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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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Gingrich Confronts History in South Carolina

January 24, 2012

“It’s not that I’m a good debater. It’s that I articulate the deepest-felt values of the American people,” announced the victorious Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. Republican voters [only 2% were African Americans] saw his tough, angry, racial language as straight talking. He eagerly strummed racial themes—Black urban pupils serve as assistant janitors to learn […]

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The Women who Gave us Christmas

December 22, 2010

Before Christmas emerged as a commercial success it led a checkered social life. In the 13 colonies it was known not as a Silent Night, Holy Night but as a heavy drinking, brawling festival, a raucous blend of July 4th and New Years Eve. But as the struggle over slavery in the United States heated […]

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New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth

October 5, 2008

Author: Alan J. Singer Publisher: SUNY Press (2008) As some southern legislatures, prodded by African American representatives, expressed regret over their states’ role in slave trading and exploiting slave labor, a kind of “truth and reconciliation” movement has stirred educators. So far the focus has been on the southern states where African people were brutally […]

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Celebrating a Victory for Freedom

January 7, 2008

This Christmas Eve, the freedom-loving Bush administration has a chance to mark the anniversary of a great victory for formerly oppressed people on U.S. soil. The President is unlikely, however, to notice or heed the meaning of this particular milestone, whose cast of characters and historical lessons he would undoubtedly regard as all wrong. December […]

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Blood, Race and Cherokee Sovereignty

March 3, 2007

As President Bill Clinton and others arrived in Selma, Alabama for the 42nd anniversary of the “bloody Sunday” march that prodded Congress to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Cherokee Nation chose a lower road. Members voted overwhelmingly for an amendment to their constitution that revokes citizenship rights for 2,800 members because their ancestors […]

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