Lesson 1 (from Chapters 1 and 2, Dead, The Bicycle)
The eighth of twelve children, James McBride grows up in a chaotic but loving home. Unlike his friends, he doesn't look like his mother. His mother is a Polish Jew, raised mostly in Virginia. She marries a black man and lives the majority of her adult life in New York City where people are a little more tolerant of her interracial marriage and children.
The aim of this lesson is to examine James' upbringing.
1) Class discussion. How did James' upbringing mold him into the person he became? How do the students think it affected James being a person of mixed race and growing up in a black area? Do the students think James would have achieved what he did without growing up in relative poverty?
2) Ask the students to write 500 words on how James' upbringing contributed to his success as a musician and writer?
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