February 22

I am Not Your Negro – review and extra credit

“There are days — this is one of them — when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.” – James Baldwin, 1963.

This film, I am Not Your Negro, directed by Raoul Peck, is a testament to James Baldwin’s brilliance.  It in one fell swoop places him within the context of the Civil Rights Movement and also as someone who was a latecomer to its activism (though he fought racism through his words while living in France).  He was one of America’s leading intellectuals and social critics and found a way to cut through the baloney, the white ignorance of the time, the cluelessness, like a knife.  At once, the film is a unique history of the CRM, of the past sixty years of race, and also it’s a warning for us today that we still have racial problems left festering.

To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

The film’s narrative is loosely based upon Baldwin’s attempt to write a history of the CRM using his friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Dr. King, as touchstones.  Apparently, Baldwin only got as far as 30 pages of notes before he gave up on the project in 1979.  What shocked me (though I knew this fact in the back of my mind, being a history teacher) was the fact that all three men were killed before they hit the age of 40.  As someone who is almost 50, I am both in awe and in shock of how much these three men had accomplished in such a short span.

The film begins with Baldwin’s appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1968 as the host earnestly implores Baldwin as to where there might be a glimmer of hope in race relations.  Baldwin smiles that toothy grin and kind of shakes his head as if to say he doesn’t know.  But he does.  What Dick Cavett asked him is probably indicative of what other white people have asked themselves during and since the CRM – when will Black people be satisfied with the advances that their race has made?   When Cavett brings an older, white professor of philosophy to come on, all he does is whitesplain the problem of race in America to Baldwin.  Below is Baldwin’s response:

At an interview with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1963, James Baldwin and playwright Lorraine Hansberry (among others) were gathered together to discuss improving race relations, a “quiet, off-the-record, unpublicized get-together of prominent Negroes”.  JFK was still thinking about 1964 and running again, so he couldn’t look like he was kowtowing to Black people for fear of losing the Southern vote, yet he still had to appear to be leader of ALL Americans. The meeting took place in late May, soon after the film footage of the Children’s Crusade was broadcast to the nation – blasting Black children with water from fire hoses and attacking protestors with dogs.  This meeting, though just briefly mentioned in the film, seems like a typical Kennedy maneuver where the Kennedys do something on the surface but don’t seem to understand the deeper, underlying causes.  The actors and activists at the meeting were told by Robert Kennedy that maybe in forty years there might be a Black president.  Baldwin’s answer, two years later in a debate with William F. Buckley, conservative critic, is telling:

“From the point of view of the man in the Harlem barber shop, Bobby Kennedy only got here yesterday and now he is already on his way to the Presidency… We were here for 400 years and now he tells us that maybe in 40 years, if you are good, we may let you become President.” – 1965

It reminds me of something that I had heard once that, when asked, how many more women did Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg feel need to be on the court in order to make women feel equal?  Her answer was nine, with the rationale that the Supreme Court had been all male for 190 years, it’s time to make up some ground.  In the same respect, maybe we need a string of minority presidents of women and people of color to help make America more equal.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

There was a telling scene, a powerful scene, when Baldwin was talking about growing up in Harlem and watching his friends die way too early.  Then, the film cuts to snapshots of modern young Black Americans, all cut down before their 18th birthday, like Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, and ends with someone holding up a sign that says “We Live in a Police State” or something to that effect.  There are shots of the Ferguson disturbances interspersed with shots of white police officers clubbing Black people on the streets of Oakland, California and Birmingham, Alabama, ramming home the message that though we whites might think this awful string of police brutality is relatively new in America, it’s not.  Now, more things are just being caught on video than ever before.

“I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.” 

Baldwin’s social critiques of the nation in the film are just as prescient as they were fifty years ago, maybe even more so.  Because the film is so dense, with layers of meaning and visuals and voice overs going on all at the same time, I feel like I would need to see this film two or three more times to get the entire message.  But one scene struck me, as Baldwin decries the vacuousness of American life, about how that once we discover how pointless life is with an accumulation of stuff, we’ll go crazy.  As he says this (with narration by Samuel L. Jackson), there is some colorful movie with white people dancing all around, and then he cuts to a scene from Gus Van Zant’s 2003 film, Elephant, about a Columbine-like school shooting.

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

One of the things that Baldwin stresses the most, where I think he is most consistently portrayed in the film, is his undying belief that it is our humanity that ties us all together.  Peck, the filmaker does an excellent job of contrasting how two different groups of people can see the same thing and view it differently, so I am certain that my film review would be markedly different than a Black film critic (I’m not calling myself a critic, I just love movies).  And it is this underlying humanity and how we figure out who we are in America is what seems to fascinate Baldwin the most.  This humanity is what ties us together, and because of it, we are inextricably woven as a fabric in one piece in American history. To separate the strands between white, black, brown, red, yellow, is to render the fabric useless.

For extra credit, see the film and answer three of the questions below (you must answer #2 as one of the three): 

  1. How did films shape how James saw the world when he was younger?  Also, how are films, especially ones with the great actor Sidney Poitier, used?
  2. How does this film act as a history of the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 – 1968?  How is it not a history but yet the story of James Baldwin?
  3.  One of the things that the film brings up is how white and black people see things differently, specifically using the pivotal scene in the movie, The Defiant Ones.  How do you think your perception of this film is different than somebody of another color?  Why?
  4. “The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story.”  Explain whether or not you agree with this quote and why.

Blog is due by Friday night, March 10.  350 words minimum.  

February 15

Google Docs – Ch 20 -22

2nd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bWWsQtkryuz0l2fmhB4TNED23Q2X1aqr3jHkjw-WJ8M/edit?usp=sharing

3rd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G9FjNwiI-FxvvCdh3AOnkVE9u5psNu43R-ksXNkKzrw/edit?usp=sharing

4th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n_3efkxrhAuBchwgzu01_QoNo-7L85BWMGmx7TCFzuM/edit?usp=sharing

5th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/18NHXMzh07zYTjQNqE_F_PYBQuWovuMOW-msUwbx3QNc/edit?usp=sharing

GDs are due Thursday, March 2 by 10pm. 

Also, please register for the APUSH exam.  See info below.

Registration for AP Exams will be online this year.

 Go to www.TotalRegistration.net/AP/230333

 Registration begins Wednesday, February, 1st and ends Monday February 27th

NO EXAMS CAN BE ORDERED AFTER FEB 27th

 Cost for each exam is $ 95.00

 Have your credit card or debit card available when you go to register.

 Image result for civil war

February 8

Cotton cleaning – APUSH Style

Interactive Lesson Plan on Antebellum Cotton

Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting and indoor

What was done previously: Students have read notes from Ch. 16 of the textbook on the rise of the Cotton Kingdom.  They have also read primary sources from James Hammond, “Cotton is King,” David Walker, “Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World,” an excerpt from William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, John C. Calhoun, “Slavery as a Positive Good,” and are currently reading the short book, Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In the last unit, the students have also read excerpts of Daniel Walker Howe’s book, What Hath God Wrought, in an essay entitled, “The Changes Wrought by Cotton, Transportation, and Communication” and answered questions about the essay (essay located in Major Problems in American History, Volume 1: To 1877, 3rd edition).

Overall plan: Students will have an immersion experience into the antebellum slave plaImage may contain: one or more people and indoorntation life by cleaning a boll of cotton.  They will have to pick the seeds out and save them for later, and clean the cotton so that it is free of stems and leaves.  Cotton can be purchased at several locations on the internet, especially at http://cottonclassroom.com/, http://www.cottonman.com/cotton.html, and also on Amazon.   While cleaning the cotton, a YouTube compilation of Negro spirituals will play (https://youtu.be/Uoj7A649gvs), and a Power Point w/ pictures of black Americans picking cotton will be on a loop on the screen projector.   Afterwards, students will read segments of an interview with an ex-slave from the WPA interviews in 1937-41 found on the American Memory section of the Library of Congress’s website, and then they will listen to a short interview from another slave.

  1. Read Mollie Williams’ interview from Mississippi Federal Writers. https://www.loc.gov/resource/mesn.090/?sp=161 pgs. 157- 164.

– Questions afterward:

  1. What did you learn from Mollie’s experience as a slave? Explain.
  2. Does this excerpt present a different view / challenge your perception of what slavery was like? Why?
  1. Show video on cleaning cotton. http://cottonclassroom.com/videoofcottonbeingcleaned.html
  1. Pass out one cotton boll to each student. Have them clean the cotton and seeds and stem and leaves as best as they can. Separate into three piles.
  1. While they clean, play the music, Negro spirituals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uoj7A649gvs&feature=youtu.beImage may contain: one or more people and people sitting
  1. Also while the students are cleaning their cotton boll, show Power Point.
  1. Afterwards, have students pile seeds onto a table. Put cleaned cotton into a bag or box. Throw out the stems and leaves.
  1. Listen to slave interview located here, https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/voices/vfssp.html to Fountain Hughes, aged 101. You can start around 6 minutes in or listen to the whole thing. Famous line about being a slave but nothing but a dog is around 19:00. Finish at 20:05. http://memory.loc.gov/service/afc/afc9999001/9990a.mp3
  1. Student reflection. Start writing in class:
    1. What did you learn from this experience with the interviews and the cotton?
    2. What is the benefit of learning history (or anything for that matter) in a format like this? Why?

 

 

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

 

Student reactions: 

  1. What did you learn from this experience with the interviews and the cotton?

I learned that it was very time consuming to pick just one boll of cotton, and that if I had to clean 50 maybe 100 of those a day that I might really struggle.” Henry V. 

“Listening to the interviews and doing the physical task of cleaning cotton personalized what slavery was like. Instead of reading about far off slaves who died a long time ago, and thinking “wow that really sucks for them” it sort of increases both sympathy and empathy for the situations that so many people had to deal with.” Camille W.

” We usually only talk about the politics and conflicts surrounding slavery, not the people whose lives were controlled by it. It was very interesting to “zoom in” on a few specific people and learn how their lives were shaped by slavery.” Ben I.

“Being able to actually touch and feel and experience the cotton picking, it gave me a greater respect for the work slaves had to do.” Davit T.

 

2. What is the benefit of learning history (or anything for that matter) in a format like this? Why?

“We were always taught that the Slaves were primarily used to pick cotton, we’ve always known that. We’ve always known that it was a difficult task and that it was back breaking. So while we may have understood, we never could relate. So being able to hold the cotton in our hands and do the task of taking a part the cotton, taking out all the seeds and leaves, it was so cool. We got to see first hand what the slaves had to do everyday from sunrise to sunset.” – Tania M.

 

Category: FYI | LEAVE A COMMENT
February 8

Ch. 18 -19 Google Docs

2nd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tqXMoSfpu0mn2BdKeob0pf4ignp_3SyT6tQzn4SRAnA/edit?usp=sharing

3rd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GVbv66VPIs2qviHGuORZpUhOkH-OqYnHDz_M2ovTNFY/edit?usp=sharing

4th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tCDob5LKLQF0TphMLyltPA0dX-wGsfSwOafz0LPSO5w/edit?usp=sharing

5th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IvdNJw4R1aVniJbgQNiLSiIZOiY0uTfUyQNK56yLcWM/edit?usp=sharing

Due Sunday, February 12 by 10 pm.  

Extra credit film, Oklahoma City for PBS – http://www.okcityfilm.com/

Extra credit film, Race Underground for PBS – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/race-underground/

Extra credit film, Ruby Ridge from PBS (available 2/14) – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/ruby-ridge/

All extra credit films are due 2 weeks after they’ve aired, so Race is due 2/14, OKCity is due 2/21, and Ruby is due 2/28.  Minimum 1/2 page summary, minimum 1/2 page connection to APUSH.

 

February 1

Google Docs – ch 16-17

2nd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h9aGuLGqMutrg-kWSPWYB14Sr3_UXTvvZ5TOpw2FMFE/edit?usp=sharing

3rd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RFcILimibmY2HjY7HVnouUHVOR6UMdoC2s2Ka7n1pw4/edit?usp=sharing

4th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S4oPDmcMNybFWOpnodIfmR3MoE5glN6YtxGQunqCFLE/edit?usp=sharing

5th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/18QI2A4nIqVEGQvI0PamMjalNe3fIii_cPFo75hXyMhU/edit?usp=sharing

Due Saturday night, February 4, by 10 p.m. 

Image result for slavery

January 29

Blog #94 – “Prisoner of war camps” = Indian reservations?

