We the Teachers

Session 29: Brown v. Board of Education; Martin Luther King, Jr., Non-Violent Resistance, and the American Dream

Dr. Lucas Morel:  

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Focus

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court briefly traces the history of public schools in America. How does this help the Court argue against racially segregated schools? What role do legal precedents play in the Court’s argument against “separate but equal” schools? What is meant by “intangible considerations” and how does this help the Court establish that the mere act of separating school children by race produces an unequal education? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Court’s opinion in Brown? If segregated schools did not produce “a feeling of inferiority” on the part of black children, would these schools be unconstitutional according to Brown?
Why does King reject force as a response to oppression? What is the major concern of the white clergymen who counsel King to stay away from Birmingham? What are the four stages of civil disobedience? How does King’s nonviolent resistance against a particular law actually support obedience to the government and laws? Why does King blame white moderates more than fringe elements like the Ku Klux Klan for lack of progress in securing civil rights for black Americans?
Readings

Brown v. Board of Education

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Supplemental/Optional Readings
  • W.E.B. Du Bois: Writings–The Crisis, “Marcus Garvey” (Dec. 1920/Jan. 1921), 969-979
  • Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, “Brown’s Backlash,” 385-440
  • Fairclough, Better Day Coming, chaps. 6-8

Apply Now - Summer Weekend Colloquia at Historic Sites for Teachers

TeachingAmericanHistory.org is proud to offer elite programs to social studies and civic teacher from across the country. TAH.org’s Weekend Colloquia at Historic Sites allows teachers to explore in-depth the people and ideas you are asked to teach, at the historic sites that help illuminate the subject. We want to help you increase your expertise and develop the content knowledge needed to educate your students.

Our programs are designed to reignite your passion for American history and government. Take the content knowledge gained at these programs back to your classroom to inspire your students. Not only will you experience historic sites, like Independence Hall or Monticello, but you will also engage in thoughtful conversation by exploring primary documents with your fellow teachers and a historian/political scientist.

TAH.org Weekend Colloquia at Historic Sites

Teachers from CA to NY in Green Valley, AZ at the Titan Missile Museum

This summer our colloquia topics will include:

  • Henry Clay and the Crises of Antebellum America (Lexington, KY)
  • Security, Self-Determination, and Empire: The Grand Alliance in WWII (New Orleans, LA)
  • Thomas Jefferson, Revered and Reviled (Charlottesville, VA)
  • The Jefferson Enigma: Founder and Statesman (Charlottesville, VA)
  • The Winning of the West and What is Meant: Western Expansion in the 19th Century(Omaha, NE)
  • A Dream Deeply Rooted: Civil Rights in America (Atlanta, GA)
  • John Adams: Founding Vice President and President (Quincy, MA)
  • John F. Kennedy and the New Frontier (Quincy, MA)
  • James Madison: The Father of the Constitution (Montpelier, VA)

For more information regarding these programs, please click here.​

TAH.org also provides program participants with:

  • Reading materials, to be read prior to the program
  • Up to 8 contact hours, with the option to earn 1 graduate credit
  • Hotel accommodations for the weekend (Friday evening through Sunday morning)
  • Complimentary continental breakfast, lunch, dinner, and refreshments during the program
  • A stipend of $225 to help defray the cost of travel to/from the program site

Are you ready to explore history in the places it was made?

Apply Now

The application deadline is Sunday, February 14, 2016.


We look forward to meeting you at one of our programs. Please direct any questions to our Teacher Programs Team at Info@TAH.org or (419) 289-5411 

 

Session 28: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP

Juan Williams:  

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Focus

What role did Thurgood Marshall play in the Civil Rights Movement? What was his view of the American founding? What was his opinion of contemporary activists for civil rights, like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X?
Readings

Demon Times: Temperance, Immigration, and Progressivism in an American City

Here’s a new opportunity for teachers from our friends at the Ohio History Connection.

Come learn about America’s Demon Times! This one-week workshop, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will consider temperance, immigration, and the Progressive movement in American history and culture. Teachers will experience landmarks of the temperance movement and the immigrant experience in late 19th and early 20th century America by exploring Columbus and nearby Westerville, Ohio. Westerville was the home of the Anti-Saloon League, a major temperance organization that explicitly warned against the influence of alcohol, Catholics, and immigrants. Columbus was home to a large German immigrant population, with an attendant brewing industry. This small town and nearby city are emblematic of America in the Progressive Era. Participants will receive a $1,200 stipend to help cover the cost of travel and lodging.

Workshop dates: July 10-15 or July 24-29, 2016. Application deadline: March 1, 2016. Learn more at ohiohistory.org/demontimes.

