All resources in Teaching African American Studies Summer Institute (July 2022)

The History of White Supremacy

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This webinar examines the relationship between white supremacy and the making of America in the long twentieth century. For many white Americans at the turn of the last century, “white supremacy” was a political program and a battle cry. A response to black freedom struggles, changing populations, and new economic orders, white supremacy set the boundaries of citizenship rights, national belonging, and economic possibility. How did this work?

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Adriane Lentz-Smith

James Baldwin's America and Ours Today

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Dr. Glaude looks at Baldwin’s world and sees our own moment reflected back. Like Baldwin, Glaude argues, we live in the after times—in Baldwin’s case of the Civil Rights movement, and in our times of the Obama presidency and the promise of Black Lives Matter. In both cases, America responded to a challenge to the existing racial order by reasserting what Glaude calls the lie: the broad and powerful architecture of false assumptions by which white lives are valued more than others.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Global Call of Power to the People

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How did the Black Panther Party influence the world? We will examine the monumental impact of the Black Panther Party (BPP) on non-African American groups both domestically and abroad as a model for grassroots community organizing to address disparities and disadvantages. Moreover, the lesson will demonstrate why and how groups emulated the BPP as a means for political and social change and will highlight the transnational importance of African American grassroots political activism. Global Call of Power to the People is a study of groups in Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Palestine, Italy, and India that did not have any direct contact with the BPP but chose to create movements in their countries modeled after the Panthers grassroots community organizing and racial coalition strategies.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Jakobi Williams

Decolonizing the Shakespeare Curriculum

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Recently there have been many discussions about decolonizing the curriculum. What does this mean for the teaching of Shakespeare? As Gauri Viswanathan explored in her groundbreaking book Masks of Conquest, Shakespeare’s place in the English literary curriculum was at its heart a colonial endeavor. Does this history mean that we should eschew teaching Shakespeare’s plays? Does this mean that a decolonized approach to the curriculum would disallow the inclusion of Shakespeare? No. As many LGBTQ scholars and activists have been teaching us lately: we have been brainwashed into binary thinking. We have been taught to view things in binary terms: either/or. This webinar will explore what decolonized thinking and teaching entails.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Ayanna Thompson

Expanding the Canon: Highlighting the Contributions of Black Women Authors in Southern Literature

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Conversations addressing Southern literature often centralize William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Walker Percy, and Eudora Welty, while overlooking and often excluding the contributions of Black women. This webinar will familiarize educators with various literary works written by contemporary Southern African American women authors and simultaneously provide a framework for analyzing such works within any educational setting. By the end of this webinar, educators will be able to teach and contextualize various literature written by Southern Black women in order to present a more inclusive and representative survey of American literature.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Sondra Bickham Washington

Searching for Wakanda: The Historical Roots of Black Panther

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What can comics teach us about African history, the Cold War, and African American activism? The 2018 blockbuster movie Black Panther brought Afro-Futurism to the big screen to tell the story of T'challa, the king of Wakanda, a mythical African nation that is the world’s most advanced civilization. The film was based on the Marvel hero Black Panther who first appeared in comics in 1966, months before the Black Panther Party named itself. By looking at the origins of Wakanda and the Black Panther, however, we see how comics creators drew on African history, atomic-era science, and Black activism in the U.S. to create an enduring hero with a backstory steeped in real world history.

Material Type: Lecture

Courageous Conversation About Race Protocol Worksheet

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Below is the courageous conversations about Race protocol. It was originally developed Singleton (M.Ed., Stanford) to support adults in having the conversations necessary to make progress on difficult subjects such as race, racism, ethnicity, and privilege. The main components include: Four agreements; Six Conditions; the mindset compass; and the operational definitions. By using these components, the facilitator supports participants in pushing to sustain difficult dialogue while upholding the agreements; leveraging the compass for check­ins; and adhering to the six conditions. The end result is a robust, experience-­driven dialogue that deepens the group’s collective understanding while broadening each individual’s perspective. Normal sequence is as follows:

Material Type: Primary Source

Authors: Glenn E. Singleton, Institute for Educational Leadership

Thanksgiving: A National Day of Mourning for Indians, 1998

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"Every year since 1970, United American Indians of New England have organized the National Day of Mourning observance in Plymouth at noon on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, hundreds of Native people and our supporters from all four directions join us. Every year, including this year, Native people from throughout the Americas will speak the truth about our history and about current issues and struggles we are involved in."

Material Type: Primary Source

Authors: Mahtowin Munro, Moonanum James, United American Indians of New England

Life is So Good (Full Book)

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"What makes a happy person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father--a belief that "life is so good"--as he offers valuable lessons in living and a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Born in 1898 in Marshall, Texas, the grandson of slaves, George Dawson tells how his father, despite hardships, always believed in seeing the richness in life and trained his children to do the same. As a boy, George had to go to work to help support the family, and so he did not attend school or learn to read; yet he describes how he learned to read the world and survive in it. "We make our own way," he says. "Trouble is out there, but a person can leave it alone and just do the right thing. Then, if trouble still finds you, you've done the best you can." At ninety-eight, George decided to learn to read and enrolled in a literacy program, becoming a celebrated student. "Every morning I get up and I wonder what I might learn that day. You just never know." In Life is so good, he shares wisdom on everything from parenting ("With children, you got to raise them. Some parents these days are growing children, not raising them") to attitude ("People worry too much. Life is good, just the way it is"). Richard Glaubman captures George Dawson's irresistible voice and view of the world, offering insights into humanity, history, and America--eyewitness impressions of segregation, changes in human relations, the wars and the presidents, inventions such as the car and the airplane, and much, much more. And throughout his story, George Dawson inspires the reader with the message that sustained him happily for more than a century: "Life is so good. I do believe it's getting better.'"

