Racism & Racial Identity

Apalachicola River | Zinn Education Project

The Color Line

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. A lesson on the countless colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race. This helps students understand the origins of racism in the United States and who benefits.
Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, 18th Century, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799
Themes: African American, Laws & Citizen Rights, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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The Draft Riot Mystery

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. Students are invited to solve a mystery, using historical clues, about the real story of the Draft Riots.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance, Social Class, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Thomas Jefferson Advertisement Runaway Slave | Zinn Education Project

Freedom on the Move: Rediscovering the Stories of Self-Liberating People

Archive. Digital collection and crowdsourcing project that provides access to information, through thousands of print advertisements, about freedom-seekers and their would-be enslavers in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Time Periods: 18th Century, Revolution & Constitution: 1765 - 1799, 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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collage of six Black abolitionists in the United States.

‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 16 pages. Rethinking Schools. In this role play, students become members of the American Anti-Slavery Society, facing many of the real challenges to ending slavery.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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It’s a Mystery—White Workers Against Black Workers

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 8 pages. In this “mystery” activity, students receive clues and discuss some of the factors that contributed to the intensification of racism in the 1920s in the United States.
Themes: African American, Labor, Racism & Racial Identity
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Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Online Archive

Archive. Collection of firsthand accounts and primary sources of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Asian American, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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Just an Environment or a Just Environment?

Teaching Activity. By Hyung Kyu Nam. 2003. Explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism, and helps students understand how institutional racism is perpetuated in the post-Civil Rights era.
Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Racism & Racial Identity
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Sun City – A Teaching Guide

Teaching Guide. By Bill Bigelow. Lessons to accompany the 1985 video "Sun City" that promoted the cultural boycott of South Africa initiated by Little Steven van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E St. Band.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: Art & Music, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, World History/Global Studies
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The War to Free the Slaves (Material) | Zinn Education Project

A War to Free the Slaves?

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. Students examine excerpts from Lincoln’s first inaugural address, the rarely mentioned original Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution that Lincoln promised to support, and the Emancipation Proclamation to explore some of the myths about the Civil War.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party — but Should

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez and Jesse Hagopian. 33 pages. Rethinking Schools. A mixer role play that introduces students to the pivotal and largely untold history of the Black Panthers.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: African American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class, Women's History
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The Black Upsurge Against Racial Segregation

Teaching Activity. By Tasha Boettcher. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 17 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the long Civil Rights Movement in America.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class
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The First Slaves

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 2 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on early American slavery, resistance, and rebellion.
Time Periods: Colonization: 1492 - 1764, 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Frederick Douglass | Zinn Education Project

Frederick Douglass: “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”

Film clip. Voices of a People's History. Frederick Douglass' speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" (1852) is read by Danny Glover.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Indian Removal

Teaching Activity. By Gayle Olson-Raymer. 18 pages. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 7 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the American policy of "Manifest Destiny" and Native American resistance to their own displacement.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: Imperialism, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity
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The Power In Our Hands: A Curriculum on the History of Work and Workers in the United States

Teaching Guide. By Bill Bigelow and Norm Diamond. 1988. Role plays and writing activities project high school students into real-life situations to explore the history and contemporary reality of employment (and unemployment) in the U.S.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 20th Century, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: Economics, Labor, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity
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Race and Membership in American History

Teaching Guide. By Alan Stoskopf. Facing History and Ourselves. 2002. Resources for teaching about the eugenics movement in the United States.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909
Themes: Racism & Racial Identity, Science
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The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy (Website) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy

Teaching Guide. By Facing History and Ourselves. 2015. A collection of lessons, videos, and primary sources to teach about Reconstruction.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876
Themes: African American, Reconstruction, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity
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