July 1, 2020

Timely Connections: Frederick Douglass & the Emancipation Memorial

Amid calls for removal of the Emancipation Memorial, also called the Freedmen’s Monument, in Washington D.C. and a replica of it in Boston, Washington Post reporter DaNeen L. Brown considers the statue and takes a look back at a speech made by Frederick Douglass at the D.C. unveiling ceremony on April 14, 1876. In the speech, Douglass recognizes the dichotomy of Lincoln's views on slavery while ultimately celebrating the proclamation. If Harriet Hosmer's design for the memorial—four … [Read more...]

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, 1893 Frederick … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Women’s Rights – Seneca Falls & Beyond

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? Why is it important to commemorate the struggle for equal rights? Read the timeline half of the map (.pdf or online), then choose one section to research further. Search for the event or … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: African American History & Culture

Primary Source sets with teacher guides Baseball: Across a Divided Society Harlem Renaissance Jim Crow in America The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom Featured Source guided primary source analysis activities Afro-American Monument An airship with a “Jim Crow” trailer The Brownies’ Book Condition of the descendants of former African slaves The constitutional amendment Jesse Owens President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address Tree of … [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 1892 Lynch Laws speech by Frederick Douglass The facts in the case of the horrible murder of little Myrtle Vance c 1893 Lessons of the Hour speech by Frederick Douglass, … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Slavery (U.S.)

Library slavery collections Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves An Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives Caroline Hammond (a fugitive) "I was born in Anne Arundel County near Davidsonville about 3 miles from South River in the year 1844...." The story of Charles Crawley, ex-slave "God knows, how old I am. All I know is, I wuz born … [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 Library Massachusetts primary source set Massachusetts maps Pictorial Americana: Selected images of Massachusetts More Massachusetts images Photographs of the sea floor of western Massachusetts Bay July 1999 Massachusetts historic films Massachusetts oral histories Massachusetts song recordings Whaling song Young Johhny Massachusetts sheet music & song sheets Massachusetts books & articles Massachusetts … [Read more...]