Since 1995, Rhode Islanders have come together each February to read and celebrate the life of one of America's finest poets and writers, Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Made possible through a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the annual Langston Hughes Poetry Reading is a shining example of what public humanities can pass on to communities far and wide. In addition to videos of readings given by participants at the annual event, this page includes resources and related materials for teaching about Langston Hughes.
After more than 30 years in prison and a historic election that for the first time in the nation's history included all citizens regardless of race, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela became President of the Republic of South Africa on May 10, 1994. With apartheid officially abolished, Mandela and the people of South Africa were faced with building a more representative and responsive political system, an inclusive and equitable economy, and social programs that made housing, education, and health care more accessible. This Teacher’s Guide includes resources for teaching about the brutality of apartheid, the resilience of the nation’s people, the leadership of Nelson Mandela, and primary source materials that will inform discussion about the country’s emergence in the world.
Reconstruction (1865-1877) is the period of time following the American Civil War (1861-1865) when some politicians and citizens sought to reunify the nation, integrate freed slaves into society and the economy, establish political and economic rights for all African Americans, and determine what role the U.S. government would play in implementing these policies while preventing another civil war from breaking out. On the contrary, some politicians and citizens resented the prospect of there once again being a single nation, rejected equal protection under the law and birthright citizenship in the United States, no matter a person's race, and refused to accept the termination of slavery as an institution and practice.
Poet. Orator. Actress. Activist. Writer. Singer. Phenomenal Woman. These and many more superlatives are used to describe the incomparable Maya Angelou. Gone too soon in 2014 at the age of 86, Dr. Angelou’s legacy will live on through the words she used to eloquently, powerfully, and honestly express emotions, capture experiences, and spread hope.
"Veterans Speak: War, Trauma, and the Humanities" is the culmination of Governors State University's 2017 NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War project. This collection of clips from a discussion with scholars and Veterans is moderated by Kevin Smith, Director of Veterans Affairs at Governors State University.
For more than 400 years, Shakespeare’s 37 surviving plays, 154 sonnets, and other poems have been read, performed, taught, reinterpreted, and enjoyed the world over. In the interest of contemporary connections for teachers and students, this Teacher Guide includes ideas for bringing the Bard and pop culture together, along with how performers around the world have infused their respective local histories and cultures into these works.
The 116th U.S Congress that began its two year session in January 2019 is historic for a few reasons. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is not only the first woman to hold the position, but is the first person to return to the Speaker’s office in the House of Representatives since Sam Rayburn in 1955. On another historical note, 102 women were elected to the House of Representatives and 25 serve in the Senate—the most women ever elected to Congress. With next year marking one hundred years since ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave some women the right to vote in the United States, this Women’s History Month is about more than just looking back.
What are we teaching and learning when we analyze films? Who’s missing from the story? This resource is offered for teachers across the humanities who use film and incorporate opportunities for students to develop media analysis skills.
Crafting Freedom is a comprehensive NEH-funded resource on the African American experience during the early 19th century. The companion site includes short, classroom ready videos of reenactments based on primary sources and standards aligned lesson plans for grades 3-5 and 6-8 in social studies, language arts, and other humanities subjects.