations the coalition’s goal is to engage the community with a variety of literature and programs that will broaden access to Bronx literary artists, increase library usage, and encourage a love of books and reading.

Lesson Plans for High School Teachers
Mosaic Literary Magazine
  provides high school educators with literary arts lesson plans. Each plan uses the work by writers of African descent as a connective tool to a variety of subjects: history, social studies, and English. Our goal is to increase self awareness while promoting reading and strengthening literacy.

 

SAMPLE LESSON PLAN
Theme: Black Power

Narratives
• Peniel Joseph’s Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama
• Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising
• Jabari Asim’s A Taste of Honey

Topics for Discussion
Dark Days, Bright Nights is a history book, Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising is a novel, and Jabari Asim’s A Taste of Honey is a collection of short stories.

Did you enjoy the nonfiction book more or less than the two works of fiction?

Do you think you learned more about the Black Power Movement from the nonfiction book or from the two works of fiction?

Which book taught you more about how real people lived during the Black Power Movement?

Essay Idea
Choose a mid-20th century political and social movement for change. Select from: Civil Rights, Black Power, the Second Wave Feminist Movement, the Anti-Vietnam War / Peace Movement, the Gay Rights Movement, the Chicano Movement / El Movimiento, the Asian American Movement, or the work of the American Indian Movement / AIM.

Research the work that was done by activists who organized and agitated for change within the movement you select. Who were the movement’s leaders?
What organizations operated within this movement?
In what regions of the country did the members who identified with this movement live?
How did law-enforcement respond to the movement you select?
What long-lasting impact did this movement have on American life?
What things have been made better today because of the influence of your 20th century political and social movement for change?
What were the movement’s failures?
Bring pictures, music, recorded speeches, and/or any posters, buttons, or other objects you can find from that movement to school. Present your essay and share what you learn with the class.

Additional Activities
Form a group with classmates interested in the same mid-20th century political and social movement that you wrote about. Share the work you’ve done researching the movement with each other. Based on your findings, write a scene about that movement. You might want to write about your movement’s leaders; or, you might want to write about everyday people who were involved in your movement. You might even want to include characters who are opposed to the work your movement does. When you write the scene, make sure you include a part that each person in your group can play. Using the music, pictures, and other items you can find that are related to your movement, set the scene and perform it in your class.

Supplemental Reading
• The N-Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why, Jabari Asim
• Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak, Saleemah Abdul Ghafur (a new civil rights issue)
• Growing Up X, Ilyasah Shabazz (autobiography of the activist’s daughter)
• Assata, Assata Shakur (former Black Panther and political exile’s autobiography)
• A Taste of Power, Elaine Brown (former Black Panther’s autobiography)
• The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
• Black Power, Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton
• Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama