by Jane Landers
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage
- Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797), known by people as Gustavus Vassa, was a freed slave turned prominent African man in London. Equiano became an abolitionist and began to record his life story after being freed. This text is an excerpt from Equiano’s autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, in which Equiano tells the tale of his brutal voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.Pair “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” with “Francisco Menéndez: An Unsung Hero” to provide students with an excerpt from a former slave’s autobiography. Ask students to discuss how Equiano describes the Middle Passage. How did both Equiano and Menéndez continue to persevere, despite the obstacles they faced? How do both texts highlight the strength that was required of a person to survive slavery?
- Diana Childress
In the informational text, “Lasting Contributions,” Diana Childress discusses how enslaved Africans shaped culture in the Americas.Pair “Lasting Contributions” with “Francisco Menéndez: An Unsung Hero” to provide students with information about how Africans who were brought to the Americas influenced the culture and history. Ask students to discuss the lasting impact that Menéndez has had on American history. How does Fort Mose show the lasting effect that people of African descent have had on the Americas?
From Africa to America
- Eric Arnesen
In the informational text “From Africa to America,” Eric Arnesen discusses the transportation of Africans to America to work as slaves.Pair “From Africa to America” with “Francisco Menéndez: An Unsung Hero” to provide students with additional information about how Africans were brought to America as slaves. Based on the information in the text, what was Menéndez’s likely experience coming from West Africa to America? How was he likely treated as a slave in America? How does this information further students’ understanding of Menéndez’s strength?