by Courtney Faye Taylor
Photo by Brittney L. Hollins
Workshop Title: Forgotten
Say, “Think of a group that is consistently “neglected, reduced, [forgotten], and fused together” by society. Who is this group? And why are they treated in such a manner?” Then give your students time to discuss.
Read the visual poem “Light Attire” by Courtney Faye Taylor. According to the poet, “This poem is composed of descriptions and photographs of Black women and girls found on police missing flyers and the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The poem reflects on the ways Black women and girls are neglected, reduced, and fused together; how we are violently sought after and violently forgotten.” When you’re done reading, briefly discuss the format of the poem and how it reinforces the message of the piece.
Say, “Choose a group of people who are “neglected, reduced, [forgotten], and fused together” by society. Then think of ways in which you can visually depict the ways in which they are treated. These visuals can come in the form of drawings, magazine images, text, etc.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.
Have your students compose a visual poem that – like “Light Attire” does – brings attention to a group of people who are forgotten by the rest of society. They should use the program embedded in the presentation.
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Structure
If your students are not familiar with the general concept of a poem’s “structure,” go through the introductory lesson.
Start the lesson by showing the following spoken word poem, performed by Bobbi Johnson. Then discuss the poem with your students. What point was the poet trying to establish?
Now show the following trailer for the documentary “Black and Missing.” Then ask how the message of the film reflects the sentiment of the poem performed by Bobbi Johnson.
Project the poem “Light Attire” by Courtney Faye Taylor. Start by reading the notes at the bottom of the page. Tell your students to think of how the words and images work together to convey that message. Slowly scroll down the poem and allow your students to look through it. Then have them share their insights.
Have your students open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to go through the poem and use the program “Annotely” to create digital annotations directly on the poem. All of the resources and links that they will need are in the document. Then give your students time to work.
When your students are done, project the poem on the board again and have them share their responses aloud. If possible, have your students create their annotations on the board, writing over the pieces of the poem with their own analysis.
If time permits, share the exemplar essay.
- Body / Body Image
- Criminal Justice
- Death / Grief
- Police Brutality / Profiling
- Race / Ethnicity / Racism
- Selection of Detail
- Abduction or Kidnapping
- Death or Dying
- Racism or Racial Slurs