I apprecate and respect Dr. King but I've always been a bigger fan of Malcolm. I read his autobiography (by Alex Haley) when I was 16 and it's one of my favorite books. It seems like people are either King people or Malcolm people (or racists). I'm not sure why that is but it's interesting. In fact, I just noticed that I have a picture of Malcolm hanging on my classroom wall but not Dr. King, which is something I will remedy in the near future. I also have pictures of Raymond Carver, Tommie Smith, my wife, my daughter, my cats, and my vice-principal (long story). I just flat out need some more pictures hanging up here.
Animals by Chris Jones
In 2011, in Zanesville, Ohio, Terry Thompson owned a large plot of land where he kept exotic animals. One day, Thompson let all of his animals out and shot himself in the head. This is the story of what happened next.
Article: 10 of 10
It is gruesome to hear about dozens of animals being killed in cold blood. It is scarier though to read about lions, tiger, bears, wolves, and monkeys being loose, just running around outside of a town. Jones details the 24 hours after Thompson kills himself and the first animals are seen at a neighoring farm. The writing is so good here it's hard to explain. There is suspense, drama, emotion, foreboding, and humanity. The first few paragraphs establish a tone of creepiness and surrealism as a 64 year old woman is out on her farm watching her horses freak out when she sees a bear chasing them. She then heads back into her barn where she makes eye contact with a lion who watches her for the 100 yards it takes her to get back inside. Chilling stuff.
Teachability: 10 of 10
As an example of longform journalism, there just isn't much better; this article is as good as it gets. As for content, the tragedy will appeal to students, although it will repulse some. They do love a good ethical discussion and this situation would definitely provide one. Great reporting here.