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Activity Three: American Poets

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Drawing by Evan Bissell for Freedom's Ring


  1. Lead the class in a study of African American poets, such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Zora Neale Hurston. Identify and discuss literary elements used by these poets.
  2. Return to King’s words from the selections in the chapter on "Love and Faith" in A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students and Freedom’s Ring: King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech theme of “Love and Faith.” Think about the literary devises utilized by King. Ask students to find examples of metaphor, simile, descriptive language and biblical references.
  3. Ask students to add poetry to the gallery wall from poets studied in class.