In January, we published a new lesson, “Reconstructing the South: A Role Play” by Bill Bigelow about a key turning point in U.S. history. We want to hear about your use of the lesson. In appreciation for your time, we will send you a free copy of A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner, thanks to a donation from HarperCollins.Read more »
By James W. Loewen
The United States is entering the sesquicentennial of Reconstruction, that period after the Civil War when African Americans briefly enjoyed full civil and political rights. African Americans—200,000 of them—had fought in that war, which made it hard to deny them equal rights. Unlike with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, however, few historic places tell us what happened during Reconstruction.
On last Sunday’s CBS show “Face the Nation,” senior Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller defended Trump’s travel ban and said, “The powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” We need to remind students that this country has been at its best when people have organized to question and challenge presidents.Read more »
With each passing day, it’s becoming more apparent that Trump’s agenda can only be enacted if people are ignorant of the issues underlying his supposed solutions. Having trouble finding and keeping work? Build that wall. Fearful of terrorist attacks? Ban Muslims. Want energy security and infrastructure development? Build that pipeline. The best antidote to Trump’s xenophobia, racism, misogyny, and fossil-fuel soaked future is critical thinking.Read more »
The environmental activist organization Greenpeace, USA posted a short video using the words of Howard Zinn from You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. This one-minute history lesson is a timely reminder of the power that resides outside the three branches of the U.S. government.Read more »
The Zinn Education Project has just posted “Standing with Standing Rock: A Role Play on the Dakota Access Pipeline” by Wolfe-Rocca, her colleague Andrew Duden, and Zinn Education Project co-director Bill Bigelow. The teaching activities help students grasp the issues at stake in the historic struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux for recognition of their treaty rights and for clean water for all.Read more »
In popular culture, the most memorable depiction of Reconstruction was D.W. Griffith’s film, Birth of a Nation. Missing from this racist portrait of Reconstruction — and from too many textbooks — was the extraordinary experiment in grassroots multiracial democracy this period represented — land reform, public schools, expanded voting rights, greater equality.Read more »