Alexander Clark: A Visionary Iowan
Lesson Plan Item
|Grade||12th Grade||Class||US History||Length of Lesson||50 Minutes|
|Lesson Title||Alexander Clark: A Visionary Iowan|
|Unit Title||Civil Rights in Iowa|
|Unit Compelling Question||What did the fight for civil rights look like in post-Civil War Iowa?|
In 1850, he helped to organize the African Methodist Episcopal church in Muscatine and served as an officer there for 25 years. In 1865, he helped organize the Grand Lodge of Missouri, Prince Hall Masons, and served as Grand Master. Later, in 1884, he organized the Hiram Grand Lodge in Iowa and also served as Grand Master. In 1868, Clark was appointed chairman of a "colored mans" committee to rewrite the Iowa State constitution, eliminating the word "white" from the document, and thereby granting political equality to Iowans two years before the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Clark's son, Alexander Jr., became the first black graduate of the University of Iowa law school in 1879. Alexander Sr. became the second black graduate of the law school in 1884 at the age of 58. Clark was also active in Republican politics and was called "the Colored Orator of the West" for his speeches on the right of suffrage.
|Lesson Supporting Question||What role did Alexander Clark play in expanding civil rights for African Americans in Iowa?|
This lesson will explore the influential and extraordinary life of Alexander Clark, an African-American Iowan who served as ambassador to Liberia and led to fight for the first recorded example of school desegregation in the United States. Students will first be given a short introduction to the life and importance of Alexander Clark and will then analyze three primary sources documents from his life. Using these documents, they will answer several important questions in order to establish an understanding of the time in which Alexander Clark lived.
|Primary Sources Used|
alexander_clark.pptx, discussion_questions.docx, primary_source_analysis.docx
|Lesson Themes||Civil Rights, Cultural Events, Services, African American Experience|
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|Author||Travis McBride||Reviewer||Chad Christopher, History Education, University of Northern Iowa||Created||02/18/2020||Last Edited||02/19/2020|
|Lesson Plan Development Notes: Teaching Methods, University of Northern Iowa, Fall 2019|