African American Identity in the Gilded Age: Two Unreconciled Strivings

African American Baseball Players


Students explore their personal identities, then analyze primary sources to examine the tension experienced by African Americans as they struggled to establish a vibrant and meaningful identity based on the promises of liberty and equality in the midst of a society that was ambivalent towards them and sought to impose an inferior definition upon them. After, students choose a subject from one primary source and bring this speaker into the present to talk with the class about his or her observation of today’s world compared with his or her own.

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High School, Middle School


Civics, Social Studies


135-150 minutes


african americans, culture, equality, Gilded Age, identity, liberty


Teaching with the Library of Congress

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