As we study Andrew Jackson’s legacy with regards to the Native Americans, one thing to keep in mind is the long-term legacy that white Americans have to own with regards to Native Americans.  Jackson and Van Buren expelled the Indians, the Five “Civilized Tribes” of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw, and Creek tribes – under the Indian Removal Act.  They were relocated to lands west of the Mississippi River where they would be allowed to roam free, the thinking went.  In the video we saw this week, Andrew Jackson: The Good, Evil, and the Presidency, Natives suffered tremendously.  But that was only one act in this long drama between white Americans (and previously before them, white Europeans) and Native Americans.

The Indian Removal Act was passed by Congress in 1830, in order to remove the five tribes from areas of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Historian and noted Jackson scholar Robert Remini said that the Indians were removed from the eastern United States because they presented a direct threat to the country, having been used as sabotuers by foreign invaders in the past three wars that America had fought (French and Indian War, the Revolution, and the War of 1812).  Remini saw this act as improving the homeland security of the nation.  Other historians see the act within the context of the grab for new farm land in the cotton-growing frenzy that gripped the nation – the Indians were moved because the land they lived on was coveted by white farmers so that they could add to the cotton kingdom.  This act was unconstitutional because the Indians were seen as sovereign nations living within the U.S. in Article IV, Section 3, and even the Supreme Court affirmed that the Cherokee couldn’t be moved in Worcester v. Georgia.  Historian H.W. Brands states that President Jackson felt that this removal policy was “humane” and saved the Indians from annihiation from the crushing forces of white encroachment.

From there, however, Manifest Destiny charged ahead, damn the torpedoes, so to speak, and the Indians were in the way again.  Whether it be farm land, gold and silver mines, railroads, or the destruction of the buffalo, Native Americans became an easy target for white Americans moving westward.  The tribes were pushed aside and put onto reservations, or as the speaker in the TED talk below, Aaron Huey, calls them, “prisoner of war camps”.  Some Indians like Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse, just to name a few, fought back and succeeded at slowing down the demographic tide.  A 1911 ad offering "allotted Indian land" for sale

For most American history books, we see that they talk about the Indians almost always when they are being pushed off of their land by Europeans (King Philip’s War, Powhatan War, Seminole War, Indian Removal Act) or when they fight back (Battle of Little Bighorn, Red Cloud’s War) or after being indiscriminately massacred (Sand Creek and Wounded Knee Massacres).  Few cover the decimation of disaeases that faced the Native Americans when the Europeans first arrived.  Even fewer touch on 20th Century issues and laws regarding education, reservation (and sale of Indian land), tribal recognition, citizenship, Termination policy in the 1950s or other Indian policies like the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.  Our textbooks might talk about AIM or the standoff at Wounded Knee in 1973, but just as an inclusion of many minority groups in the chapter on the late 1960s / early 1970s. There might even be something about the seizure of Alcatraz Island by Native Americans. But rarely anything is heard after that.

 

In the following disturbing and moving video, photographer Aaron Huey lists the many things done (in the name of America) to the Lakota Sioux tribe.  He juxtaposes the litany of broken treaties and promises and horrific things with his own photos of the Lakota tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Aaron Huey’s wish is that the American government honor the treaties and give back the Black Hills.  To atone for America’s sins, to use such a phrase, can anything truly be done?  Where, if anywhere, should Americans start to make up for what has been done to the Native Americans?   Is it right that we should speak in such manner as atoning for sins or asking for forgiveness?  Or do you feel that you have nothing to ask forgiveness for since these things had been done before you were born?  What responsibility do we have to Native Americans?

One major thing to consider is that though we may not have been personally responsible for oppressing the Native Americans, we benefit from the results of past policies of our government towards Native Americans (and even from past colonial practices).

Should we replace Columbus Day with Indigineous Peoples’ Day?

Should we push Congress to rescind the Medals of Honor distributed to the 7th Cavalry handed out after the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890?

Should reservations be abolished? Or should those that exist still remain yet receive generous help?

Should the Washington football team, the Cleveland Indians, or Atlanta Braves be forced to take new mascot names?

What can we learn from Canada and the way they have treated and honored their Native Americans?

Should we continue to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline (since President Trump has rescinded President Obama’s cancellation of it)?

Should Native Americans be given back their religious ceremonial artifacts, tens of thousands of which sit in museums, some on display, others locked in vaults? (for an upclose perspective, see the recent PBS film, What Was Ours here).

