Blogs tagged "slavery"

“Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery

Silhouette drawing of a slave named Flora
The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery exhibition titled “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” is the first major exhibition to trace the development of the silhouette as an art form.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Celebrate the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass this year

Portrait of Frederick Douglass against fireworks background
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” to the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, New York. In this blistering address, considered one of the most significant works of oratory of the 19th century, Douglass referred pointedly to the distance between the lofty ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the reality of American slaveholding and exposed the hypocrisy of celebrating independence when millions of Americans remained in bondage.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Pulitzer Prize-winning Book of Poetry—“Olio”— Is a Liberating Experience

Tyehimba Jess
The 2017 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, Olio by Tyehimba Jess, “melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry,” explains a statement from the judges, “to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.” English teachers will find a wealth of source material in the book’s bibliography—from slave narratives to histories of the music of black Americans—to supplement the study of the poems themselves, whRead More »

Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy

Hermann Faber, Deathbed scene with man holding Lincoln, 1865
Abraham Lincoln’s assassinationOn April 14 we commemorate the death of Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The years in which Lincoln served as president, 1861–1865, were among the most momentous in America’s history. A month after his election, South Carolina seceded from the Union, triggering a four-year conflict that would leave nearly a million Americans dead or wounded, four million slaves free, and a nation changed forever.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Commemorate the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial with these NEH resources

Frederick Douglass as a young man
February is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass, an extraordinary American orator and statesman. Born into slavery, he escaped and joined the abolitionist movement, working as a writer, publisher, orator, and Underground Railroad conductor. During the Civil War he worked actively for the enlistment of black men in the Union Army and for emancipation. In the Reconstruction era and after, he continued his fight for equal rights for African Americans and for women.Read More »
Categories Heritage Months