This teaching module looks at the history of Hayti, a historically Black neighborhood in Durham, focusing on the mid-twentieth century urban renewal project which was promoted as a benefit to the neighborhood but displaced many residents and Black-owned businesses. Students will use a range of primary sources to understand the perspectives of residents, government officials, and other local stakeholders, and work together to begin to put together a history of Hayti.
This lesson can be taught synchronously in a 75-minute class session, or adapted for asynchronous learning. Students can complete this activity in class, in Zoom breakout rooms, or using Sakai discussion forums, depending on the format of the class.
This activity is designed to work with five groups of four students, but can be adapted depending on class size. If your class is large, more than one group can work with a set – each group will bring different perspectives to the sources.
Students should have a basic familiarity with Hayti to give them the context they need to begin to analyze their primary sources. One of these can be assigned ahead of time:
Have students select 5 documents from the material used in this module to create a small exhibit about the history of Hayti. Students will likely need to conduct additional secondary research, using either the suggested readings listed above or sources they find on their own. As part of their exhibit, students should prepare a brief introductory text to as well as exhibit labels for each of the sources they choose, providing contextual information to help a general audience understand the history of Hayti. Students should also write a curator’s reflection paper, explaining their process and analyzing the choices they made about what sources and what information they included or did not in their exhibit.