Street Scenes and Sounds

a. Grades K-12: Ask your students to review and discuss Black Belt, 1934. Ask them to explore how Motley exaggerates the color, lighting, and people’s features in the painting. What adjectives would they use to describe this scene?

b.  Grades K-12: Ask students to imagine they are on this street. What sounds would they hear? What would it be like to be part of this crowd? If they were part of this scene, what would they be doing?

c.  Grades 6-12: Your students could do the following project over the course of several days. What inspires students about their neighborhood? What are they proud of in their community? Ask students to choose a medium such as drawing, painting, photography, smartphone, video, or audio to capture the activity and culture on the streets of their neighborhood. View and discuss students’ work. What did they discover?

d. Grades 6-12: To extend this project, students could collage or edit their street scenes and sounds together to create a collective view of their neighborhoods and communities.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., _Black Belt_, 1934. Oil on canvas, 33 x 40 1/2 in. (83.8 x 102.9 cm). Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne