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What are some good resources that I can use in the classroom on slavery? I am looking...

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alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted January 7, 2009 at 1:53 PM via web

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What are some good resources that I can use in the classroom on slavery?

I am looking for resources on ancient forms of slavery, the american system, and modern forms. This is for a 8th grade American History class for a Gifted project.

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 7, 2009 at 3:04 PM (Answer #2)

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American Slavery, American Freedom, 1975 by HW Brands was excellent, but it might be a bit much for 8th graders.  

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cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted January 7, 2009 at 3:04 PM (Answer #3)

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I am very glad to see that you plan to include a study of modern slavery.  I highly recommend the American Anti-Slavery Group at www.iabolish.org.  You will find lots of great information at their website, and your students could even get involved.  Here is a brief excerpt from their site: 

Contrary to popular belief, slavery didn’t end with Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Experts estimate that today there are 27 million people enslaved around the world. It’s happening in countries on all six inhabited continents. And yes, that includes the United States. The CIA estimates 14,500 to 17,000 victims are trafficked into the “Land of the Free” every year.

Why hasn’t more been done to end a dehumanizing, universally condemned practice? One challenge is that slavery today takes on myriad, subtler forms than it did during the Atlantic Slave Trade — including sex trafficking, debt bondage, forced domestic or agricultural labor, and chattel slavery — making it tougher to identify and eradicate.

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 7, 2009 at 8:45 PM (Answer #4)

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The N.A.A.C.P. has excellent primary and secondary source material, you can access the asscoiation on the web. There are two texts I use to supplement my 11th grade U.S. history class when on this topic. One has already been mentioned, American Slavery-American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan. I agree with the prior post in that it is written at the post secondary level. I have used the text as background, for example I might copy an excerpt from text where by we pull it apart. We usually refer to their textbook, and our discussions and in that way it's brought to their level and nothing is lost due to the difficulty of the source.

Another source I like to use is Indignant Heart-A Black Worker's Journal by Charles Denby. The book is an account of a personal experience. What I find most interesting is that it begins in the reconstructed south and takes the reader through the 1960's. It is very powerful for two reasons; first it captures the 'cause and effect' of the institution of slavery after slavery was abolished and secondly it challenges everyone who reads it to answer a very difficult question...who are we as a people? should people enslave people or treat people with hatred due to the color of their skin?

Both are excellent sources, and if the reading levels are a concern I think you will still be able to enhance your lessons with these materials.

 

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 8, 2009 at 8:15 AM (Answer #5)

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Try this site:  http://www.tolerance.org/teach/

I have received some excellent resources from them  for free in the past on all sorts of subjects--slavery in America, the Holocaust, prejudice and racism.  Since their goal is to teach tolerance and acceptance, I can't imagine they wouldn't also have something for your unit on modern slavery.  If they don't, contact them to see if they can direct you to resources. 

Good Luck!

 

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 16, 2009 at 12:07 AM (Answer #6)

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Try this site:  http://www.tolerance.org/teach/

I have received some excellent resources from them  for free in the past on all sorts of subjects--slavery in America, the Holocaust, prejudice and racism.  Since their goal is to teach tolerance and acceptance, I can't imagine they wouldn't also have something for your unit on modern slavery.  If they don't, contact them to see if they can direct you to resources. 

Good Luck!

 

The day after I posted my comment, I knew I had a great set of resources, however could not be sure of the exact website...the .org... .gov... .com always mix me up. Amy when I read your post I knew those were the resources I have. They are beyond expectation. I use these resources with my seniors, most of whom are white. I am compelled to say that the programs are 'fair' and 'accurate' which is why my students not only watch a difficult period of American history, the program is so well done, my students find themselves as close to 'witness' as is humanly possible. I have watched and (some not all) young people (17-18 ) contemplate their mindset. When I see that happening, I know what I do in a very small way increases the survival of humanity.

 

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dkgarran | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 14, 2009 at 5:14 PM (Answer #7)

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Check www.facing.org -- this is the web site for Facing History and Ourselves. It is an exemplary non-profit based in Brookline, MA and they offer tremendous resources for teachers. They have curriculum materials on the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Civil Rights Movement and more.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 29, 2010 at 5:47 PM (Answer #8)

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"All Night Forever" is a segment from Ken Burns' PBS Civil War series, and I think is a stunning collection of photos and primary sources, well read and arranged.  The piece is about ten minutes long, but is a great introduction to 19th century slavery.  You might also consider "Frederick Douglass is sent to the Slavebreaker" or "A Slave's Story" by Olaudah Equiano as good sources.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM (Answer #9)

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Primary sources are great. Frederick Douglass is a real eye-opener for kids. He is eloquent and educated. I also think fictionalized biographies are useful, including those that trace the journey from Africa to wherever they ended up.

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