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Poetry Break #16: African American Poetry

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Mrs. Mann's Poetry Corner

Introduction: This poem is from a book called "Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry." Poems by African American poets are featured for each letter of the alphabet. Any poem from this book would be great to use while learning about a specific letter of the alphabet. Maybe you could even go through the whole book one letter at a time as you teach the letters of the alphabet. What a wonderful way to incorporate multicultural poetry into the curriculum. This specific poem would be great to use around Grandparents Day.

Untitled

The Old of our people
are the elders of the race
and must be listened to,
must be looked after,
must be given meaningful work,
must be loved and cared for,
must be treated with highest respect.
the elders of the race
are the reason we are here.



by Haki Madhubuti
from Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry
(Aladdin Paperbacks, 1997)

Extension: After reading this poem to your class you could point out that this poem discusses the African American culture giving a lot of respect and portraying the importance of elders of the race. A nice extension for this poem would be for the students to make something special or do something helpful for an elder.