Comprehension Aid: "The Planned Community of Norris, Tennessee"
Getting the Meaning:
- In what ways did the plans for Norris differ from the way things turned out?
- What excuse was used to exclude African-Americans from living in the new town? What was the reaction of black Americans who lived in the Norris Basin?
- What are "cooperative industries"?
- Who were the workers? Who were the professionals? What does it mean to say that Norris became a "white-collar suburb of Knoxville"?
- Reread the first sentence in the selection. What does it mean to
say that a town was meant to be a "showcase"?
- Why do you think the Norris planned community experiment failed?
Hint: What problems might arise if you and ten of your classmates agreed to share in the ownership of three bikes (and none of you has your own), and to divide each night's homework assignments into ten parts (with the teacher's permission, of course) and then to copy the other nine parts each morning before school?
Hint: Think about a time when you helped to plan an event or activity that involved many people (like a school dance or a Thanksgiving dinner).
What kinds of problems arise in situations like this?