Publisher:
Rosedog Books

Publication Date:
05/20/2022

Copyright Date:
N/A

ISBN:
978-1-64957-817-4

Binding:
Hardcover

U.S. SRP:
27.00

Get the best author info and savings on services when you subscribe!

IndieReader is the ultimate resource for indie authors! We have years of great content and how-tos, services geared for self-published authors that help you promote your work, and much more. Subscribe today, and you’ll always be ahead of the curve.

STUDENT IMPRESSIONS OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE: 2010-2020

By Juliette Caruso O'Dell

IR_Star-black
IR Rating:
4.1
Author and middle school teacher Juliette Caruso O’Dell's STUDENT IMPRESSIONS OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE: 2010-2020 offers an intriguing and thought-provoking insight into one of the ways in which teenagers can be taught about the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade.
IR Approved

STUDENT IMPRESSIONS OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE, 2010-2020 compiles a number of charcoal sketches depicting the Atlantic slave trade by middle schoolers.

Juliette Caruso O’Dell, the author of the beautifully produced STUDENT IMPRESSIONS OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE: 2010-2020, is a middle school teacher in Indiana, who considers the Atlantic slave trade “a degrading topic that hovers over my class study all year”. It is hard to argue with that, nor with O’Dell’s contention that finding the right approach to such a harrowing and morally reprehensible episode in history is exceptionally difficult. O’Dell is, as she points out, not a historian, but as a teacher, she is concerned with telling the truth. But how should one reckon with a truth that is not only so hideous one would rather not contemplate it, but is also central to the American narrative?

This slim volume contains an introduction, three lesson plans, and finally, the drawings themselves: a series of sketches created in charcoal by a dozen or so of O’Dell’s middle school students. An important reference for O’Dell’s teaching is the art of Caldecott Medal Honor winner Tom Feelings, whose The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo retains its enormous rhetorical and moral power more than a quarter century after its appearance. The sketches created by O’Dell’s students take as their subject matter the point at which Africans at work in their native communities; the moment of their capture, often by men appointed for that purpose, and sold to slavers; the hellish ocean voyage to which they were subjected; and an expression of hope for America’s future. The book is impeccable in its presentation, with one small quibble: the pages on which the sketches are depicted are not paginated, making it more difficult for the reader to match each one to the summaries listed on page 2.

While it is hard to make generalizations about such works, created as they are by a group of individuals with differing approaches to drawing, the rawness of the depictions is striking, and alerts educators and laypersons alike to the educational possibilities that art affords us when confronting the ugliness of historical episodes. The book’s brevity – it is under 60 pages in length – makes it no less impactful. It represents the honest responses of young students to, as O’Dell puts it, “a dark stain on America’s culture”.

Author and middle school teacher Juliette Caruso O’Dell’s STUDENT IMPRESSIONS OF THE MIDDLE PASSAGE: 2010-2020 offers an intriguing and thought-provoking insight into one of the ways in which teenagers can be taught about the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade.

~Craig Jones for IndieReader

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that IndieReader may make a commission if you use these links to make a purchase. As an Amazon Affiliate, IndieReader may make commission on qualifying purchase.