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        The Medium Shapes the Message | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

        In this lesson, students examine the challenges faced by many African Americans low-income neighborhoods in the 1990s. The lesson focuses on the war on drugs, the media that surrounded it, and how the perception gleaned from the reporting translated into public policy with unforeseen consequences.

        The Medium Shapes the Message: Clip | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

        The war on drugs combined massive increases in police spending with new sentencing laws that disproportionately affected black communities. By the late 1990s, African American men, just 6% of the general population, made up nearly half of all inmates, leaving a terrible vacuum in black communities.

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        The Medium Shapes the Message: 3-2-1 Chart: Medium Shapes the Message | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

        Organize the class into small groups and distribute the first “3-2-1 Strategy Chart” to all students. Have them watch the main lesson clip and complete the three sections of the two handouts.

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        The Medium Shapes the Message: 3-2-1 Chart: Unintended Consequences | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

        Have students complete this chart after watching the clip. Instruct students to share the facts they gathered by going to at least two people in other groups to give a fact and get a fact.

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        The Medium Shapes the Message: Discussion Activity | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

        Make copies of the “Post-Viewing Discussion Activity” sheet and distribute to each class. Place students in small working groups and assign each group one the following questions to discuss.

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        The Medium Shapes the Message: Teacher Guide | Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

        This lesson examines aspects in which students will likely disagree or may not have yet formed solid opinions. For ideas and guidance on discussing controversial issues, refer to the “Discussing Controversial Issues” handout in this packet.

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