Reclaiming the Fourth of July with Frederick Douglass

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 3, 2019

In Frederick Douglass’ landmark 1852 speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?,” he exposed the hypocrisy at the heart of American democracy in the antebellum period. Douglass addressed descendants of white American colonists in Rochester, New York—colonists who had declared independence from the oppression of British rule only to construct a new world predicated on the enslavement of other human beings. He galvanized the audience to examine these contradictions in the wake of a legal decision that would seal the fates of many thousands of enslaved Africans for over a decade. 

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Topics: Reconstruction, American History, black history

Brother Outsider: Remembering Gay Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 17, 2019


LGBTQ Pride Month every June is an opportunity to explore and amplify the stories of LGBTQ people past and present. But even during Pride Month, we seldom hear stories of LGBTQ people of color. Described as the “unknown hero” of the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin was the openly gay African American civil rights activist who served as the chief organizer of the historic March on Washington.

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, LGBTQ, black history

6 Resources That Look at the History and Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on May 3, 2019

Nearly 65 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that separate schools for black and white children were not and could never be equal. As we navigate continuing threats to educational equity in the present, we invite you to learn more about the history of Brown and its legacy through these six resources.

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement, Civil Rights, black history

Informed Choices for a Stronger Democracy

Posted by Karen Murphy on February 28, 2019

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.

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Topics: Reconstruction, Race and Membership, black history

Teaching Black History with Malcolm X

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 28, 2019

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?

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Topics: black history

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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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