The way the past is presented — or not presented — affects how people think about their own capabilities. Here, using a Bertolt Brecht poem, students begin to consider the active, creative role that workers have played in the past and their potential strength in the future. Students will consider the choices that historians make in writing history and will develop an appreciation for the role of ordinary people behind great historical events. In the poem, Brecht notes:
Who built the seven towers of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
The Power In Our Hands — Available for Download
This is one of the 16 lessons available from The Power In Our Hands. Other lessons available for individual download are:
Unit I: Basic Understandings
Unit II: Changes in the Workplace/”Scientific Management”
- Paper Airplane Simulation
- Free to Think, Talk, Listen, or Sing
- Modern Times
- “Taylorizing” Burgers: A Fantasy
Unit III: Defeats, Victories, Challenges
Unit IV: Our Own Recent Past
- It’s a Mystery—White Workers Against Black Workers
- Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union: Black and White Unite?
- 1934 West Coast Longshore Strike
- Union Maids
Unit V: Continuing Struggle
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