In this lesson, students will learn about Durham’s Hayti community, which was once one of the most unique and successful black communities in America. Through reading, class discussion, and examination of this digital history project on Hayti, students will learn how Hayti flourished from the 1880s to the 1940s and became known as the “The Black Capital of the South.” Students will then place themselves in the year 1958, when the Durham Redevelopment Commission was formed and proposed a plan to “renew” Hayti, which had fallen into disrepair by the 1950s. Students will participate in a mock public hearing in which they grapple with the pros and cons of the urban renewal proposal and ultimately, they will decide whether or not to implement the plan. Afterwards, students will explore the actual decision made to implement the renewal plan, as well as the impact urban renewal had on Hayti.
Teachers who have limited class time can also pick and choose particular activities to implement. For additional information on these lesson plans, or for additional curriculum ideas, contact Christie Hinson Norris at email@example.com or visit the Civic Education Consortium’s database of lesson plans.