This is a story about an African-American who grew up in Chicago. It tells the story of Michael McCarty from a boy who read/heard about the Civil Rights movement to becoming an activist, joining the Black Panthers and drawing negative attention from the FBI which lead to difficulties in his professional and personal life. He tells his struggles with drugs, the FBI, and his journey through physical and spiritual health. All of the various parts of McCarty's life are bound together in this story by his faith in the power of being an example to others, honest storytelling and sharing and the importance of being open to all of our experiences.
- African American Storyteller Michael McCarty tells his true story Connecting the Dots: Racism, Activism & Creating a Life.
- Racism in Chicago … the Black Panthers …Activism and the institution … Expulsion from High School …. Drugs …. Searching … Journeys around the world … Stories and people that shape us ….Ways and paths to self-discovery … With humor and hope the storyteller “connects the dots” in his life.
- Invite your students in to explore their responses to McCarty’s challenges, dead-ends and the people and events that shaped his life’s journey.
- Let Michael McCarty’s story inspire conversation among your students (and faculty) about the issues of racism, standing up for one’s beliefs, working for change in the world and in our lives and the power of stories to inspire and connect.
- Connecting the Dots is an ideal discussion starter for college age, young adults and justice and peace groups. Lesson Plan provides questions and activities.
In this longer version of the lesson plan, there is reference to drug use particularly in Story #2. While the storyteller talks about how he eventually gave up drugs and devoted himself to being healthy and productive, a teacher might want to address the topic of drug use and abuse before beginning the lesson or to skip reading and listening to the sections of the story that pertain to drug use.
The following MP3 tracks are story excerpts for use with the Connecting the Dots (Long Version) lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.
Excerpt #1 — Track One— 17:25 minutes
Excerpt #2 –Track Two– 18:20 minutes
Excerpt #3 — Track Three — 17:16 minutes
About Storyteller Michael McCarty
Michael McCarty (“Have Mouth Will Run It“™) is a multicultural storyteller of African, African-American and International Folk tales, Historical tales, Stories of Science, Spiritual stories as well as stories of the brilliant and absolutely stupid things he has done in his life.
His stories inform, educate, inspire and amuse. His storytelling style is energetic and enthusiastic.