Session 27: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Democratic Leadership

Prof. Kesler:  

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Focus

The political and constitutional legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt is impressive. What was his extraordinary achievement? In what ways did he improve upon Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s, and the Progressives’ understanding of democratic life and political structures? How did his New Deal envision a powerful, active, and programmatically ambitious national government? How was this related to the possibility of self-government? What is his legacy?

Session 26: The Progressive Reform and Self-Government

Prof. Kesler:  

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Focus

The Progressives fought for reform at the turn of the century. What principled form did their criticism take of the Declaration, the Constitution, and political decentralization take? They revered Lincoln, yet did not emulate his devotion to the Declaration of Independence, but invoked the preamble to the Constitution to make democracy more active. Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s views became living arguments again, but with interesting shifts. Self-government was in need of some assistance. What effect did their reforms—for example, direct primaries, initiative, referendum—have on federalism, separation of powers, and political parties? What legacy did the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson in particular, leave the nation?

Session 25: Booker T. Washington; W.E.B. Du Bois

Dr. Lucas Morel:  

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Focus

What did Washington believe were the most urgent priorities for blacks at the close of the 19th century? On what issues was Washington prepared to compromise and why? What were the goals of Washington’s program and how did these differ from the recommendations of W.E.B. Du Bois? Why does Du Bois seek to “conserve” the races? How would “the conservation of the races” help the future of the Negro race as well as the future of world civilization? What principles of the American regime appear to run counter to Du Bois’s emphasis on “race organizations” and “race solidarity”? What does Du Bois mean by the “talented tenth”? Compare Washington and Du Bois on the purpose of education.
Readings:
Du Bois:
Supplemental/Optional Readings:
    Booker T. Washington:

  • Washington, Up From Slavery (1901), chap. 3, “The Struggle for an Education”
  • Washington, “Address on Abraham Lincoln,” (February 12, 1909)
  • Louis Harlan, “Booker T. Washington in Biographical Perspective” (October 1970), 1581-1599
  • Fairclough, Better Day Coming, chap. 3
W.E.B. Du Bois:

American Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt

 

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TAH.org kicked off 2016 with the sixth episode in this year’s American Presidents webinar series. Today’s 75-minute program, moderated as always by the Dr. Chris Burkett of Ashland University, included discussion of TR’s economic, domestic, and foreign policy moves and ideas, his place in American presidential politics, and his impact on electoral politics even today.

In addition to answering the many excellent questions posed by teachers, the scholars recommended the History of American Political Thought as a good resource for learning more about TR’s ideas and ideology.

You can also access the documents and a YouTube archive of the program here, on TAH.org.

Session 24: The Modern Era Confronts the American Founding

Profs. Morel and Kesler:  

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Focus

What did the American founding and Civil War look like to politicians and public intellectuals at the start of the 20th century?
Readings:

Program Report: “Civil Disobedience” Seminar in Asheville, NC

Last Saturday teachers from four states gathered in Asheville, North Carolina for one of the final TAH.org seminars of 2015. They discussed “Civil Disobedience” with Dr. David Alvis, an interesting topic that explored America’s founding and it’s roots in civil disobedience. What does civil disobedience mean? How far can a person or group act upon their convictions before it deemed not civil?

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This seminar’s three sessions began with John Locke’s Two Treatises and the Declaration of Independence. Was the American Revolution “revolutionary” or merely a “war for independence” when compared to the French or Russian Revolutions. The second session considered Henry David Thoreau’s idea of conscientious disobedience, that a person is morally obligated to act upon any repugnant injustice or law, regardless of the outcome. However, with that idea come events like John Brown acting on his own moral authority who murders in the name of justice. Juxtapose Thoreau’s writings with Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum address and he warns of the dangers with “mobocracy” and the need for rule of law at all times. Our third session compared Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail writings to Malcolm X “The Ballot of the Bullet”.  All in all, it was a very thought provoking day.

We hope to meet you at one of our programs in 2016.

 

Presidential Academy: MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Modern America

TeachingAmericanHistory.org is proud to offer the third and final part of our Presidential Academy documents-based survey course of American history and American political thought through iTunesU, iTunes, and this blog.

This segment of the course, consisting of 7 sessions, focuses on the Modern America, with the ideas expressed in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the foundation of study. The first session in this part of the course will be posted on Tuesday, 5 January 2016.

Presidential Academy was a grant-funded program that TAH.org presented to groups of teachers who met and studied in three cities over two weeks, with discussions rooted in three separate documents. The first days were in Philadelphia, beginning with the American Founding, through the Declaration of Independence. Additional documents and ideas were addressed and analyzed throughout the several sessions there before the group moved on to Gettysburg and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Finally, the group moved to Washington, D.C., and study of modern America, with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as the focal point.

