Black History and New Learning

There have been some outstanding events to mark Black History Month 2019, such as the African-American Read-In and Gwendolyn Briley-Strand’s portrayal of Harriet Tubman, each of which drew a capacity crowd to the Arts Center. Some of our schools also mounted innovative in-depth programs that deserve praise. We are leaving February behind, but let’s not end the fascinating study of Black History.

Regrettably, in many schools Black History Month is still celebrated in such a perfunctory way that students and their teachers never really open the door to let it in. Continue Reading

Let’s At Least Read Dr. King

Martin Luther King, Jr.I taught a freshman seminar called The Psychology of Violence and Nonviolence for many years. It touched on such topics as aggression, conflict, mediation, and movements of nonviolent social change such as the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. By the second week of each semester, I was invariably approached by students who were dismayed to discover how unfamiliar they were with this important material.

After learning about the Nashville sit-ins of 1960, which broke the icy rigidity of the Jim Crow era and began the process of desegregation in that city, a student named Rachel wrote in her reaction paper: “I cannot believe that I did not learn about this in high school. I feel like this is an injustice to me.”

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