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

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

Meet the History-Makers of Tomorrow

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 16, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves celebrates upstanders of all kinds: those who stand up to injustice, those who seek to make positive change in the world, and those who spread messages of tolerance, empathy, and knowledge. During Women’s History Month, we are cheering on young women who are doing just that.

Here are three inspiring stories of young women who we have no doubt will be history-makers of the future. How do we know? Read about how they are already upstanders in their communities. 

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Topics: Books, Students, Religious Tolerance, Memphis, Upstanders, Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants, Women's History Month

Coming to Terms with a Personal History

Posted by Marti Tippens Murphy on March 1, 2015

A book recently 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: Books, Reconstruction, Memory, Facing History Resources, Memphis, Identity, Teaching Resources, History

Unlocking Potential for Student Achievement

Posted by Julia Rappaport on November 10, 2014

Teachers have to create this emotional space where it’s safe, but challenging. Where people can be themselves. Where people can take chances and fail. Where people can tell stories about themselves and reveal things about themselves without risk of derision, without fear of being marginalized. Without safety there is nothing, there is no learning.”

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Topics: Classrooms, Choosing to Participate, Events, Safe Schools, Schools, Memphis, Identity, Facing History Together, Upstanders, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Video

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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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