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Transcript of Freedom Writers
The Freedom Writers Diary, 1999.
To teach the students, Erin used some remarkable books:
The students of room 203
As an idealistic English teacher at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of "unteachable, at-risk" students. She and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the "Freedom Writers" in homage to the civil rights activists "The Freedom Riders."
With powerful entries from the students' own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.
The Diary Of a Young Girl, 1947
The Diary of a Young Girl (also known as The Diary of Anne Frank) is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944, and Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The diary was retrieved by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne's father, Otto Frank, the family's only known survivor. The diary has since been published in more than 60 different languages.
Also known as: "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "Het Achterhuis" (original title in Dutch)
Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo, 1993.
Zlata Filipović wrote her diary from 1991 to 1993 during the Bosnian war. Located mostly in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Zlata began writing her diary in 1991, just after she began fifth grade. The war began just before her eleventh birthday. Zlata's diary chronicles her daily life and the war's increasing impact on her home town of Sarajevo. Reporter Janine di Giovanni, who met Zlata in 1993 and wrote the introduction to the book, described Zlata as "the Anne Frank of Sarajevo." Like The Diary of Anne Frank, Zlata's diary contains many descriptions of the horrors of war as viewed from the innocence of a child. Furthermore, both diaries take place during conflicts at least partially motivated by racism and ethnic differences.
The Freedom Riders
On May 4, 1961, a group of 13 African-American and white civil rights activists launched the Freedom Rides, a series of bus trips through the American South to protest segregation in interstate bus terminals. The Freedom Riders, who were recruited by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a U.S. civil rights group, departed from Washington, D.C., and attempted to integrate facilities at bus terminals along the way into the Deep South. African-American Freedom Riders tried to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters, and vice versa. The group encountered tremendous violence from white protestors along the route, but also drew international attention to their cause. Over the next few months, several hundred Freedom Riders engaged in similar actions. In September 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations prohibiting segregation in bus and train stations nationwide.
The Freedom Writers
Now is your turn!
You are about to receive your new companion for this semester: your own diary.
Write about the Freedom Writers story using your own ideas.
USE IT WELL!