My People

Book Summary: 

This book is simple in both prose and photography, depicting many aspects of the African American race and culture. 

Langston Hughes
photographed by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Guiding Question: 

Before reading this book, look at all of the pictures with your classmates, and describe what you see. How did you describe the people in the photographs?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- How would you have chosen to have illustrated this poem? What do the illustrations say about African American people? 

Empathy- Look for images of African American people in popular media. Are these images similar to or different from the images of the African Americans in this book’s photographs? Discuss why that might be.

Advocacy- Select one of the sources that you used to find images of African Americans that you feel uses negative images or stereotypes. As a class write to that source stating whether or not you believe those images are appropriate, as well as your hopes for future images of people of all racial groups.

Action- Choose a story that you’ve already written. Draw new illustrations for it using positive images for people of several races. Does this change the feel of your story?