99 Books 50 Year Anniversary Tribute to George Jackson The Freedom Archives Donate
This activity encourages participants to utilize comparative analysis methods and articulate their own political ideas through creative or artistic means.
Learning Style
Comparative Analysis / Critical Thinking
Participants will practice comparative analysis by engaging two poems that commemorate George Jackson’s life.
1/2 Day
Intended Audience
High School or College Seminar
  1. Poem, John Larry Spain, “For Comrade…”, in The Black Panther Community News Service, August 19, 1972.
  2. Poem, Emily Hanlon, “For George Jackson,” in Battle Acts, Vol. 1, No. 8, October-November, 1971. Feminism & Women’s Liberation Collection. The Freedom Archives.


Read the first poem aloud together and have students or participants take note of terms, phrases, or ideas that stand out to them. Create a word bank by soliciting one-word descriptions from students or participants that reflect their initial reactions and responses as they heard the poem. Repeat this process for the second poem and third poems. Compare the word banks and hold small group or large group discussion. Possible discussion questions:

  • What stood out to you about the poems? 
  • What are the main ideas and themes?
  • Are there differences in tone between the poems?
  • What do you think the author’s relationship to George was, and how did this come through in their writing?
  • What literary devices did the authors employ to convey their message?
  • What do these poems suggest about the legacy of the prison movement, repression, and the struggle for freedom today?