In finishing up the research for this blog (including reading chapters of the book, “All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) I found that Congress passed, as part of an appropriations bill, a resolution called the Native American Apology Resolution in 2009.  Introduced by Republican senator from Kansas, Sam Brownback, he said the reason he did this was “to officially apologize for the past ill-conceived policies by the US Government toward the Native Peoples of this land and re-affirm our commitment toward healing our nation’s wounds and working toward establishing better relationships rooted in reconciliation.”

Furthermore:

The Apology Resolution states that the United States, “apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States.”

The Apology Resolution also “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land.”

The Apology Resolution comes with a disclaimer that nothing in the Resolution authorizes or supports any legal claims against the United States and that the Resolution does not settle any claims against the United States.

The Apology Resolution does not include the lengthy Preamble that was part of S.J Res. 14 introduced earlier this year by Senator Brownback.  The Preamble recites the history of U.S. – tribal relations including the assistance provided to the settlers by Native Americans, the killing of Indian women and children, the Trail of Tears, the Long Walk, the Sand Creek Massacre, and Wounded Knee, the theft of tribal lands and resources, the breaking of treaties, and the removal of Indian children to boarding schools.

  1. Tell us your reactions to the Ted Talk;
  2. Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes Native Americans and why.

400 words minimum for both answers.  Due Wednesday, February 1.  

Extended quotes come from the blog: https://nativevotewa.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/president-obama-signs-native-american-apology-resolution/

 

January 28

Hidden Figures

This film is a stirring show about the intersection of math and history and how math conquers all (rejoice, my math teacher friends!).  The story portrays the struggles of Dorothy Vaughn, NASA’s first African American supervisor; Katherine Johnson, the math expert on the John Glenn flightImage result for hidden figures review and also instrumental in the moon landing; and Mary Jackson, NASA’s first female African American engineer.  It is startling to see how Jim Crow racism was shoved in the face of these strong women, typified in Katherine’s struggle to maintain her dignity while sprinting across NASA’s campus to visit the only “colored” bathroom nearby.  Furthermore, the women of the West Computing Room have to deal with the intersectionality of both racism and sexism since they are women of color.  With Dorothy’s leadership, they are able to carve out a niche in the very male-dominated computing field.

In some ways, this is a film about progress: Civil Rights progress, gender progress, and also technology’s relentless march forward.  This is shown by the real film clips of Civil Rights protests occurring in 1961 and 1962.  We also see progress as women make strides into the male-dominated fields of computers and engineering. Image result for hidden figures review Almost all of the white male characters at NASA are
figurative clones, wearing white shirts, dark pants, and thin dark ties.  Occasionally, we might see a flash of color on Paul Stafford’s tie (Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory), but for the most part, all of the white men have the same uniform and haircuts.  That’s why the women of color stand out, not just in their attire but because of their skin color.  We see technology’s progress, however much it is double-sided, when Katherine temporarily loses her job as a “computer” in the Space Task Group when Dorothy finally gets the IBM Main frame computers online, a machine that can do 24,000 calculations a second.  This machine makes the women of both the East (white) and West (Black) Computing Rooms obsolete.  Only when the computer spits out different landing coordinates for John Glenn’s return to Earth right before launch does Al Harrison (Kevin Costner), NASA’s head of the Space Task Group, bring Katherine back in to confirm the computer’s numbers.

There was an outstanding moment near the end of the film when news of John Glenn’s orbit is released, and all Americans, regardless of skin color or gender, are united in their worries over the fate of Glenn (aImage result for hidden figures reviewnd by extension, America’s space program and maybe even it’s prominence in the Cold War).  Scenes show black and white Americans standing in front of a store front watching the TV reports about the peril Glenn faced as his capsule threatened to burn up on re-entry (an aside: imagine this dramatic scene of a nation gripped by a similar incident today – how would Americans be tuning into the progress of such an incident?  Certainly not standing on a street watching a TV).  Another scene showed Americans parking their cars and listening to their radios, staring up at the sky, looking for a fleeting glimpse of Glenn’s capsule, even though it was going to splash down in the Bahamas.  These scenes showed a united America, hoping and praying for the successful return of one of our golden boys, the Mercury 7 astronauts.  These scenes are also a way of showing how little militancy there is to this story of racial advancement and integration.  The most powerful scenes in the film are ones in which characters stand up for themselves or right the wrongs of our sordid past.  This is not a criticism of this film.  It doesn’t need to be angry about the past. In fact, this film emphasizes the women of the film and to dwell on America’s sad racial history isn’t what this film is about.  It’s about transcending that history.

