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Lesson 1

Read: Prepare to Read

1. “The White Man’s Burden” was published in 1899. What is one thing you know about the time period when
these texts were published?

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2. Read the paragraph about the text in your unit reader.


3. The term “imperialism” means the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign
countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.

Read: Establish Understanding

Read lines 1-8 from “The White Man’s Burden” in your unit reader.
● Start at: The beginning of the poem
● Stop after: “Half devil and half child” (line 8)

1. According to the poem, what is the “white man’s burden”?

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2. From whose perspective is this poem told?
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Read: Prepare to Read

1. Read the following information about Heart of Darkness:

Heart of Darkness is a novel written by Joseph Conrad. The novel tells the story of a journey into the African
Congo where the narrator witnesses the results of European colonization within Africa.

Read: Establish Understanding

Read page 82 from Heart of Darkness in your unit reader.

2. From whose perspective is Heart of Darkness told?


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Read: Deepen Understanding

1. What do these two texts—”The White Man’s Burden” and the excerpt from Heart of Darkness—have in
common?

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3. Whose perspective is missing from these stories of colonization/imperialism? How does this affect perspectives
of colonization?

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Lesson 2

Read: Prepare to Read

Read the following information about Chinua Achebe: Chinua Achebe is considered the father of African literature. His
novel Things Fall Apart was published in 1958. According to “An African Voice," “Things Fall Apart marked a turning
point for African authors, who in the fifties and sixties began to take back the narrative of the so-called ‘dark
continent.’”
Read: Establish Understanding

Read excerpts from “Chinua Achebe, The Art of Fiction No. 139” in your unit reader.
● As you read, identify the story that Achebe wants to tell.

1. What story is Achebe able to tell that had not been heard before?

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Read: Establish Understanding

Read excerpts from “An African Voice” in your unit reader.


● As you read, identify the story that Achebe wants to tell.

1. What story is Achebe able to tell that had not been heard before?

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Read: Deepen Understanding

1. Consider the stories told in the texts from lesson one. Why is Achebe’s story important?

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2. In her Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie defines a “single story” as a story
that “shows a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” How
do the texts from lesson one show a people as “only one thing”? Why is this dangerous?

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3. What is different about the stories told in “The White Man’s Burden” and Heart of Darkness and the stories that
Achebe indicates he tells? Why?

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Read: Deepen Understanding

What is one thing from these texts that surprised you or challenged what you already know about pre-colonial Africa?

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