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ERIC Number: EJ944285
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Jourdon Anderson and the Meaning of Freedom in the Aftermath of Slavery
Cohen, Robert; Pearson, Janelle
Social Education, v75 n5 p241-244 Oct 2011
A key working assumption of English teachers at the Essex Street Academy, a public high school on Manhattan's Lower East Side (and a partner school of New York University) is that literature can be taught most effectively when it is placed into historical context. Historical knowledge can help students who struggle with classic literature and find it difficult to imagine the world of a novel's protagonists, enabling them to make sense of the bigger picture, and avoid getting bogged down grappling with a novel's plot or minor themes. But since students often know little history, they tend to approach literature with few contextual clues about how to read the text. Collaboration between teachers of literature and history can yield lessons that offer students those crucial contextual clues, making classic works of fiction more accessible. This article discusses escaped slave Jourdon Anderson's letter to his former master, which the authors selected for use as students completed their reading of Toni Morrison's "Beloved". (Contains 8 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A