Understanding And Teaching American Slavery

Paperback | February 2, 2016

EditorBethany Jay, Cynthia Lynn LyerlyForeword byIra Berlin

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Perhaps no topic in U.S. history is as emotionally fraught as the nation’s centuries-long entanglement with slavery. How can teachers get students to understand the racist underpinnings of that institution—and to acknowledge its legacies in contemporary America? How can they overcome students’ shame, anger, guilt, or denial? How can they incorporate into the classroom important primary sources that may contain obsolete and racist terms, images, and ideas? This book, designed for college and high school teachers, is a critical resource for understanding and teaching this challenging topic in all its complexity.
            Opening with Ira Berlin’s reflections on ten elements that are essential to include in any course on this topic, Understanding and Teaching American Slavery offers practical advice for teaching specific content, utilizing sources, and getting students to think critically. Contributors address, among other topics, slavery and the nation’s founders, the diverse experiences of the enslaved, slavery’s role in the Civil War, and the relationship between slavery and the northern economy. Other chapters offer ideas for teaching through slave narratives, runaway ads, spirituals, films, and material culture. Taken together, the essays in the volume help instructors tackle problems, discover opportunities, and guide students in grappling with the ugliest truths of America’s past.

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Perhaps no topic in U.S. history is as emotionally fraught as the nation’s centuries-long entanglement with slavery. How can teachers get students to understand the racist underpinnings of that institution—and to acknowledge its legacies in contemporary America? How can they overcome students’ shame, anger, guilt, or denial? How can th...

Bethany Jay is an associate professor of history at Salem State University. Cynthia Lynn Lyerly is an associate professor of history at Boston College.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:340 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.87 inPublished:February 2, 2016Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029930664X

ISBN - 13:9780299306649

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Teaching Slavery: The Short Course for Bringing Slavery into the Classroom in Ten Not So Easy Pieces
            Ira Berlin                    
 
Introduction
            Bethany Jay and Cynthia Lyerly                  
 
Section One: Slavery and the Classroom
Methods for Teaching Slavery to High School Students and College Undergraduates in the United States
    James W. Loewen              
Dealing With Things as They Are: Creating a Classroom Environment for Teaching Slavery and Its Lingering Impact
    Steven Thurston Oliver                  
 
Section Two: Teaching Specific Content
Teaching the Origins of Slavery in the Americas
    Eric Kimball                       
Slavery in the New Nation: Human Bondage in the Land of Liberty
    Paul Finkelman                   
Blood Stained Mirrors: Decoding the American Slave Trading Past
    Sowande’ Mustakeem                    
Slavery and the Northern Economy
    Christy Clark-Pujara                      
Northern Slavery and Its Legacies: Still a New (and Unwelcome?) Story
    Joanne Pope Melish                       
Slave Resistance
    Kenneth S. Greenberg                    
Slave Culture
    Bernard E. Powers, Jr                    
The Diverse Experiences of the Enslaved
    Deirdre Cooper Owens                  
Slavery and the Civil War
    Bethany Jay                       
Comparative Slavery
    Laird W. Bergad                 
The Challenge of Slavery Since Emancipation: From 1865 to the 21st Century
    James Brewer Stewart                    
 
Section Three: Sources and Strategies for Teaching Slavery
Using the WPA Narratives in the Classroom
    Cynthia Lyerly                  
Teaching the History of Slavery through Film
    Ron Briley              
Art and Slavery
    Ray Williams                      
In the Footsteps of Others: Understanding Slavery Through Process Drama
    Lindsay Anne Randall                    
‘A Likely Negro:’ Using Runaway Slave Ads to Teach Slavery
    Antonio T. Bly                  
Teaching the History of Slavery and its Legacy through Historical Archaeology: Project Archaeology Investigating Shelter
    Sarah E. Miller, James M. Davidson, and Emily Palmer               
 
Contributors              
Index   

Editorial Reviews

“Profoundly useful. . . .  Although the variety and ingenuity of teaching methods presented here are exceptional, the contributors are even more effective at calling out the difficult realities educators have with teaching slavery—such as discussing the sensitive issue of race; identifying slavery as a national, not just a Southern, institution; and reconciling its cruelty with the growth of American politics and economics. . . . Accessible and relevant to any classroom at any level.”—Choice