I think that one of the larger question that everyone should be asking themselves is how did this story not make it into the history books?  It has great human drama, excitement, daring, perseverance, and a thrilling conclusion.  The other question is how many other hidden and forgotten stories are out there, waiting to be told?   If these ladies, who were such an extraordinary part of this story to send Americans into space, can be forgotten and shunted to the side for over 60 years, where are the rest of these stories?  One thing to keep in mind is that by telling these hidden stories of people / women of color, we as historians do not have to pick and choose to eliminate stories of white participants, but to include them all.    History doesn’t have to be like a pie to be carved up into smaller and smaller sections but like a tapestry that continues to be weaved into a more complete picture.

CHOOSE 3 OF THE 5 QUESTIONS BELOW AND ANSWER THEM. 

  1. Explain how the title “Hidden Figures” has different layers of meaning for this film and time period.
  2. Provide at least 2 specific examples of Jim Crow discrimination or racism perpetrated by the white characters and how they affected Katherine, Mary, and / or Dorothy.
  3. This is a story of overcoming challenges that white society put in the way of our main characters.  How did all three women overcame these obstacles.
  4. How did sexism affect Dorothy’s, Mary’s, and Katherine’s careers?  Provide specific examples.
  5. How does the Civil Rights Movement play as the backdrop for the advancing fight against the Cold War’s space race?  Provide examples.

Image result for hidden figures review

 350 words minimum for your total answer.  Due by 11:59 pm Saturday night, March 4. 

January 27

SAT Subject Area test in U.S. History

Hey folks,

It’s time to start thinking about the SAT Subject Area test in U.S. History.  This is an awesome opportunity for you to take a Subject Area Test that many elite colleges are beginning to require (see list here, includes U of D, Michigan, Princeton, Northwestern, Texas, UCLA, Harvard, Yale).  Passing these kinds of tests are ways to stand out in your college application process (yes, it’s around the corner). Here are some additional reasons why you should consider taking the test.  The upsides to taking this test:

  1. It’s cheap – $26.
  2. It’s only multiple choice – no essay writing!
  3. You’re done in 1.5 hours.
  4. It’s available at many local high schools in May and June (see nearby locales).
  5. Most importantly – you’ll probably never know more American history at the end of this school year than at any other time in your life (unless you become a history nerd like me!).  So take the test.
  6. If you bomb it, no worries.  The colleges don’t have to know about it.  You give the College Board permission to send your scores (or not).

Info, testing registration, dates, etc. – https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests

Test dates and deadlines – https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/register/test-dates-deadlines

Nearby testing Sites – May 6, 2017 – Bloomfield Hills HS, Cranbrook HS, Grosse Pointe North HS, Hamtramck HS, Oakland U, Ann Arbor Pioneer HS, U of D HS, Waterford Kettering HS.

June 3, 2017 – Bloomfield Hills HS, Cass Tech, Cranbrook HS, Grosse Pointe North HS, Hamtramck HS, Mercy HS, Detroit Northwestern HS, Ann Arbor Pioneer HS, U of D HS, West Bloomfield HS, Waterford Kettering HS.

Protip: Register early because once a school fills up w/ the number of test-takers, it’s closed.  You’ll have to go elsewhere.  

Category: FYI | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 20

Google Docs – ch. 13 -15

2nd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ySULXDmkR9SxocSgnWWeMcHtlZvCAmgMQ_H30Luzm8I/edit?usp=sharing

3rd Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uuwC5N9sMO8ms3sH5tT5Ykc2ZzFQgkz2d2_0QN3Wllk/edit?usp=sharing

4th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iy2WUfLKZpKmFaNEq1CidrD89rKPtfkDZLiz21jFICg/edit?usp=sharing

5th Hour – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sOo1r0AyVGLxvmC3kcsHc2YXLXAnfAMYUFPtCGWjRX4/edit?usp=sharing

Due by Wednesday, January 25 by 10 p.m.

