Thumbnail image for The Battle to Desegregate San Francisco Streetcars

The Battle to Desegregate San Francisco Streetcars

April 30, 2013

Only months after San Francisco’s horse-powered streetcar companies during the Civil War dispatched their streetcars—with orders to only accept white passengers—African American citizens began to directly challenge this discrimination. On April 17, 1863 Charlotte Brown, a young African American woman from a prominent family, boarded a streetcar and was forced off. Determined to assert her […]

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Thumbnail image for Teaching Outside the Textbook: From ‘The Abolitionists’ to a Two-Term Black President

Teaching Outside the Textbook: From ‘The Abolitionists’ to a Two-Term Black President

February 3, 2013

This week PBS’s The American Experience concluded “The Abolitionists,” a searing three-part documentary on a fiercely committed band of white and African American freedom fighters. It took a fresh look at the anti-slavery movement, its most dramatic moments, its key figures and its amazing impact considering it was a movement which was run by hated […]

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Slave spy aids Union troops behind enemy lines

Lincoln, The Movie

December 28, 2012

Director: Steven Spielberg Run time: 2 hours 30 minutes Rated: PG-13 (Drama) Released: 2012 Like just about everyone who has seen it, I was enthralled by “Lincoln,” the Hollywood film directed with authority and creative license by Stephen Spielberg, smoothly scripted by Tony Kushner and crowned by a veritable feast of brilliant acting. But in my […]

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A Christmas Eve Battle for Freedom: A Lesson for Today

December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of an heroic battle for self-rule and liberty by a daring band of American freedom fighters traditionally ignored by school courses, texts and teachers. On the northeast corner of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee 380 to 480 members of the multicultural Seminole nation under the command of Wild Cat, and […]

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Thanksgiving Day: What to Celebrate

November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Day remains the most treasured holiday in the United States. Work comes to a halt, families gather, eat turkey, and count their blessings. A presidential proclamation blesses the day. But we must not forget that it preeminently serves political ends. Remember in 2003 when President George Bush flew into Baghdad on Thanksgiving Day to […]

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Native American History: Isobel de Olvera

November 13, 2012

This Native American History Month I propose we celebrate Isobel de Olvera, a Native American who also had African ancestors. She was a single, free woman of color who lived in the last years of the 16th century and early years of the 17th century and comes to us through her own words. Olvera’s date […]

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