Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - Perspectives on the Scottsboro Trials
Students are preparing to read Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In order to gain a sense of the history that encompasses Harper Lee’s novel, students will be looking at the historical events surrounding the South in the 1930s. This lesson will guide students through an era of racism when Jim Crow laws were enforced and the courts did not always adhere to due process. This lesson examines the Scottsboro Boys Trials of the 1930s, which parallels the trial set in Harper Lee’s novel. During the Scottsboro Boys Trials, two white women wrongfully accused nine African American males of rape. Students will research the individuals associated with these trials. Students will be asked to identify the perspective of the individual’s associated with the trials. Through this lesson, students will come to a greater understanding of the multiple perspectives of racism that penetrated the American south during the 1930s.