Image result for anti-irish nativism in the 19th century

Crash Course – Market revolution. – https://youtu.be/RNftCCwAol0?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

Crash Course – Age of Jackson – https://youtu.be/beN4qE-e5O8?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

Crash Course – Age of Reforms – https://youtu.be/t62fUZJvjOs?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

Crash Course – Women in 19th Century – https://youtu.be/fM1czS_VYDI?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

above image – stereotypical images of the Irish immigrants from the 19th Century.

We Shall Remain – Trail of Tears – https://youtu.be/fM1czS_VYDI?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

God in America, part 2 – http://www.pbs.org/video/1610731418/  We watched from about 20 minutes in to the end.  Take notes in Questions / Facts / Hashtags format.

January 8

Jackie – “I didn’t want to be famous, but then I married a Kennedy”

This is a film about grief – raw, directionless, sudden grief.  The film focuses on Mrs. Kennedy’s three days after the death of her husband, President John Kennedy, and how she does her best to cope with such a powerful, public murder.  From the opening sounds of strings being tuned down on a black screen (which become the signature musical motif), to long shots of Mrs. Kennedy (played by an excellent Natalie Portman – it would be a crime if she doesn’t get at least a nomination, she should win her 2nd Oscar for this role) wandering through the White House alone, switching outfits, searching for meaning and mooring like an unanchored boat.  You get an inside look into Mrs. Kennedy’s personality, her strength, her anger, and her love for her husband (despite the troubles that are only alluded to).  The film shows you as she begins packing up the White House for its new occupant and preparing her children for the inevitable loss that they cannot understand at such a young age.  Mrs. Kennedy is also shown obsessing over the legacy of her husband, a good man as she has said, whom she loves as he sits in his rocking chair with Caroline and John, Jr. at his feet.  This is the image that she leaves us with, one which some people who know about JFK’s philandering might ask why she still stays with him.  Her confidante and aide, Nancy Tuckerman (played by Greta Gerwig) is Jackie’s sounding board, her friend, and giver of best advice.  Peter Sarsgaard plays Attorney General Robert Kennedy, a grief stricken man who appears to have buried a brother before with the death of his older brother, Joe Jr., during World War II.

Jackie tells an unnamed reporter (who is probably Theodore White, journalist extraordinaire who has covered many presidential elections – article written 2 weeks after JFK’s death here) the inside scoop about what went on but is so meticulous and private that she edits what he is allowed to say.  This, according to the NYT film review, is where the Camelot imagery and myth surrounding the Kennedy presidency is begun.   But the larger question that comes through in this interview is how does Jackie separate herself from this very public tragedy.  She needs to be a mother to her two young children (and to two dead ones interred next to their father in Arlington National Cemetery) but she also has to be a grieving widow to the rest of the nation.  As the reporter put it, JFK, the nation’s father, had been killed, and Jackie, the nation’s mother, had to carry on with steel in her spine.  Try to imagine something that traumatic has happened to you, and you are one of the most famous people in the country.  How do you cope?  How do you grieve?  How do you move on? 

  1. How does the film portray Mrs. Kennedy during her 1962 tour of the White House (original here – https://youtu.be/CbFt4h3Dkkw)?  How does she seem different / similar to First Ladies that you might know best – Laura Bush and Michelle Obama?  Why?
  2. Did the film use the right amount of reference to JFK’s woman troubles, should it have explored these issues in depth more, or should they have been mentioned at all in a film about the man’s wife?  Why?
  3. Why do you think Mrs. Kennedy asked the ambulance driver and the nurse who James Garfield and William McKinley were, and then Abraham Lincoln?  How did their answers transfer Mrs. Kennedy’s obsession with her husband’s funeral?  (Also, is this a fair comparison between Lincoln and Garfield and McKinley?  Why or why not?)
  4. The movie seems obsessed with legacy and myth-making.  Jackie is one of the first to try and preserve her husband’s legacy, one time comparing him to Jesus and temptations in the desert, and at other times, to Lincoln and preserving the Union and freeing the slaves (though he technically didn’t).  Do you think President Kennedy deserved this kind of mythos surrounding him?  Why or why not? 
  5. How did the film’s non-linear (jumping from time period to time period) story telling distract or add to the overall narrative, in your opinion?

Pick 4 of these questions (including #4) and answer them in a minimum of 300 words to get full credit for this extra credit assignment.  Due by February 17 before class.