Described as a second independence day, June 19th or Juneteenth marks the day that emancipation reached slaves in the furthest reaches of the American South. Though the Emancipation Proclamation established that all slaves held within the rebellious states were freed, plantation life continued as though no change had occurred in many parts of the slaveholding South until this day.
Use this Teaching Idea to help students learn about the groundbreaking careers of Patsy Takemoto Mink and Shirley Chisholm and to consider the significance of Vice President Kamala Harris’s election.
If your students have questions about crime rates and crime data in relation to race and policing, you can share the following information with them.
This Teaching Idea invites students to synthesize their learning about the causes of racial injustice in policing and reflect on the implications these causes have on the individual and collective choices we make today.
In this Teaching Idea, students use their head, heart, and conscience to engage with six sources that reflect a range of experiences with policing.
This Teaching Idea provides a brief overview of the history of policing in the early United States and then examines how laws, and biased enforcement of those laws, were used to control the lives of Black Americans in the South following the Civil War.
This Teaching idea prepares students to engage in conversations about policing and racial injustice by inviting them to co-create class norms and reflect on the emotions and experiences they and their classmates bring.
Help students reflect on the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial while exploring the complicated concepts of justice, accountability, and healing.
It was on this day nine years ago that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. After spending the evening relaxing and playing video games with his brothers, Martin ventured out to a convenient store to purchase some snacks. He would not make it home after Zimmerman deemed him a suspicious presence and proceeded to shoot him dead, later claiming self-defense.
Black history is central to all of American history, and should be part of a robust teaching curriculum year-round. Alongside the lessons of Black history, it’s also critical to honor the resilience, creativity, and vitality of Black people in the face of inequity and violence, past and present. That’s why, this year, we’re celebrating Black History Month by honoring the themes of Black Agency & Black Joy.
In this Teaching Idea, students learn about the history of democratic and anti-democratic efforts in the United States and examine sources that illuminate this tension from Reconstruction through today.
This Teaching Idea guides students to use an iceberg diagram to synthesize the events of January 6, 2021, and outline the complex array of causes at work.
This month, in addition to being National Native American Heritage Month, marks 400 years since the Mayflower landed in Plymouth. Here in Massachusetts—a state named after the indigenous people of the “Great Blue Hill”—many of us are settlers on stolen land. I spoke with Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, Chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah based on Martha’s Vineyard, to hear her perspective on this moment, and what we can learn from reflecting on the anniversary.
At Facing History, we stand with educators who are working to disrupt rising white nationalism. Since the Unite the Right Rally of 2017 in Charlottesville, white nationalist groups have become increasingly visible on the national stage, deepening threats of racial and antisemitic violence across the country. Indeed, these threats are so severe that the Department of Homeland Security prepared draft reports (recently released to the press) indicating that “white supremacist extremists” currently pose the greatest terror threat to the nation.
This series of Teaching Ideas is designed to help students think critically about the long and troubling history between law enforcement and Black Americans, while not stereotyping or criminalizing all police officers.
“We are tired of the killings and injustice.” What can be clearer? What can be more reasonable? Those are the words of George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks when asked why he and his teammates decided to boycott their scheduled NBA Playoff Game on Wednesday. These are young men deciding to walk away from not just the game they love but also from their livelihood. Many of these young men are fulfilling a lifelong dream of playing professional basketball.
Explore the origin and legacy of the Take A Knee protest in the NFL, the significance of the more recent athlete boycotts, and the long history of athletes protesting racial injustice in the United States.
This Teaching Idea is a guide for teachers to begin conversations with their students about George Floyd’s death and the events that surround it.
Help students explore the underlying causes of racial inequity in coronavirus outcomes with the activities in this Teaching Idea.
Use this Teaching Idea to inform students about recent episodes of racism and antisemitism in schools across the US, probe their causes and impact, and consider positive ways that communities can respond to hate.
The news cycles of the last few years have captured countless instances of racist violence perpetrated by white people against black people—a continuation of a long history of antiblack violence in the United States. And amid this legacy of violence, a number of black figures have done the unimaginable: they have publicly expressed forgiveness to avowedly racist white people who murdered their relatives and community members.
Provide students with historical context for understanding the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea and help them explore the reasons why many Native Hawaiians oppose its construction.
With reparations in the news, this Teaching Idea helps students define the term, learn what forms reparations can take, and consider what reparations should be offered for slavery and other racist policies.
More than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, give students an overview of the problem of school segregation in the United States today and open a discussion about possible solutions.
Use these activities and resources on Japanese American incarceration during World War II to introduce students to this history while exploring questions about American identity, racism, and citizenship.
Use this teaching idea to help your students draw connections between the long history of black women’s activism against sexual violence and gender discrimination with the #MeToo movement today. The questions and activities focus on the experiences of Recy Taylor, Rosa Parks, and Essie Favrot.
Help students become informed and effective civic participants in today's digital landscape. This unit is designed to develop students' critical thinking, news literacy, civic engagement, and social-emotional skills and competencies.