I read a Tweet yesterday about “canceling Lincoln.” No one is ‘canceling Lincoln.’ But I am asking teachers to do a much better job and overhaul the curriculum and framing of the Civil War.
- Here are some links from the school year 2018-2019 (8th grade Humanities) and Zinn Education Resources:
- Cornell Notes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WT26UEwg_DImYk69wP_EPNq_n7dy7WDR/view?usp=sharing
Teachers: I used this document as a shared reading piece. The students came to their own conclusions: no, Lincoln did not free the slaves.
This thread by Jared Yates Sexton is also a good place to start with thinking about Lincoln’s role and shifts in philosophy.
Even as Lincoln worked to abolish slavery, he was meeting with luminaries like Frederick Douglass and telling them he didn’t believe white and black people could live together.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 20, 2020
Douglass shocked him by telling him freed slaves just wanted to be Americans.
Dr. Kendi discusses #Juneteenth:
In 1865, Black people all over the South were saying this Union officials: Do not abolish slavery and leave us landless and disenfranchised. Do not force us to— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) June 19, 2020
work for our former masters and call that freedom. Do not allow the law replace the master. 1/3
Contextual framing is required for teaching our history. We must teach the concepts of paradoxes, of conflict, and abstract thinking skills so students, and us teachers, too, can hold conflicting thoughts, ideas, and facts in our minds in order to construct a broader, more accurate view of history. This is the challenge in our times of transactional, binary “leadership” and thinking. We think in terms of winners and losers, and we must move and evolve to consider what harm is caused, consequences, and how fear, greed, culture and needs impact us.
Featured image from: https://www.republicofamsterdamradio.com/episodes/stuff-what-you-tell-me/john-brown