Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice | Exposing Racism

Photographs capture a moment in time. And some of the best pictures demand that viewers not only ask questions about why the photo packs such an emotional wallop, but also about what happened before and after it was taken. A photograph of Elizabeth Eckford attempting to enter Central High School while being harassed by Hazel Bryan is such a picture and the focus of a lesson about using photographs to expose racism. A powerful and thought-provoking lesson.

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Instructional Ideas
  • For homework, ask class members to re-read Margolick's Telegraph article and craft a journal response to the prompt, "True reconciliation can only happen when we . . ."
  • Have class members share their journals in groups, and then have groups post their big ideas around the photos of Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan
Classroom Considerations
  • Fourth in a series of 12 social justice resources
  • A protocol must in place to ensure a safe, respectful discussion
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • The accompanying article provides much-needed background information about the photo
Cons