Adolescent girls can use literacy
to read the world around them
as a text and therefore help
them to form their own identities
to ultimately find authority in
telling their own stories.
When people show
you who they are,
believe them the
Maya Angelou, poet and author
If you respect
yourself, it’s easier
to respect other
John Singleton, screenwriter and director
Choose to be with those who
believe in you and encourage
you to grow. Stay away from
anyone who tears you down
or always brings you the latest
---Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief, Essence Magazine
I would unite with
anybody to do right
and with nobody to
--Fredrick Douglas (1818-1895), abolitionist and
You owe it to others as
well as to yourself to be
very careful about letting
others make up your
mind for you.
My dad taught me that
being “good” doesn’t
make you weak—in fact,
it means you are
Sinbad comedian and actor
Influence is a powerful
thing. Be careful whom
you allow to influence
T.D. Jakes, speaker, minister and author
No person is your
friend who demands
your silence, or
denies you the right
Alice Walker, poet and author
Get to know people
whose lives are different
from yours. Find what
you have in common
Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary general
I believe in recognizing
every human being as
a human being,
neither white, black,
brown nor red.
Malcolm X (1925-1965), founder, Organization for Afro-American Unity
Knowing yourself is one of the
most challenging and important
tasks of your life. If you know
who you are and what you
want, you will have a better
chance of figuring out how to
achieve your own success,
happiness and personal
Write your name
in the center of
the chart, adding
as many words as
you can that
describe your own
and so forth. Fill
in this chart.
Do not worry
if some of your
others. Try to stay
true to yourself.
Knowing Yourself Isn't Always Easy
Describing Yourself To Yourself
1.What stands out for you in your life over the past few years?
What kinds of things have been important?
What stays with you?
2.Describe what your life is like right now.
What do you care about?
3.How would you describe yourself to yourself?
4.Is the way you see yourself now different from the way you saw yourself in the
What led to the changes?
Have there been any turning points?
5.How do you see yourself changing in the future?
6.What does being a woman mean to you?
Do you think that there are any important differences between men and women?
7.Looking back, what relationships have been really important to you?
8.Have the relationships changed?
How do you account for the change?
9.Who helped you shape shaped yourself into the person you have become?
10.How would you describe your mother? Father? Primary care giver?
Has your view of them been changing?
What does success mean to you? What would you have to be
doing to feel that you are a successful person?
For the definitions of success below Indicate whether you strongly agree,
agree, are not sure, disagree, or strongly disagree with the definition.
The wealthy man is the man who is much, not the one who has much.
Winning isn't everything--it's the only thing.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
-Robert F. Kennedy
If at first you can't succeed try, try again. Then give up--there's no use being a
fool about it.
I'm opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
Success can make you one of two ways. it can make you a
prima donna, or it can smooth out the edges, take away
the insecurities, let the nice things come out.
Six essential qualities that are key to success: sincerity,
personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.
-Dr. William Menninger
The people who try to do something and fail are infinitely
better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.
Write up your own
definition of success
"A woman's place is in the House, and
the Senate." -T-Shirt Slogan
"For most of history, Anonymous was a
woman." --Virginia Woolf
"Men are taught to apologize for their
weaknesses, women for their
strengths." --Lois Wyse, American
There is a small area in your eye called a blind spot, from which
you are unable to see. Technically, the blilnd spot is the point at
which the optic nerve joins the retina of the eye. However,
people hav other kinds of blind spots as well. These blind spots
are weaknesses or faults that people are unable to recognize in
themselves or others. For example, someone might be blind to
his or her own prejudice, ignorance or weakness may fail to
recognize such flaws in someone else.
Which of the characters in the stories we have read had a blind
spot or were unable to "see" accurately? What were they failing
to see? Discuss why they were not able to see?
What happened because of the blind spots? Find examples in
the texts to back up your point of view.
Document your groups discussion.
"In a package of
minutes there is this We.
"In a package of minutes there is this We. How beautiful" Gwendolyn Brooks
"In a package of minutes
"We are made strong by
what we overcome."
"Whatever you can do
or dream you can,
begin it. Boldness has
genius, power, and
magic in it."
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Saying Yes by Diana Chang
"Are you Chinese?"
"No. . . not quite."
"Well, actually, you see. . ."
But I would rather say
but both, and not only
The homes I've had,
the ways I am
I'd rather say it
It is the rare high school curriculum
where serious discussions occur
concerning the choices that girls and
young women can now make and the
impact those choices will have on
their life goals, family roles, dating
partners or use of their time.
Many young women report
deep feelings of insecurity,
the issues of sexuality,
acceptance and self
Life changing events result in
immense trauma and thus a
substantial decrease in the quality of
mother-daughter attachment and
appropriate attachment to fathers,
friends and school bonds. If these
events are not handled with the
appropriate degree of emotional
sensitivity especially by a mother or
mother substitute, a girl will grow up
missing a major piece of her identity.
The majority of girls
and young women
report tension between
what they want to
accomplish and how
they intend to get there.
Girls and women function in societies
that more than ever shape their image
of who they ought to become by
television and media that
overwhelmingly sends women
messages that they are sexual
objects, ornaments, and background
players in life’s most important scenes.
Reality: A Matter of
As a group, discuss reality through
the eyes of
Maleeka or Nhamo
Write down words and phrases that
represent their point of view.
Create a poem from your words
COMING TO TERMS
Have you ever faced a problem that seemed to have no solution? Not all
problems have answers. Sometimes a person can only accept the
situation and come to terms with it. "Coming to terms" means arriving at
an understanding or an acceptance of the way things are.
Share a time when you had to face problems either with in yourself or
outside of yourself. What was the problem and how did you come to
terms with it?
Now, look inside the stories we read and pick a character that had to
"come to terms" with something. Write a letter to that character helping
them deal with their problem.
(this activity could either lead to creating a poem on coming to terms or
move into finding details in the story or discussions etc...)