Friday, April 13, 2018

Curating a Malcolm X digital collection

This year at our Language Arts conference, we used our tablets to look at a large selection of images of  Malcolm X. The task was for participants to narrow down the selections, as if preparing a curated show of the photographs.

Malcolm X was one of our most photogenic cultural figures. He also remains popular among large numbers of black boys and young black men. So the guys really enjoyed the activity.

For me, the session was also a chance to give the students opportunities to think about themselves as curators. I've been reading about how black people are often outside the loop in museums and curated shows. What if we got them thinking about the processes of working in museums, galleries, or libraries much earlier though?

The activity also gave the students a chance to engage a digital collection of Malcolm X images. I'm not sure what kinds of activities they participate in during their regular day with tablets, but here was an opportunity to utilize the technology to consider a large number of items related to an admired black historical and cultural figure.

Language Arts Conference, Spring 2018

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