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73 pages 2 hours read

Charles R. Johnson

Middle Passage

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1990

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Thought & Response Prompts

These prompts can be used for in-class discussion, exploratory free-writing, or reflection homework before or after reading the novel.

Pre-Reading “Icebreaker”

Consider the term Middle Passage as it relates to the slave trade. What do you know about this term? What does it mean, and what were the effects of this route for slaves?

Teaching Suggestion: This Pre-Reading “Icebreaker” relates to the Post-Reading Analysis and works in tandem with the Short Activity.

Post-Reading Analysis

Based on Rutherford’s analysis, how does this novel provide a different perspective of the Middle Passage? Does his perspective offer a similar or different viewpoint from your response in the Pre-Reading “Icebreaker”? Consider point of view, characters, setting, etc.

Teaching Suggestion: This question relates to the students’ responses from the Pre-Reading Icebreaker. Students should be encouraged to think about Rutherford’s character in providing a different perspective on the Middle Passage (i.e., from the point of view of a former slave working on the ship instead of being a slave on the ship).

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