Stephen Cox

Being from a rural-but-not-distant bedroom town outside Indianapolis, our school is majorly dominated by rural poor and middle class white students.

After I found Teaching a People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War from Rethinking Schools, I knew this was the kind of material my APUSH students needed to be exposed to in order to open up their lenses of history and to encounter works they had never seen before. This is a risk in our school and community, but a calculated and necessary one that will provide students with information and experience beyond the boundaries of the town.

Just today, we finished Lesson 2 (Poetry of Defiance: How the Enslaved Resisted) and the students worked on their collaborative poem, “Write That I.”

The results were OVERWHELMING! To think that my students could shift perspective and write in such a way is one of those moments that keeps teachers going! Here are samples of their class poems (each student wrote a stanza) from 2nd period and 4th period.

I have shared the works with colleagues and they are equally pleased with the results and have thanked me for doing this with the students.

I am excited to continue through this resource and continue this journey with them! Thank you so much for providing this resource! What a blessing!