December 16, 2018

Timely Connections: Frederick Douglass & Scientific Racism

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Eric Herschthal, a fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, suggests that we remember Frederick Douglass "as someone whose insights about scientific theories of race are every bit as relevant in our era as they were when he wrote them." Take a look at the examples Herschthal provides about Douglass'  efforts to challenge scientific racism, including ethnology or, as it was sometimes referred to, "the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Haiti

Today in History–January 2–the Library of Congress features Haiti. On this date in 1893 Frederick Douglass, who once served as U.S. minister to this caribbean country, delivered an address at the dedication of the Haitian Pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition. Learn more Douglass' speech and the country by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary and secondary sources.Lecture on Haiti, Frederick Douglass, January 2, 1893Frederick … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Zoom into left half of this map (.pdf or online) to answer the following questions about the Women's Rights National Historical Park.Where is it and how would you get there from where you live? Why did the National Park Service choose this location? What would you do if you visited the park?Read the timeline half of the map (.pdf or online), then choose one section to research further. Search for the event or person on this website and elsewhere. Prepare a brief presentation on … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: African American History & Culture

Primary Source sets with teacher guidesBaseball: Across a Divided Society Harlem Renaissance Jim Crow in America The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for FreedomFeatured Source guided primary source analysis activitiesAfro-American Monument An airship with a “Jim Crow” trailer Condition of the descendants of former African slaves The constitutional amendment Jesse Owens President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address Tree of Liberty Woman … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Lynching

Please be sure to review all primary sources prior to introducing students to them. You may also wish to read Selecting Primary Sources That Deal with Difficult Issues.Lynching by Helen Douglass 1859 manuscript"Lynch Law in the South" by Frederick Douglass The North American Review Volume 155, Issue 428 July 1892Lynch Laws speech by Frederick DouglassThe facts in the case of the horrible murder of little Myrtle Vance c 1893Lessons of the Hour speech by Frederick Douglass, … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: Benjamin Harrison

Term: 23rd President of the United States (1889–1893) Born: August 20, 1833, North Bend, Ohio Nickname: “Kid Gloves Harrison,” “Little Ben” Education: Miami University (Ohio), graduated 1852 Religion: Presbyterian Marriage: October 20, 1853, to Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832–1892) April 6, 1896, to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick (1858–1948) Children: Russell Benjamin (1854–1936), Mary Scott (1858–1930), Elizabeth (1897–1955) Career: Lawyer Political Party: Republican Died: March 13, 1901, … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Using the Primary Source Analysis Tool

This is a guest post from Barbara Evans, a middle school language arts teacher at Holden Elementary in Chicago, Illinois. After working with TPS-Barat during the past year as part of the Chicago Public Schools Social Science Academy, I was excited to use primary sources in our literature studies. The primary source analysis tool is a great resource that I decided to tweak to meet the needs of my students. As you can see from the photo above, I changed the column headers from Observe, Reflect … [Read more...]

State Spotlight: Massachusetts

Massachusetts stories from America’s LibraryMassachusetts primary source setMassachusetts mapsPictorial Americana: Selected images of MassachusettsMore Massachusetts imagesFeatured Image: Massachusetts Did ItPhotographs of the sea floor of western Massachusetts Bay July 1999Massachusetts historic filmsMassachusetts oral historiesMassachusetts song recordingsWhaling song Young JohhnyMassachusetts sheet music & song sheetsMassachusetts books … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Close Reading in Service of a Cause

Activity overview Close reading is an opportunity to read and reread thoughtfully and with purpose. By breaking down the analysis of texts and other primary sources into distinct chunks, you can increase rigor and help students more easily climb the staircase of complexity required by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In this primary source activity students will look closely and critically at images in conjunction with historical and contemporary texts. They will compare and contrast … [Read more...]

Today in History: John Brown

Today in History–October 16–the Library of Congress features John Brown, who led a raid of Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) on this day in 1859, seizing the town's United States arsenal and rifle works and taking 60 prominent locals hostage. The group hoped to spark a rebellion of freed slaves and to lead an "army of emancipation." The group was unsuccessful and John Brown was hanged less than two months later. But his actions, according to Frederick Douglass, were not in vain, "No … [Read more...]