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."

Read More

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

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. 

Read More

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

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. 

Read More

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

StoryCorps’ Dave Isay: Show Gratitude by Listening

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on October 3, 2016

Imagine preserving the voices and stories of an entire generation over a single holiday weekend. For the second year in a row, Facing History and Ourselves is partnering with StoryCorps for The Great Thanksgiving Listen to accomplish just that. You can preserve history with us by uploading your own interview with an elder this year, and empowering your students to do the same, by using the free StoryCorps app. Visit thegreatlisten.org for more details about the project and to download the TGTL 2016 Teacher Toolkit.

Read More

Topics: Student Voices, Memory, Identity, History, Community, David Isay, StoryCorps

Our Own Great Witnessing: An American Muslim's Reflection on 9/11

Posted by Taymullah Abdur-Rahman on September 11, 2016

 

Fifteen years after the attacks on September 11, Facing History's New England Program Associate, Taymullah Abdur-Rahman, reflects on how he came to terms with the attacks and their aftermath as an American Muslim. 

Read More

Topics: September 11, Identity, Holocaust, global terrorism, We and They

Talking About Race with the New York Times

Posted by Adam Strom on June 29, 2016

Talking about race can be challenging and uncomfortable. Yet, recognizing the impact of race on the way we see ourselves and others can help us better understand how we see the world and, in turn, the choices that we make. The challenge, for many of us, is that we don’t know where to begin.  

Read More

Topics: Identity, Race and Membership, New York Times, Racism

My Mockingbirds

Posted by Margaret Stohl on February 18, 2016

Harper Lee's death reminds us that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is not only a classic work of American literature, but has also opened important conversations around the themes of race, justice, and morality. The day before Lee passed away, we published the following essay by writer Margaret Stohl, co-author of the bestselling young adult novel, “Beautiful Creatures,” on why “To Kill a Mockingbird” mattered so deeply to her. Our Teaching Mockingbird curriculum helps educators bring the historical context behind the novel into their classrooms.

I have a problematic relationship with conformity. Though I was born in Los Angeles, two generations of my family came from a small town in rural Southern Utah, and they carried the seeds of that community with them to California long after they left the town itself behind. As I grew up, I noticed that my family was nothing like our neighbors or my friends at school. We had different views, different beliefs, and different approaches to life. At the same time, the longer I lived in California, the less I fit in with my own family. That’s probably why, when I read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as a teenager, I felt an immediate connection to the novel’s main character, Scout Finch.

Read More

Topics: Insider, To Kill a Mockingbird, Contests, Student Voices, Writing, Identity, Harper Lee, Margaret Stohl

How I Faced My Identity When Teaching the Reconstruction Era

Posted by Brigid Rowlings on February 11, 2016

As an educator who has taught the Facing History Reconstruction unit several times, one thing has become clear: who we are and where we are shapes the way we teach our students about this critical period in history. I’ve heard my fellow educators grapple with some of the same questions I’ve considered. How do we approach the topic of race and racism? How can we talk about African American history with a predominantly white student body versus a predominantly African American one? Or, how can we talk about the legacy of slavery with a predominantly urban or rural student body?  

Read More

Topics: Reconstruction, Teaching, Identity, American History, Lesson Plans, Racism

StoryCorps’ Dave Isay: Engaging Everyone in the Act of Listening

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on October 7, 2015

Imagine preserving the voices and stories of an entire generation over a single holiday weekend. That’s our hope, as Facing History and Ourselves partners with StoryCorps for the 2015 Great Thanksgiving Listen. We will work with high school teachers across the country, whose students will interview a grandparent or elder over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and record their story with the StoryCorps mobile app.

Ahead of the Great Thanksgiving Listen, we sat down with Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps and winner of a 2015 $1 million TED Prize. Isay made public radio documentaries for nearly two decades before starting StoryCorps 12 years ago. (The interview has been slightly condensed.)

Read More

Topics: Student Voices, Memory, Identity, History, Community, David Isay, StoryCorps

I Was A Hidden Child During the Holocaust: Why I Share My Story

Posted by Flora Hogman on September 18, 2015

For many years, my past as a Jewish child hiding from the Nazis during the second world war was obliterated from my memory. Finally I realized that I needed to face a huge and painful void in my life. The opportunity came as a friend invited me to speak to a Facing History and Ourselves classroom.

Read More

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

WELCOME

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.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all