On My Own Ground: Madam C.J. Walker and Identity45 min
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.
- What challenges are you facing?
- What fears or concerns might you have?
- What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?
- Sarah Breedlove started from a position of extreme poverty and a target of abuse. How do you think she found the strength of character to change her life to one of power and generosity?
- What contributions did Madam C.J. Walker make to the advancement of freedom through her approach to understanding both her own identity and the American identity?
- In what ways did Walker’s experiences as destitute sharecropper contribute to her ability to fight for the freedom of others?
Discuss the following questions with your students.
- What is the historical context of the narrative?
- What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
- How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
- How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
- How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
- What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
- Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
- How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
- Students will understand how Madam C. J. Walker challenged the gender roles, prejudice, and discrimination of her times in America.
- Students will analyze their own actions, goals, and ambitions to determine how identity contributes to the achievement of worthy goals.