The Denver-based nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom today released its latest classroom comic and teaching guide — The Harlem Renaissance by writer R. Alan Brooks (Anguish Garden) and artist Marcus Kwame Anderson (The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History).
The Harlem Renaissance comic and teaching guide are available to download for free at: https://popcultureclassroom.org/product/educational-comics/colorful-history/colorful-history-76-the-harlem-renaissance/
This new resource — designed for teachers and students grades 9-12 and fans of history comics — explores the story of the Harlem Renaissance and introduces readers to some of the Black writers, artists, and other creators whose work sparked a cultural revolution.
Brooks’ and Anderson’s comic looks at the history and social factors leading up to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, and it introduces readers to prominent figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, the poets Langston Hughes, Claude MacKay, and Gwendolyn Bennett, the painter Aaron Douglas, the photographer James Van Der Zee, and others whose work featured prominently in the Harlem Renaissance.
“This is just a dip into the deep waters of the Harlem Renaissance, but it was important to me to touch on this story in a grounded and accessible way,” said Brooks. “Comics are always a great way to do that.”
This is the second collaboration between Anderson, Brooks, and Pop Culture Classroom, where Brooks serves as Art Manager for the nonprofit’s line of Colorful History comics. Last year, the team collaborated to create Jerry Lawson and Channel F, a comic about the innovative Black computer engineer who helped make home video gaming a reality.
“It was dope to work with the homie — Eisner Award-winning artist Marcus Kwame Anderson. He helped me tell this story from the perspective of two young brothers, and I love how it came out.” continued Brooks. “If you want an introduction to the immense, history-shaping story of the Harlem Renaissance, you should grab this free comic now!”
Last week, Pop Culture Classroom offered a special link to a preview version of the comic to attendees of Colorado Humanities’ Black History Live performances. However, today is the first day the full issue — including project ideas, discussion questions, and other resources for educators — is available as a free download at: https://popcultureclassroom.org/product/educational-comics/colorful-history/colorful-history-76-the-harlem-renaissance/
The Harlem Renaissance is the latest issue in Pop Culture Classroom’s popular Colorful History line of educational comics and accompanying educational resources. The series — now on its 76th issue — covers a range of significant people, places, and events from U.S. history.
“This comic a great introduction to the Harlem Renaissance, and its teaching guide will help educators give students the tools they need to dive deeper into the era’s themes, art, and prominent voices,” said Pop Culture Classroom Director of Education, Matt Slayter. “The comic, together with the teaching guide’s Common Core-aligned projects, can help connect historical concepts and art to contemporary media that students love.”
In addition to its availability as an individual download, The Harlem Renaissance can also be downloaded for free as part of Pop Culture Classroom’s collection of issues related to Black History. The collection includes comics and teaching guides about Juneteenth, the Underground Railroad, Clara Brown, video game pioneer Jerry Lawson, and more. The collection is available as a free download at:
Pop Culture Classroom’s Colorful History comics series has previously spotlighted the story of the U.S. flag’s creation, the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Space Race, climate change, inflation, The Stonewall Riots, and more. It has related the stories of Cesar Chavez, Molly Brown, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Sal Castro, and more.
All 76 issues of Colorful History are available to download for free at PopCultureClassroom.org/comics.
Pop Culture Classroom works to inspire a love of learning, increase literacy, celebrate diversity, and build community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression. Free comics, curriculum, teaching guides, event updates, and more are available at PopCultureClassroom.org
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