Cultivating Community

In Amerikin we meet Jeff: A proud, new father who is eager to be a part of a strong community that will help support his family.

 

Jeff sees one option in his small Maryland town: The Knights - A white supremacist organization. 

While it's easy to dismiss Jeff as a bad person, it's important to investigate why human beings often need a community or sense of belonging. In fact, some say it's as important as food and shelter.

Thinking about your own community - what could lead someone to join an organization that oppresses or excludes a group of people? Are there any in your community? How does one build a supportive community?

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David Matranga as Jeff

Amerikin is set in 2017. Here's a refresher on what happened that year...

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Classroom Activity

Objective: Contextualize the climate of the play.

 

Steps: 

  1. Watch the video above with students.

  2. Contemplating how humans are drawn to community, ask students to identify the three most significant moments in 2017 (in a group or as a class).

  3. Lead students through a discussion on how those moments affected their lives today.

Welcome to Sharpsburg

Amerikin is set in the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland.​

 

Population: 784.

99.4% of citizens identify as White.

 

​​Sharpsburg is known for the bloodiest single day of battle in American history after the Confederate Army invaded the north. This battle was pivotal to Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.  

Mapping Hate Groups in the USA

A dozen hate groups call Maryland home, and Sharpsburg has been a gathering place for one of these groups. But what about the area in which you live? 

Click on the interactive map to see where these organizations are located. 

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Is Hate Speech Legal?

What is a Hate Crime?

This video outlines how specific crimes helped shape hate crime legislation in the USA.