Fifty years ago this month, black sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike to fight for their right to safe working conditions and for pay that was equal to their white counterparts. This movement, which would last through April 1968, caught the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who came to Memphis to march alongside these men. He eventually delivered his final speech the night before his assassination at the Lorraine Motel. The attention this strike garnered resulted in raises and the recognition of a worker’s union. As we consider the legacy of pivotal figures during Black History Month, the sanitation workers strike of 1968 shows us the power of civic engagement. So, how can we use our own individual agency to foster collective action and bring about positive change in today’s world?
Topics: Civil Rights Movement
One hundred and fifty years ago, two massacres in 1866 – one in Memphis and one in New Orleans – galvanized national opposition to the Reconstruction policies that President Andrew Johnson enacted. These policies offered almost no protection to newly freed slaves in the aftermath of the Civil War.
How can confronting challenging historical moments like these become a step toward truth and reconciliation around issues of race that we face today? First, we need to understand the history behind them.
One of the reasons I went into teaching was for the opportunity to transform lives, but I didn’t anticipate how much my students would transform me. A Facing History and Ourselves classroom naturally lends itself to fostering a deep sense of community, collaboration, and constructed knowledge. And through this process, everyone ends up seeing the world a little differently, including the teacher.
Welcome to the fourth and final installment of our four-part blog series exploring the connections between music, history, and social change. In this fourth lesson, students will begin to contemplate the role of music as a social change agent.
Welcome to the second installment of our four-part blog series exploring the connections between music, history, and social change. In this second lesson, students will be introduced to Booker T & the MGs, who were the house band for many Stax Records artists, in addition to being an independent act.
This week we're kicking off a four-part blog series exploring the connections between music, history, and social change.