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HIGH SCHOOL WRITING PROMPTS
• February 2015 •

Create an Interview Script About an African American Icon

February is Black History Month, an annual celebration that has existed, in some form, as early as 1926. During the second week of February, Dr. Carter G. Woodson organized the first annual Negro History Week, which evolved in the 1960s into Black History Month, a four-week-long tribute to African American History.

During the 1950s and 1960s, important legislation was passed to give African Americans more opportunities in the United States. An instrumental force in the Civil Rights Movement was the Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks became the well-known face of the boycott when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on the bus. After a year of demonstrating, the Supreme Court eventually passed a law desegregating the public buses in Alabama.

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the first African-American president and the 44th president of the United States. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the struggles and contributions of the many African Americans who came before him.

Using reference materials at a library or an Internet search engine, research an African American who is considered an icon for his or her accomplishments in civil rights, politics, or entertainment. Learn about his or her achievements. Then, imagine you are able to speak with this icon; create an interview script consisting of at least ten questions. Once you have posed the questions, use your research to find the answers you think would best mirror the subject's response. Consider the following while creating your script:

  • Be sure to include your research in each of your questions.
  • Remember to consider how the individual got involved in his or her field.
  • Ask personal questions too, such as how it feels to be considered an icon by others.
  • Describe how African Americans who came before helped pave the road for this individual.

Once you have finished your script, share it with your classmates by posting it on your class bulletin board or Web site. Also, read your classmates' scripts to learn about other famous African Americans whose accomplishments have impacted society today.