Black History Month - teach something new

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Guitart, Feb 2, 2018.

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  1. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    Feb 2, 2018

    My oldest foster son is biracial. He came home from hs one day needing to do a report on a person for bhm. He was looking up MLK on his iPad. I told him why not learn about some other famous African Americans rather than handing the teacher her 1000th copy of another MLK paper. Teach her something.

    I introduced my son to Jimi Hendrix, Joe Louis, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

    He has surprised to find out that Hendrix the guitar rock icon served as a paratrooper in the Army airborne. He was also surprised that Louis had a special, close friendship with Max Schmelling, his German heavyweight rival during Hitler's rule. He learned that Basquiat is credited for legitimizing urban street art and was close friends with Andy Warhol.

    We enjoyed a Joe Louis and Max Schmelling movie together while he wrote his report on Louis. I was proud that he accepted my advice to dig deeper and think outside of the box.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    What a great idea!
     
  4. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Yeah! Give them a list of familiar names they can't look up. :D Love the idea of discovering someone new!
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Love it!

    MLK was a good guy, of course, but this gets one exploring others.
     
  6. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    I would have suggested Morgan Freeman, who thinks that black history month is a crock. He might have black skin, but he believes that skin color does not define who he is, which is why he has managed to take on roles that were originally written for white men (Red in the Shawshank Redemption) and even God (Bruce Almighty).

    If you need a special month to celebrate the color of your skin, you have more issues than a magazine.
     
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  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2018

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Feb 3, 2018

    Actually, @Belch gave me an idea.
    -Have the students research why Black History Month is necessary and significant.
    -Make a Poster about the significance behind Black History Month.
    -Research Prompt: What is the significance behind Black History Month? Why it is necessary?
    -In addition, students should be given some instruction on the history and evolution of the race.
    Additional Option
    -Explore Music and Art from the Harlem Renaissance Period.
    -Learn about African Americans musicians and make a poster about them. Students could also play instruments those musicians played.
    Connection to ELA
    -Have students research Maya Angelou and read poems written by Maya Angelou.
     
  9. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Feb 4, 2018

    Good idea, teacher234. Add in Langston Hughes and Phillis Wheatley. Poor Phillis always gets passed over, even though she's significant as one of the first American writers period, completely aside from her race or gender.
     
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  10. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 4, 2018

    I like your research prompt, although I would personally leave the inherent bias of "necessary" out, and replace it with arguments both pro and con, along with a conclusion/opinion based upon those arguments. However, that's my own teaching style which is based more on the socratic than the didactic method.

    If I were your student, I would love this assignment. There are pluses to the idea of honoring particular groups who have positively contributed to the human condition.

    and because I'm a contrarian, I would make a poster based upon the time Harriet Beecher Stowe met Abraham Lincoln where Abe said to her "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war."

    Can't leave the abolitionists out of such a momentous time in the history of your country, as they are a vital part of the group that helped end government sanctioned formal slavery in the western world.

    Maybe even a blurb about the 110,000 union lives lost attempting to achieve that lofty goal?

    and then ending with your government sanctioned "Black History Month" which I think is a racist pile of manure that nobody needs to teach to anybody. Stop thinking along racial lines, and the sooner you get from black history month to a general appreciation for the advances that people have made, regardless of skin color, the sooner you achieve the goal of MLK's dream of "we cannot walk alone", and "all men are created equal" and "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

    or you can have black history month...
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  11. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 4, 2018

    Is this your idea of a rebuttal?
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Feb 4, 2018

    I agree.
     
  13. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    The irony is that MLK said he wished that all people would be judged on the content of their character and not their skin color. That seems to be the only that racebaiters talk about - Black people and their blackness. It’s always “people of color this” and “people of color that.” Good grief.
     
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  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You are right to call me out on it, and I apologize.
     
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  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 4, 2018

    Morgan Freeman? Let's quote him accurately and in context (see http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/19/sbt.01.html):

    As Freeman says, "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" And a short month, at that. To infer from this interview that Freeman believes that black history itself should continue to be swept under a white rug is the height of absurdity - and hubris.
     
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Feb 4, 2018

    The other poster did not say that Black history should be “swept under a white rug;” rather, he said that it shouldn’t be delegated to any one month. And White history is not every other month either. Celebrating one person or two persons a month who happen to be White is not White history, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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