2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship's arrival on America's shores in Jamestown, Virginia. In my view, the commemoration of this tragic event presents teachers with a unique and timely opportunity to reevaluate and improve our teaching of slavery to students with a renewed commitment to truth, equity, empowerment, and understanding. For teachers who like me, are tasked with teaching this "hard" history, I am offering up some of resources. A few are designed for the classroom, others are simply resources for us as individuals to deepen our understanding of the nation's past and in doing so, in my view, shed light on our present and our future. So Take5.
This Washington Post story entitled Teaching America's Truth caught my eye last week. It profiles educator, Tim McClimon's Iowa classroom as an example of how to effectively and truthfully teach students about slavery.
Any teachers planning on teaching slavery owe it to themselves and their students to take a deep dive into Teaching Tolerance's Teaching Hard History website. It has dozens of resources organized by grade level from standards to primary sources to video links. In addition, it has podcasts for teachers that focus on exploring these tough topics in classroom settings. Here's a link to the podcasts as well if you prefer to use those as an entry point.
Another resource worth visiting is PBS's Thirteen. It features WPA Slave narratives, a comprehensive timeline of slavery in America and reading guides for students who want to learn more.
In my research, I also found that National Geographic has curated primary and secondary sources for use in the classroom. Topics range from individuals to court cases to living conditions.
Finally, for personal listening, I am two episodes into the Daily's 1619. The host, Nikole Hannah-Jones weaves the nation's story of slavery into personal narrative. It's edgy and raw. I'm hooked.
How do you teach slavery in your classroom? We hope to hear from you!
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