In this lesson, students practice identifying and analyzing symbols in literature by exploring how the image of the crossroads has been used by writers within the African diaspora. Students examine three works: a Yoruba folk legend, Robert Johnson’s song “Cross Road Blues,” and August Wilson’s play Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Through their examination, they determine the various ways the image of the crossroads has been employed in literature. Finally, students create their own writing inspired by the collages of Romare Bearden which uses the symbol of the crossroads.
Crossroads as a Literary Symbol