Each session is made up of a set of readings, all linked from its blog post, and usually one lecture. Guiding questions and focus issues are at the foundation of each week’s study. A list of the session titles for Part 3 of the course is below, along with the dates on which each will be published on this blog, and the audio made available through iTunes. You can subscribe to our iTunes Podcast feed by clicking here. The entire course, divided into the three major sections – Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Washington – is already available on iTunesU.

Session 24:  The Modern Era Confronts the American Founding, 5 JAN 16
Session 25: Booker T. Washington; W.E.B. Du Bois, 12 JAN
Session 26: The Progressive Reform and Self-Government, 19 JAN
Session 27: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Democratic Leadership, 26 JAN
Session 28: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP, 2 FEB
Session 29: Brown v. Board of Education; Martin Luther King, Jr., Non-Violent Resistance, and the American Dream, 9 FEB
Session 30 pt1: Martin Luther King, Jr; Malcolm X, 16 FEB
Session 30 pt2: The Reagan Era and the New Deal Legacy; George W. Bush’s Founding Faith, 23 FEB

We invite you to deepen your knowledge of American history through this series, and use these materials in any way that will benefit you and your students, and we hope that you have enjoyed this course series.

Session 23: Frederick Douglass – Reconstruction and the Future of Black Americans

Dr. Lucas Morel:  

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Focus

How did Douglass answer the question, “What Country Have I?” What was his critique of the emigrationist position? What was the basis for his greater optimism about race relations in America? Just as Douglass was the leading figure in the fight to secure the natural right to liberty for blacks in America, he was the leading figure in the post-war struggle to secure civil rights for African-Americans. Why does Douglass favor justice (“fair play”) over charity (“benevolence”) for black Americans? Why does Douglass counsel black Americans against “race pride”? Why does Douglass consider “the Negro problem” a misnomer for “the nation’s problem” and how does this affect the kind of solutions proposed to help black Americans? What was his critique of the emigrationist position? Does he believe in black reparations? If color prejudice is the bane of black Americans, what principles and policies does Douglass propose to eliminate it from American society?

Program Report: “American Founding” Seminar in Charleston, SC

TAH.org was delighted to hold our first South Carolina seminars in the historic town of Charleston at the Charleston History Museum this past weekend. Surrounded by historical artifacts and a replica of the Hunley submarine, Dr. David Alvis and Dr. Eric Sands chaired two separate seminars on the American Founding.

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Participants opened the session entitle “A New World of the Ages” with Lincoln’s “Fragment on the Constitution”, that asks readers to ponder the Declaration of Independence as the Apple of Gold encased by the Frame of Silver, that being the Constitution. Conversation centered on causes for Independence, British Taxation and the second paragraph of the Declaration. Session Two focused on the “Frame of Silver – Republicanism and Separation of Powers”. To what degree did the Articles of Confederation fail and what improvements in the “science of politics” did Publius think necessary to make this new form of republicanism? Readings and consideration focused on Federalist Papers #10 and #51. The final session centered on the Judiciary and Protection of Rights, which we – as a Nation – deem essential. Participants discussed Federalist #78, Brutus – The Anti-Federalist, and Marbury vs. Madison.

We look forward to adding more programs in South Carolina and hope to see many new attendees.

Session 22: “A New Birth of Freedom” and Lincoln’s Re-Election

Dr. Lucas Morel:  

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Focus

Why does Lincoln call “all men are created equal” a “proposition” instead of a “self-evident truth”? How does he see the Civil War as a test? What does he define “dedication” and why does Lincoln depreciate what was said at the Gettysburg dedication? What is “the great task” that remains for the American people? What is the “new birth of freedom” he calls the nation to experience?
What are Lincoln’s objectives as the newly re-elected president? Why emphasize that both sides tried to avoid war? Why is there no explicit mention of the South as the cause of rebellion in the Second Inaugural Address? According to Lincoln, who or what was the cause of the Civil War? Why does he appeal to God’s judgment to discern the meaning of the Civil War? How does the Second Inaugural Address forge a connection between America’s past and America’s future? In other words, why does Lincoln use his Second Inaugural Address to explain the meaning of the preceding four years?
Readings:

American Presidents Webinar: Richard Nixon

 

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On Tuesday, 1 December 2015, TeachingAmericanHistory.org presented a bonus webinar in its American Presidents series. Put on in conjunction with NCSS, this one-hour episode was a bonus program for NCSS members who had attended other TAH.org webinars this year. Dr. Chris Burkett, of Ashland University, moderated the lively discussion between Drs. Eric Pullin and John Moser, who emphasized Nixon’s foreign policy decisions and policies throughout most of the program. The documents used for the program can be downloaded here.

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