The Chalk Blog

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back: The Legacy of Racial Injustice

Learning is a curious thing. As we age, we know we have absorbed a fair amount of knowledge, yet we continue to be amazed by how much there still is to learn. Take for example my surprise when seeing the “Confronting History to Heal a Nation” segment on the CBS Sunday Morning show. There on my porch-that-feels-like-a-treehouse, I learned something I never knew before. I was told about a man named Bryan Stevenson and the work he is doing to heal the hurt of a country that repeatedly takes one step forward and then three steps back. While watching the 7-minute story, I made the connection between slavery and segregation, lynching and the legal system, and so much more. Convinced there was more to understand, I traveled to Montgomery to see, feel, and be in the spaces that explain the legacy of racial injustice in the Black community. Eloquent in its composition and strong in stature–the museum is built in a city that once held one of the busiest slave trades in the country. And, just down the street, is the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, an affecting testimonial to the way we treated and killed our brethren. 

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Topics: diversity, Courses, Black History Month, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Equity

Teaching about Juneteenth? Here are 5 Great Resources!

As our country’s second independence day, Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas to announce that nearly 300,000 enslaved black people were free. This day in history became known as “Juneteenth” and is now recognized as a federal holiday. What do you know about this holiday, and better yet, what knowledge do your students have on this topic? Below we share 5 of our best resources perfect for expanding your understanding and building a strong foundation for your students.

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Topics: Holidays, Black History Month, Culture and Language, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Digital Resources

Let's Talk! Mental Health Advocacy and Allyship for Students of Color

The mental health experiences of students who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are different than those of people who identify as white. Race-specific microaggressions, trauma, and systemic racism create fertile ground for depression, anxiety, and self-harm for students who are BIPOC. If educators are to truly be supportive, we must advocate for practices to honor the specific needs and identities of our BIPOC students.  

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Topics: diversity, Courses, Mental Health Awareness, Black History Month, Equity

Celebrating Black History Month

Reignite Your JOY for Teaching & Learning: 

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Topics: diversity, Black History Month, Digital Resources, Equity, Teaching with Equity, teacher resources, Monthly Resource Round-up

We Need Black History Month More Than Ever

We need Black History Month now more than ever. While we need to remember that Black history (Asian American history, LGBTQ history, etc.) is AMERICAN history and should be incorporated into our curriculum and lessons throughout the school year, Black History Month gives us an opportunity to double down on teaching and learning about Black history and culture.

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Topics: Black History Month, Digital Resources, Equity

Are You Teaching Black History in a Culturally Responsive Way?

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Holidays, Black History Month, Culture and Language, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Teaching with Equity, teacher resources

This is US.

Celebrating Black History Month, Year-Round

Scrubbing the oatmeal from the blue enamel pot in my kitchen sink, I looked up when I heard, 

“It’s a story we need to tell.  
Not just in February--the coldest and shortest month,
but every day of the year, because this is our story.  
It’s not “us and them, it’s February so we’ll take some time out and do this.” 
It is every single day.  
This is the story of us.  
And, guess what? There’s no “them,” which is what we all try to make up.  
In the U.S., it’s us. Not them.” 

These words are from Ken Burns, the well-known documentarian. He’s discussing his film project, “Baseball,” which tells the story of the Negro Baseball League and baseball great Hank Aaron. Burns uses the film to demonstrate how far we have come, yet how far we still have to go. 

Films, books, movies and experiences teach. Since I have a lot to learn, I decided to watch, read, ask, and attend so I could more fully understand our nation’s history.  

Our history. 

The story of us.  

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Topics: diversity, Black History Month

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