This March, Facing History and Ourselves is honored to celebrate Women’s History Month by highlighting courageous women and girls who have actively made history. We know you’re strapped for time as an educator, but fear not. Facing History has you covered for thoughtful, actionable teaching resources that will bring women’s history—and women’s leadership today—to life in your classroom all month long.
A governor is revealed to have dressed up in blackface (at least once); an attorney general is shown to have done it, too; a senator is exposed as having edited a yearbook full of racist images and language; a team at Gucci apologizes for creating a balaclava sweater that evokes blackface.
As educators concerned about social justice, we know that black history ought to be central to any American history curriculum if we are to deliver the unadulterated truth of our nation’s past. But who defines black history and with what consequences?
Topics: black history
Marshall Curry’s short film, A Night at the Garden, forces an American public to reckon with the horrific reality of its own antisemitism. Nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category, the seven-minute, black and white film is comprised entirely of archival footage. Without any of the narration or explanation common to historical documentaries, the film demands one’s full attention, transporting its viewer to a world at once distantly dystopian and hauntingly familiar. It is February 20th, 1939. The Madison Square Garden marquee reads: “Tonight Pro American Rally.” There will be hockey on Tuesday, basketball on Wednesday. It could be a New York night like any other.
New York State's Teacher of the Year, high school history teacher Alhassan Susso, wants us to let go: “If we hold on to our history, we do it at the expense of our destiny.”
Amid the sheer number of social justice movements across the political and cultural spectrum, we are met with daily opportunities to find our voices as upstanders. And yet, it may not always be obvious who constitutes an upstander. The array of approaches by key actors in the #TakeAKnee controversy reveals that upstandership in action does not have a single definition and invites us to examine which approaches to social change are most aligned with our own values.
Daylight hours are dwindling, and temperatures are cooler. What better time to hunker down inside and take a book break? Engage your heart and imagination with these book selections by Tracy O’Brien, Facing History’s Director of Library Services. They touch on important Facing History themes such as history, democracy, identity, inclusion, and education.
The act of voting is the most important contribution every single eligible voter can make to insure the health of our democracy. Yet year after year, a discouraging number of eligible voters choose not to pull the levers of power. In advance of the midterm elections, Facing History CEO Roger Brooks stops to consider the impact of non-voters, and worse, uninformed voters in an OpEd published on CNN.com:
During Shabbat morning services last Saturday, eleven people were murdered at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue by a gunman who shouted “All Jews must die” as he opened fire. The gunman is in custody and the FBI is investigating the killings as a hate crime. As we wrote immediately upon hearing the news yesterday, we are heartsick at these antisemitic murders.
The upcoming midterm elections. The Kavanaugh hearings. Colin Kaepernick and Take A Knee. The Rohingya crisis. It’s a tumultuous time in the world—and that complexity will likely remain for years to come. How do you take on the task of explaining these issues? In what way should you tackle current events in the classroom? How do you convey thorny global concepts while respecting diverse points of view and making students feel inspired?
Topics: current events