Process Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


Student Inquiry Questions:

Freedom of Speech: Concept vs. Right?


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During this three-day lesson, you will be guided by one Essential Question: How did William Monroe Trotter, on behalf of himself and all African Americans, exercise freedom of speech, the democratic principal originally espoused and championed by Voltaire, in pursuit of equality for African-Americans.

To answer this essential question, we will take seven steps over this three-day period:

(1) First, we will briefly review the ideas of Voltaire and their impact on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution

(2) Second, we will learn about a historical event/period in American/African-American history known as "The Great Migration"

(3) Third, we will learn about the life, work and ideas of William Monroe Trotter

(4) Fourth, we will examine the views of Voltaire and Trotter on freedom of speech by looking at selected quotes made by each man on this topic.

(5) Fifth, we will consider and assess the extent to which each man had this right, and how having this right or not having this right impacted the life of each of these men (and their respective countrymen)

(6) Sixth, we will consider and assess how William Monroe Trotter utilized freedom of speech as a vehicle to make social change --- pursue equal rights for African-Americans

(7) Seventh, we will consider the power of freedom of speech and how it can be used as a vehicle for making social change.