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

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

Remembering Nanjing Reminds Us Why "Us" vs. "Them" is Dangerous

Posted by Jackson Tse on December 13, 2016

December 13, 1937 is a day etched in the collective Chinese consciousness. On that day, the Japanese imperial army marched into the city of Nanjing—then the capital of China—and unleashed a wave of violence for six long weeks. The soldiers attacked ordinary citizens and violated all acceptable international norms of war. This act of mass violence marked the beginning of World War II in Asia. It is difficult to mark the anniversary of this dark chapter today without reflecting on contemporary global events reminding us all of the fragility of peace and democracy.

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Topics: Memory, The Nanjing Atrocities, current events, We and They

Reflecting on Kristallnacht 78 Years Later

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on November 11, 2016

November 9 marked the 78th anniversary of a series of violent attacks against Jews spread across Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. Known as Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” it was the most open and violent attack on Jews by the Nazi regime up until that time. The aftermath was devastating: between 1,500 and 3,000 Jews were killed; 30,000 were sent to concentration camps; over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed; and synagogues across Germany were burned down.

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Topics: Memory, Holocaust, Holocaust and Human Behavior, reflection

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.

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

The Making of Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on September 20, 2016

 

Facing History is the lead educational partner for the film, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War. Learn more about how this documentary became a lifelong journey for filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky, III.

Make sure to catch the premiere tonight on PBS. The film will be available for streaming for two weeks following the premiere.

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Topics: Film, Memory, Holocaust, Judgement and Legacy

3 Ways Educational Travel Inspires Lifelong Learning

Posted by Ben Gross on August 12, 2016

 During the March Break of 2016, a group of 31 students from three Toronto District School Board schools travelled to Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland to learn about the history of Jewish life in Europe and the Holocaust. These students were currently taking, or had previously taken, the Grade 11 elective course, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. They participated in two pre-trip meetings to help prepare them for the reality of actually facing the difficult history that they had only read and heard about in class. After the trip, we gathered together again to share memorials to our experience learning about this history in the places that it actually happened.

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Topics: Memory, Holocaust Education, Travel, Judgement and Legacy

Students Memorialize a Past Tragedy to Create a More Hopeful Future

Posted by Marti Tippens Murphy on May 23, 2016

 

How is a little known lynching case from 1917 relevant today?

For students at Overton High School in Memphis, Tennessee, discovering the case of Ell Persons became a call to action. Angered by the brutality of his murder and the high number of lynchings that took place in their own backyard, they decided to channel their energy into something positive. They have been hard at work to create a memorial for Persons and to bring light to an often forgotten part of U.S. history so that others, too, will learn from the past.

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Topics: Memorials, Memory, Memphis, Community, Upstander

Celebrate International Women's Day with IWitness

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 8, 2016

On International Women’s Day, bring the unique voices of women who survived or stood up against some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century into your classroom. Facing History is partnering with USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education to help educators access more than 1,500 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides using the Institute’s online learning tool, IWitness.

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Topics: Memory, Survivor Testimony, Video, Holocaust Education, The Nanjing Atrocities, Rwanda, International Women's Day, IWitness

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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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