“Worse Than Slavery,” A Bit Too Violent for Georgia Schools

Is the political cartoon presented below, too violent for 8th grade social studies classes? Parents at a local middle school located in Johns Creek, GA certainly think so.

Thomas Nast. “The Union as it was / The Lost Cause, worse than slavery.” Harper’s Weekly, v. 18, no. 930 (24 Oct 1874), p. 878. The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-128619.

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The Greatest Generation?

Just finished up a lesson on World War II with my U.S. History classes. Unfortunately, two snow days and the county’s reluctance to reschedule the standardized midterm meant that we as a class had to rush through a lot of content by Wednesday. Regardless, this is usually a fun lesson to teach due to the plethora of topics to discuss. When I began this lesson, I asked students to consider two alternative features of the war usually lost in the “great man” history that is pushed in U.S. History standards. I asked them to consider the issue of race and the impact of race in the way in which country’s carried out their war effort. I usually phrase the discussion question in this manner: “Is World War II a world race war?” More often than not, it’s pretty interesting to hear what students have to say on the matter. Another aspect that I ask students to consider is America’s collective memory of the war. Specifically, the idea of “The Greatest Generation.” Today when I finished covering the material, we revisited those topics but we spent the majority of our time on “The Greatest Generation.”  Continue reading

Confederate Islamophobia

Once again, Confederate Heritage advocates find themselves in agreement with the Ku Klux Klan over another racial and/or religious issues. On Monday, the Huffington Post reported that Washington state residents found anti-Muslim fliers on their windshields which originated from the Klan. Similar incidents occurred earlier this year in Pineville, Louisiana but this is nothing new in 2015. The Klan have been outspoken proponents of intolerance since their birth in 1865. Islamaphobia is just a 21st century spin on that WASP mentality. It should also come as no surprise that Confederate Heritage advocates find themselves, once again, in agreement with the Klan.  Continue reading

The Missouri Compromise, 1820

This day in history, Congress passed the Missouri Compromise. This bill allowed the state of Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state but also provided statehood for Maine, which entered as a free state. This preserved the slave vs free state balance of power in Congress. The compromise served to soothe tensions brewing in the country over the issue of slavery and prevented a possible attempt at secession forty years before the American Civil War. Nearly one hundred and thirty-five years later, Mr. Phelps History class provided their own interpretation of this historic event. Enjoy

From the Holler!

I am slowly but surely getting back to a normal schedule which will hopefully mean more and frequent posts in the future. As you can see, the blog is going through a few updates. If you look at the navigation bar, I’ve added a page dedicated to genealogy research. This is a brain child of my grandfather and I. For as long as I can remember my granddad has poured over the family history in his own infinitely long research project. The new page is meant to keep the research going and to make it easier for long lost relatives to access what he has found (and what I will continue) so far. The first entry will be a doozy. In the mean time, here are some snippets that came across my news feed. Continue reading

Remembering Jim Crow at the Local Level: Black History Month

It’s been a while since I’ve done any serious blogging. Much of this is due to the fact that I needed a mental break after finishing my thesis. The biggest reason however, is because I’m in the midst of wrestling season and I just lack the energy at the end of the day to do any serious writing. Well, with wrestling coming to a close, a new blog layout, and some interesting topics to write about; I think it’s time for a new post.

A few stories recently crossed my news feed that are rather fortuitous. They coincidentally align with this year’s Black History Month and my lesson plans in U.S. History which cover the Jim Crow Era. Needless to say, I was rather excited to share something local and well, famous, with my classes. Despite the fact that each story is unique, interesting, and memorable, they are all sad reminders of a time of subjugation. With that, I give you the “Gold Dust Twins.”  Continue reading