I’ve written about the teaching of slavery before and will again. It is a topic I feel is urgently important for us to grapple with in the classroom. A couple of years ago I wrote the blog post, “In the Classroom: Teaching About Slavery” in which I described my unit with my fourth graders on this challenging yet critical topic. Since then I’ve learned more and adjusted my teaching accordingly, especially after spending a week this past summer at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Here are links to a couple of posts about that experience:
- Talking Race at the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Learning and Sharing: The National Museum of African American History and Culture
Now I’m preparing to teach my unit on forced migration from Africa and using what I learned at the museum and more to set it up anew. In particular, I’m doing a large presentation on the Atlantic World, giving a greater sense of the African Kingdoms and agency prior to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. And then giving a greater context for it, reaching beyond the United States.
And so how amazing to find the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance new project, Teaching the Hard History of American Slavery working off a thorough study on what is done now as well as what we can do in the future. Here are some excellent links related to this:
- The report
- The Atlantic’s article, “What Kids Are Really Learning About Slavery.“
- A quiz on how much you know about American slavery
- A Framework for Teaching American Slavery with a wealth of material for teachers.
I highly recommend taking the time to read all of these, especially if you are teaching.