10 New YA Books on LGBTQIA+ Life

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 24, 2022

Here at Facing History, we see awareness months as opportunities to deepen our knowledge of and attention to the histories and contemporary experiences of historically marginalized communities. However, the focus on celebrating these communities over one particular month can further marginalize the very experiences we are hoping to elevate. With this in mind, what follows is an invitation to engage with important themes raised by Pride Month this June and throughout all of the months of the year.

This month, we are sharing ten young adult (YA) titles that have been released in the last year that bring important themes in LGBTQIA+ life and history to the fore for young readers. Below is promotional text excerpted from material offered by each book’s publisher along with the reading level of each text:

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Topics: LGBTQ, Reading List

Why Teach Reconstruction in 2022

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on June 17, 2022

“American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than
anything anyone has ever said about it.” —James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers” (1963)

Over the last year, we have seen an explosion of debate within the public sphere about how to teach young people about the past. From antebellum slavery to contemporary manifestations of racism and other forms of injustice, communities remain divided on the question of whether and how to introduce these dimensions of history and contemporary life into the classroom. One way to deliver meaningful instruction in the midst of these debates is to teach about the Reconstruction Era—the period that immediately followed the Civil War in which formerly enslaved people pursued meaningful freedom and equal citizenship. This period was transformative, in part, because these newly-freed people and their allies across the U.S. South helped to make profound changes to democratic institutions. During this period, African Americans achieved significant, hard-won gains that students are seldom taught about, only to be undercut by a countervailing host of regressive measures implemented by those invested in maintaining the racial and economic status quo. This period of unprecedented possibility and hope would become a time of immense injustice and violence, and the roles that actors large and small played in those events are instructive for our times.

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Topics: Reconstruction, American History, Black History

5 Reads for Teachers on LGBTQIA+ History

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on June 10, 2022

Today's educators face an important opportunity to ensure that LGBTQIA+ histories get their due in the classroom all year long. But before any educator can meaningfully embark upon that task, they must commit to their own ongoing learning about LGBTQIA+ histories. History as we understand it is in a constant state of expansion and retelling and, as a result, all history teachers gain from maintaining the mindset of the student even as they teach.

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Topics: LGBTQ

10 New Books on LGBTQIA+ History and Contemporary Life

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 7, 2022

Here at Facing History, we see awareness months as opportunities to deepen our knowledge of and attention to the histories and contemporary experiences of historically marginalized communities. However, the focus on celebrating these communities over one particular month can further marginalize the very experiences we are hoping to elevate. With this in mind, what follows is an invitation to engage with important themes raised by Pride Month this June and throughout all of the months of the year.

 

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Topics: LGBTQ

10 Resources for Teaching LGBTQIA+ History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 3, 2022

Pride Month each June offers educators a reminder to center the histories and experiences of LGBTQIA+ people throughout the year. But knowing which resources may offer compelling points of entry for students is a more challenging matter. Consider this rich array of online exhibitions and primary resources from archives and historical societies to open and/or revitalize reflection in your classroom about the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people across space and time.

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Topics: LGBTQ

LGBTQIA+ Resources from Facing History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 2, 2022

It is Pride Month again this June and a great time for educators to ensure that LGBTQIA+ histories and experiences are centered throughout the year. Below are a number of Facing History resources that can help educators explore these themes with confidence and curiosity. These resources include on-demand webinars, exclusive expert interviews, classroom lessons, and reading lists for both adults and young people.

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Topics: LGBTQ

How AAPI Thinkers are Redefining Asianness

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on May 31, 2022

Culturally responsive teaching is a concept that is playing an increasingly important role in the training of K-12 educators and refers to an orientation that equips educators to work skillfully with students, parents, and colleagues from differing cultural backgrounds. Though culturally responsive teaching encompasses a host of components, one is the notion that it is critically important for educators to cultivate curious, expansive ways of thinking about others. It is also immensely important to invite others to define themselves for themselves. Doing this helps to curtail the ascendancy of harmful “single stories” that flatten complexity and render people’s true experiences invisible. Though the danger of a single story can be seen across American society, one community that has certainly been affected by this phenomenon is the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. In two new works of media, AAPI thought leaders shed light on some of the “single stories” that have shaped their experiences and model what it can look like to push back against restrictive narratives.

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Topics: Asian American and Pacific Islander History

Teaching About Anti-Asian Violence: Start with Yourself and Your Community

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on May 27, 2022

Violence and harassment targeting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people has become increasingly visible across the United States, Canada, and the UK over the last few years. After a painful series of attacks and violence across the country, we learned this month of a church shooting targeting a community of Taiwanese Americans that is now being investigated as a hate crime. But the recent attacksare only the latest episodes in a long and complex history of oppression, marginalization, and violence targeting AAPI people. Most school curriculum fails to adequately address AAPI histories and identities, which contributes to a widespread lack of acknowledgment or understanding of the root causes of anti-AAPI hate today and can make it challenging for teachers to address anti-AAPI hate.

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Topics: Asian American and Pacific Islander History

Identity, Literature, and Possibility: A Conversation with Nicole Chung

Posted by Franklin Stebbins on May 23, 2022

In an interview earlier this year, I sat down with Nicole Chung—author of All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir (2018). There, Chung details her experience growing up as a transracial adoptee of Korean descent within a white family in small-town Oregon. Her journey of navigating anti-Asian racism without the understanding of her white family, building resilience, searching for her Korean birth family, and coming into her own as a writer and mother are among the threads that tie this riveting story together. Her memoir addresses issues of identity and speaking across difference that are central to the educational approach of Facing History, and educators will find much to reflect upon within its pages.

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Topics: Identity, Asian American and Pacific Islander History, Farewell to Manzanar

Helen Zia on the Asian American Movement

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on May 20, 2022

Violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) peoples has persisted for centuries in the United States, but it was not until a constellation of events in the 1980s that the Asian American movement as we now know it emerged onto the public stage. A leading voice in this movement for many decades has been Helen Zia—a Chinese American author and activist working at the intersections of struggles for racial and LGBTQ justice, among other issues. Zia is the author of many works including Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People (2001) and Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao's Revolution (2020). Zia initially came to prominence in 1982 when she became the public spokesperson and a primary organizer of the campaign that sought justice for Vincent Chin—a Chinese American man who was brutally murdered in a hate crime in Detroit, Michigan. These events and others that followed would galvanize a pan-cultural Asian American movement, providing an essential foundation for AAPI-led resistance to the racism and violence that continues to besiege the community into the present.

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Topics: Asian American and Pacific Islander History

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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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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