by Glen Downey, Comics in Education, www.comicsineducation.com
When It Comes Right Down to It, There's Nothing Like Adam Davidson's "The Lunch Date"
This past year I was inspired by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin's March, Book 1 to consider what the best work of visual narrative or visual media would be to support teaching students about race and race-related issues in the K-12 classroom. For instance, if I were teaching Kathryn Stockett's The Help, or Shakespeare's Othello, or the speeches and writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., what would be the best supporting piece of visual narrative or media I could use? Would it be Prom Night in Mississippi? What about Guess Who's Coming to Dinner or Do the Right Thing?
The answer isn't easy. Lewis and Aydin's book is amazing, as is Mark Long and Jim Demonakos' The Silence of Our Friends. Both of these are exceptionally compelling graphic novels and among the best books of their respective years.
However, if I had to choose, I'd go with a piece I've done so many times with my students: Adam Davidson's 1989 short film, The Lunch Date, winner of the 1990 Short Film Palm D'or and the 1991 Academy Award for Best Short Subject.
I could spend quite a bit of time here explaining to you the brilliance of Davidson's film and what its implications might be for your classroom. Just watch it, however, and be prepared to be absolutely blown away.
Dr. Glen Downey is an award-winning children's author, educator, and academic from Oakville, Ontario. He works as a children's writer for Rubicon Publishing, a reviewer for PW Comics World, an editor for the Sequart Organization, and serves as the Chair of English and Drama at The York School in Toronto.
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