Material Type: Primary Source

Authors: George Dawson, Richard Glaubman

What Can Richard Pryor and Archie Bunker Teach Us about Teaching Offensive Language? (webinar resources)

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Richard Pryor may have been the most unlikely star in Hollywood history. Raised in his family’s brothels, in Peoria, Illinois, he could alchemize his stand-up by delving fully, even painfully, into the “off-color” life he'd known. Starring bigoted Archie Bunker, “All in the Family” won numerous Emmys and Golden Globe awards until it ended in 1979. Humor is tricky. It often offends, sometimes deliberately. But humor also has the capability to keep open dialogue about racial and other sensitive issues and to promote self-awareness. Scott Saul will discuss ways in which language and expression can shift in the cultural and political context of eras, geographies, and current events. Using Richard Pryor’s comedy and All in the Family as case studies, we will explore how comedy, by articulating the unsayable, challenges us to confront the taboos in our culture.

Material Type: Reading

Author: NHC Education

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

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This interactive, designed and built by Slate’s Andrew Kahn, gives you a sense of the scale of the trans-Atlantic slave trade across time, as well as the flow of transport and eventual destinations. The dots—which represent individual slave ships—also correspond to the size of each voyage. The larger the dot, the more enslaved people on board. And if you pause the map and click on a dot, you’ll learn about the ship’s flag—was it British? Portuguese? French?—its origin point, its destination, and its history in the slave trade. The interactive animates more than 20,000 voyages cataloged in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. (We excluded voyages for which there is incomplete or vague information in the database.) The graph at the bottom accumulates statistics based on the raw data used in the interactive and, again, only represents a portion of the actual slave trade—about one-half of the number of enslaved Africans who actually were transported away from the continent.

Material Type: Interactive

Authors: Andrew Kahn, Slate

Southern Poverty Law Center: Hate Map

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Each year since 1990, the SPLC has published an annual census of hate groups operating within the United States. The number is a barometer, albeit only one, of the level of hate activity in the country. The hate map, which depicts the groups' approximate locations, is the result of a year of monitoring by analysts and researchers and is typically published every January or February. It represents activity by hate groups during the previous year.

Material Type: Primary Source

Author: Southern Poverty Law Center

The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination in Youth Literature, Media, and Culture

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Humans read and listen to stories not only to be informed but also as a way to enter worlds that are not like our own. A sense of the infinite possibilities inherent in fairy tales, fantasy, science fiction, comics, and graphic novels draws children, teens, and adults from all backgrounds to speculative fiction–also known as the fantastic. However, when people of color seek passageways into the fantastic, we often discover that the doors are barred. Even the very act of dreaming of worlds-that-never-were can be challenging when the known world does not provide many liberatory spaces. Yet the success of new narratives from Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic universe, the recent Hugo Awards won by NK Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor, and the blossoming of Afrofuturistic and Black fantastic tales prove that all people need new mythologies–new “stories about stories.” In addition to amplifying diverse fantasy, liberating the rest of the fantastic from its fear and loathing of darkness and Dark Others is essential. This webinar will move from ideological concepts to concrete action by showcasing the ways that youth and young adults respond to textual erasure and misrepresentation by using social media to create new worlds—effectively “restorying”–and how creatives are in turn starting to think about the implications of race and difference in participatory culture.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Why Mass Incarceration Matters to American History and to Teachers in American Schools

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As the 20th century came to a close and the 21st began something occurred in the United States that was both internationally unparalleled and historically unprecedented. Between 1970 and 2017 more people were incarcerated in this country than were imprisoned anywhere else in the world, and at no other point in this nation’s recorded past had the economic, social, and political institutions of a country become so bound up with the practice of punishment. This webinar will offer an overview of the origins of mass incarceration, as well as its implications for our nation’s cities and communities, our economy, and our very democracy. Via this webinar we will locate not only why we chose this policy path and what the fall out from that decision has been, but we will also consider where are we might be headed today with regard to matters of policing and prisons.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Heather Thompson

Telling My Stories: The Pioneering Fiction of Octavia E. Butler

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Octavia E. Butler was the first female African-American writer to make science fiction her career. A shy, only child from Pasadena, California, she dreamed of ordinary people in extraordinary worlds, and extraordinary people in ordinary worlds, and put them on the page. Her stories brought the voice of woman of color to a genre traditionally dominated by white men. That powerful voice tackled issues, not just about race, but themes that continue to resonate with a wide audience: power, identity, gender, class, the environment, and what it means to be human.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Natalie Russell

Confederate Monuments and Contested Civic Space in the United States, 1865 to the Twenty-First Century

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Confederate monuments are the most common form of monumental public art in the former states of the Confederacy and Kentucky. These monuments are one of the most conspicuous and contested markers of regional identity. Exploring how the monuments were funded, created and dedicated reveals important insights into how power, privilege, and identity inform the history that graces the built spaces and landscapes in which we live. Although the webinar will focus on Confederate monuments, the historical questions provoked by these monuments are equally relevant to the study of the commemoration of other historical events, from the “conquest” of the American West to the Vietnam War. This webinar will use easily accessible materials, from the immediate postwar era to the present day, on Confederate monuments to discuss the commemoration of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the recent controversies regarding the monuments. When were the monuments erected and what were the stated intentions of the people who erected them? How were the designs for the monuments selected and who participated in the design process? What does the evolution of the design of the monuments tell us about the meanings assigned to the Civil War and the Confederacy?

Material Type: Lecture

Author: W. Fitzhugh Brundage