Upstanding Art: A Q&A with Dory Lerner on the Memphis Upstanders Mural

Posted by McKinley Doty on February 16, 2017

In February 1968, Thomas “T.O.” Jones led 1,300 black sanitation workers in a citywide strike against Memphis’ abusive treatment of its black employees. Facing History is honoring Jones and 13 other Memphians who chose to confront injustice and defy indifference through our Upstanders Mural. This commnity-driven public art display is located across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum and steps away from where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.  

We spoke with Dory Lerner, Museum Educator at the National Civil Rights Museum and a Facing History volunteer, about the importance of the mural in the community and how the stories of these upstanders can be blueprints for changemakers today.

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Topics: Art, Memorials, Memory, Memphis, Upstanders, Civil Rights, Community, legacy

Facing My Family's Past with Slavery

Posted by Marti Tippens Murphy on February 14, 2017

A few years ago, a book came into my possession that has been tossed around in my family like a hot potato for several generations.

Entitled, Religion and Slavery: A Vindication of Southern Churches, the book's author was James McNeilly, a Presbyterian minister and Confederate veteran from Nashville, Tennessee. Inside the front cover is an inscription from the author to my great-great-great-grandmother.

"To Corinne Lawrence: A tried and true friend of many years—and a devoted lover of the Old South, which I have tried to vindicate."

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Topics: Reconstruction, Memory, Memphis, Identity, History, Judgement and Legacy

The Myth of a Post-Racial Society After the Obama Presidency

Posted by Jeremy Nesoff on February 8, 2017

As the first black president, Barack Obama's legacy will always include issues of race. At his farewell speech he acknowledged this: "After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society.” His presidency reveals the longstanding myth that American history has always been on a steady, progressive path towards embracing equality for all.

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Topics: Democracy, Reconstruction, American History, Civil War, Racism, Judgement and Legacy, legacy, race

Asking Big Questions with the 2017 Student Essay Contest

Posted by Laura Tavares on February 6, 2017

I came to the teaching profession with big ambitions. Like many readers of this blog, I imagine, I’ve always loved learning, and I enjoy the effervescent and unpredictable company of kids. As a first-generation college graduate, I know firsthand how education can transform an individual’s life. But I also entered the classroom with the conviction that schools have a communal and civic purpose, too—that they are the root and heart of democratic societies.

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Topics: Contests, Student Voices, Writing, Holocaust

History through the Lens of African Americans

Posted by Valerie Linson on February 2, 2017

In honor of Black History Month, read what it was like for Valerie Linson, Editorial Director for Facing History, to walk through the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington DC for the first time. 

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, Identity, History, Museum Studies, Judgement and Legacy, legacy, Slavery, race

Today's News, Tomorrow's History: Can Racism be Outlawed?

Posted by Monica Brady-Myerov on January 31, 2017

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at the ways countries have tried to manage racism, especially in Brazil.

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Topics: News, Race and Membership, Journalism, Racism, Public Radio, Today's News Tomorrow's History, In the news, Listenwise

3 Ways to Address the Latest News on Immigration With Your Students

Posted by Laura Tavares on January 30, 2017

This week, President Donald Trump announced several measures to limit immigration to the United States. His administration shared plans to build a wall on the Mexican border and to more aggressively deport undocumented immigrants. He also announced an order barring Syrians and other refugees from entering the country and suspended immigration from seven primarily Muslim nations.

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Topics: Immigration, Universe of Obligation, Refugees, In the news

Why I Share My Story of Being a Hidden Child During the Holocaust

Posted by Flora Hogman on January 26, 2017

Friday January 27—the day Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated—is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day calls for people around the world to remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust—those who perished and those who survived to tell their story. Read how one survivor found healing through the Facing History students who listened to her after years of staying silent. 

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Topics: Antisemitism, Memory, Choosing to Participate, Identity, Holocaust, Survivor Testimony, History, legacy

Breaking Off the Beaten Path to Challenge Students

Posted by Brittany Burns on January 23, 2017

I’ve spent the last 10 years teaching at Algonquin Regional High School—a large, suburban school about 35 miles outside of Boston—and I serve as the social studies department chair as well. But years ago, when I’d just finished student teaching, I wasn’t sure I was on the right path. I was struggling to find a foundation that would guide my teaching and looking for something to confirm I was headed in the right direction.

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Topics: Professional Development, Teaching Strategies, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Summer Seminar, Lesson Plan

How To Assess the Strength of a Democracy

Posted by Dan Sigward on January 18, 2017

This Friday, the United States will inaugurate its 45th president, Donald Trump. The tensions and divisions that were unearthed by the 2016 presidential campaign will not be put to rest once President Barack Obama transitions power to this new administration. Instead, they will require active, thoughtful, and responsible participation of citizens to work through together; our responsibilities as citizens do not end at the voting booth. This inauguration is an appropriate time to reflect and renew our engagement as committed participants in a healthy democracy. As we take stock in our own role in this, how do we also help students make sense of these divisions and assess the strength of democracy and civil society?

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Democracy, Reconstruction, Weimar Republic

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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