Thousands of African Americans were driven from their communities by violent mobs in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  In fear for their lives, the victims left behind their land, homes and businesses, never to return. The documentary Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings by Marco Williams focuses on these events in three towns in the United States and places this history in the context of present-day race relations. Teaching "Banished," a web-exclusive study guide allows educators to share Williams’ work in the classroom. It examines the efforts of current residents, descendants, journalist and politicians to address this history, and explores issues of memory, justice, and reconciliation. The guide takes the experiences of those in the film and delves deeper by asking critical Facing History and Ourselves’ questions: How does a community reconcile past wrongs and move toward justice?  How can addressing the past restore the dignity of victims, perpetrators and bystanders?  What should happen as a result of this history in the featured towns and in our own communities?

Features include: 

  • The full transcript of the film, Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings
  • Easy organization that allows for flexibility for all educators
  • Pre-view and Post-view sections that help initiate and stimulate classroom discussion
  • Guiding questions
  • Images from the film
  • Project ideas for the classroom
  • Suggested resources for further study

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