Bree Newsome: I Refused to Be Ruled by Fear

In June, while politicians continued to debate about the implications of taking down the Confederate flag after the shooting of nine people at Emmanuel AME Church and several arson fires on Black churches in the South that followed, Bree Newsome scaled the South Carolina state flag pole and took the flag down herself. She did not organized this effort alone.
Continue reading

It’s Not Just the Confederate Flag

By William Loren Katz The Confederate flag represents a threat to citizens of color, a symbol of treason against the United States, and a war fought on behalf of slaveholders. But there are other equally offensive symbols that have not attracted the attention they should. For example, a statue of former South Carolina governor and U.S. Senator Ben Tillman stands in the state Capitol.
Continue reading

Spring 2015 Update

The Zinn Education Project has engaged more people than ever with quality, thought-provoking people's history lessons for students and stimulating articles that challenge myths about our history. With your continued support, we can reach more classrooms. We bring you a quick snapshot of 2015 so far.
Continue reading
Rethinking Cinco de Mayo (Article) - 1901 poster for Cinco de Mayo by Jose Guadalupe Posada | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Rethinking Cinco de Mayo

This month we feature the very popular article on how the commercialization of Cinco de Mayo perpetuates stereotypes and misconceptions of this holiday that commemorates the defeat of Napoleon III, not Mexico’s Independence Day. Published on the Huffington Post and the Zinn Education Project websites.

____________________________________

By Sudie Hofmann I recently came across a flier in an old backpack of my daughter’s: Wanted: Committee Chairs for this Spring’s Cinco de Mayo All School Celebration. The flier was replete with cultural props including a sombrero, cactus tree, donkey, taco, maracas, and chili peppers. Seeing this again brought back the moment when, years earlier, my daughter had handed the flier to me, and I’d thought, “Oh, no.” The local K-6 elementary school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) was sponsoring a stereotypical Mexican American event. There were no Chicana/o students, parents, or staff members who I was aware of in the school community and I was concerned about the event’s authenticity. I presumed the PTSA meant well, and was attempting to provide a multicultural experience for students and families, but it seemed they were likely to get it wrong. Continue reading.
Continue reading

Eduardo Galeano, ¡Presente!

The great writer, historian, activist, and critic, Eduardo Galeano, died on April 13, 2015. His work was a gift to every teacher who hopes to make sense of this "upside down world" with students.
Continue reading

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam Peace Movement

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam Peace Movement which is being commemorated at the Vietnam: The Power of Protest convening in Washington, D.C. on May 1-2. As conference organizers explain, "This effort began last fall in reaction to the Pentagon’s plans for their own commemoration, including extensive public outreach and a false and one-sided website history of the Vietnam War that excluded the peace movement."
Continue reading

New Teaching Activities on the Environment

We’re delighted to announce the posting of four new articles and activities on environmental justice issues. At a moment when the dimensions of the climate crisis are becoming more apparent, the Zinn Education Project is committed to providing teachers more resources to help students confront the causes and consequences of climate change and the broader environmental crisis. Our collective house is burning down. The least we can do is help our students understand why and consider ways to respond.
Continue reading

Black History Month and the Cuban Solidarity Movement of the 1870s

By Paul Ortiz Seven years after the end of the Civil War, hundreds of African Americans in Baltimore gathered at historic Madison Street (Colored) Presbyterian Church for the purpose, “[O]f adopting measures to petition the Congress of the United States to tender the powerful mediation of this great government towards ameliorating the sad condition of a half million of our brethren now held in slavery in the island of Cuba by Spain.”
Continue reading

Time to Tell the Truth About Slavery at Mount Vernon

By Sudie Hofmann At the time of George Washington's death, the Washingtons enslaved 318 people of African descent at Mount Vernon, according to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. But you would not know it from the main tour, nor from the brochure. In fact, most visitors, including schoolchildren, can spend hours admiring the Mount Vernon mansion, fine furniture, and manicured lawns without considering that it was all paid for with forced labor.
Post by Sudie Hofmann
Continue reading

“The Birth of a Nation”: A Century Later

By William Loren Katz By an odd coincidence the first week of Black History Month this February, Time magazine ran an article on the 100th anniversary of the first public showing of the movie classic The Birth of a Nation. This silent film was Hollywood’s first blockbuster, first great historical epic, first full-length film, and first to introduce modern cinematic techniques that still keep audiences enthralled. Time noted the movie’s problem. From its casting and content to its dramatic conclusion it was unabashedly racist.
Continue reading

10,000 More Teachers in One Year — You Can Help Us Reach Thousands More in 2015

This week, the Zinn Education Project reached a milestone: 10,000 new registered teachers in 2014. We now have more than 44,500 teachers using our materials, teaching outside the textbook. As one of the 44,500 educators who have registered for the Zinn Education Project website, please donate so that we can reach even more teachers and students in the coming year. You can make an online donation, a stock donation, or mail a check to the address below.
Continue reading

Teachers Say NO Koch in Schools

In November of 2014, the Zinn Education Project published a widely circulated exposé of the Koch Brothers influence on K-12 civics education. Called "The Koch Brothers Sneak into School," the article explained: The billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, make their money in fossil fuels. They use some of their vast wealth to fund a network of organizations to push their interests. One of these is the Bill of Rights Institute.
Continue reading

Teaching #BlackLivesMatter

In light of the grand jury decision, we share this collection of teaching ideas and resources, originally published by Teaching for Change in August of 2014. By Julian Hipkins III As the new school year begins, first and foremost on our minds and in our hearts will be the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Teachers may be faced with students’ anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, and questions. Some students will wonder how this could happen in the United States. For others, unfortunately, police brutality and intimidation are all too familiar.
Continue reading