Use the internet (or materials from the library) to explore the topic. Summarize the information and post it to our classroom site (nicenet.org). Post your link to the link sharing function of the site. Write your summary on the conferencing function (#10).

WRITE (#8-nicenet.org) about the process of searching and posting your link.






Observations, Reading and Writing Experiences




1. As I look at the image I see . . .



2. As I look at the image I wonder

3. Through the image the author/artist is saying . . . (what are your guesses and assumptions)

  1. The details in the image that helped me make these decisions are . . .



  1. The image makes me think about . . .

The image makes me feel . . .







Use the grid below to respond to the narrative.

Reese and Jackson�Baseball's Finest Hour


  1. As I read the text, I noticed . . .


  • During and after reading the text, I wondered . . .

  • To me the author was saying . . .



    4. The details in the text that helped me come to these conclusions are . . .

    1. The text made me think about . . .

    The narrative made me feel . . .




    . . .portions from an interview. . .

    Pee Wee Reese; the great Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop is being treated for lung cancer in Venice, Florida. Wish him well. He's 78 and has already had to fight off prostate cancer. He is also recovering from a broken hip. He's battling like hell, said a friend, but those late innings can be tough.

    Back in the 1940's and 50's, when major league baseball began tiptoeing into the chilly waters of racial integration, Pee Wee Reese was one of the guys willing to take a stand against the inhumane behavior of narrow-minded _____ and racial degenerates, both on and off the field.

    He was an unlikely supporter of integration of any kind. He had grown up in the Jim Crow atmosphere of Louisville, Kentucky. He signed with the Dodgers at a time when many ballplayers thought black people had been especially designed by the Almighty to shine their shoes and carry their bags. He served in the Navy, which was ultra-white during World War 11. Everything in Reese's early environment told him that Black people were alien and lesser beings. He had never shaken hands with a black person in his life.

    On his way back from service in the South Pacific, Reese was informed that the Dodgers had hired a "n-----" ballplayer, and not only that�the "n------" was a shortstop. The writer, Roger Kahn, who would later become a close friend, noted that Reese had plenty of time aboard ship to ponder this issue. Reese wondered what would happen if he lost his job to this new player, Jackie Robinson. How would his friends react if he were beaten out by, you know, a colored guy?

    There was nothing about the situation to like. But, Reese decided, before the ship docked in San Francisco, that in his mind, at least the issue would be strictly about playing ball and not about race.

    During the spring of 1947, when it was obvious that the Dodgers were planning to bring Robinson up from their Montreal farm club, several of Reese's teammates circulated a petition. As Kahn recalled, in a conversation, "If you bring up the 'n-----,' trade us. We won't play." Reese, a Southerner, was considered a lock to sign. But, he declined. He didn't make a big deal of it. He just refused to sign.

    The momentum for the petition stopped right there. As it turned out, when the Dodgers brought Robinson up later in the year, they put him at first base (he would later play second). Reese was secure at short. But, Robinson wasn't secure anywhere. The black man in the bright white Dodgers uniform was a full-time target of all manners of abuse. Pitchers ignored the strike zone and threw directly at his head. Base runners tried to gouge him with their spikes. People spit at him, threw garbage at him. Fans and opposing ballplayers tried to outdo one another with their epithets.

    One day in Cincinnati, when the abuse had reached a fever pitch, Reese decided he had had enough. The Dodgers were on the field and the players in the Reds' dugout were shouting abscenities at Robinson. Fans were booing and cursing Robinson, who was standing at first and trying amide the chaos and the rising heat of his own anger, to concentrate on the game. Reese called time and in a gesture that has become famous, he walked across the infield to Robinson, placed a hand on his shoulder in a very public display of friendship and offered him a few words of encouragement.

    "It gets my vote," said Kahn, "as baseball's finest moment."

    Reese and Robinson eventually became very close. So close, in fact, that Reese could needle Robinson in ways that others didn't dare try. Robinson was often difficult to get along with, and Reese once told him "You know, Jack, some of these guys are throwing at you because you're black. But, others are doing it because they just don't like you."

    Kahn remembered another time when someone had threatened to shoot Robinson if he played in an exhibition game in Atlanta. Robinson took the field anyway. Reese sidled over, in the midst of tremendous tension, and said, "Do me a favor, Jack?" Robinson said, "Yeah, what?" Reese said "Don't stand too close to me. We don't know what kind of a shot this guy is."

    Harold Henry "Pee Wee" Reese. When a guy needed a friend, he was right there.





    (from: African American Literature; Hold, Rinehart, Winston)

    Read and annotate the following poems by Langston Hughes and August Wilson. Respond to the poems using the questions that follow each one.



    Langston Hughes


    What happens to a dream deferred?

    Does it dry up

    Like a raisin in the sun?

    Or fester like a sore�And then run?

    Does it stink like rotten meat?

    Or crust and sugar over�

    Like a syrupy sweet?

    Maybe it just sags

    Like a heavy load.

    Or does it explode?


    1. The first line talks of "a dream deferred." What does deferred mean? How do you react when something you want is postponed or put off?
    2. What dream is Hughes referring to?
    3. Although the poem is phrased as a series of questions, Hughes is actually making a statement. What statement is he making? What happens to dreams that are deferred? What are the specific words that tell you?
    4. What do you think the last line means?

    Responding to the language in the Langston Hughes poems.

    Poets rely on the connotative or suggestive meanings of words as well as on their denotative, or literal, meanings. For the poem, "Harlem," Hughes has chosen words with strong emotional associations. The phrase "dry up" in line 2 has a negative connotation, as does sags in line 9. The word sugar usually has a positive connotation, but in the poem it suggests something unpleasant. Choose five words in the poem that convey strong feelings. In a dictionary, find the exact meaning of each word and tell what connotations it has as used in the poem, "Harlem."


    Dreams by Langston Hughes

    Hold fast to dreams

    For if dreams die

    Life is a broken-winged bird

    That cannot fly.

    Hold fast to dreams

    For when dreams go

    Life is a barren field

    Frozen with snow


    1. What advice does this poem offer?
    2. Why do you think Hughes uses the metaphor of the bird and the field for broken dreams? Write your interpretations of the two metaphors from the poem.
    3. Diction refers to a writer's choice of language. How does the diction of "Dreams" compare with that of "Harlem"?
    4. How is the language in each poem suitable for its subject?






    August Wilson writes. . .

    When the sins of our fathers visit us

    We do not have to play host.

    We can banish them with forgiveness

    As God, in His Largeness and Laws.

    From: "Fences" by August Wilson


    1. What does Wilson mean by "sins of our fathers?"
    2. What does he suggest we do with such sins? What does he mean by that?




    Reading and responding to . . .



    August Wilson











    The following questions are used to help initiate classroom discussions. When absent from class, please write out the answers as part of your journal entry for each scene.