Education for Liberation!

Black Education for Black Liberation!

     BLACK HISTORY NOW!     

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 The 2005 Amistad Bill from the New York State Assembly
                              S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K        ________________________________________________________________________                                          6362--B                                2005-2006 Regular Sessions                                   I N  A S S E M B L Y                                      March 10, 2005                                       ___________         Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  WRIGHT,  DiNAPOLI,  SEDDIO,  GREEN, PRETLOW,          MORELLE, NORMAN, TITUS, KARBEN, HEASTIE -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of          A. ALFANO, CAHILL, CLARK, COLTON, L. DIAZ,  R. DIAZ,  GORDON,  HOOPER,          JOHN,  LAFAYETTE,  MAYERSOHN, McENENY, PEOPLES, PERRY, ROBINSON, SWEE-          NEY, TOWNS -- read once and referred to the Committee on Tourism, Arts          and Sports Development -- committee discharged, bill amended,  ordered          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- reported and          referred to the Committee on Rules -- Rules Committee discharged, bill          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to the Committee          on Rules         AN ACT to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to estab-          lishing  the  Amistad commission and providing for the members, duties          and responsibilities thereof           THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-        BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:      1    Section  1. Title U of the arts and cultural affairs law is amended by     2  adding a new article 57-B to read as follows:     3                                 ARTICLE 57-B     4                           THE AMISTAD COMMISSION     5  SECTION 57.51. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.     6          57.52. AMISTAD COMMISSION; ESTABLISHED.     7          57.53. THE AMISTAD COMMISSION; DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.     8          57.54. AUTHORIZATION.     9    S 57.51. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.  THE  LEGISLATURE  FINDS  AND  DECLARES    10  THAT:    11    1.  DURING  THE PERIOD BEGINNING LATE IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY THROUGH    12  THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, MILLIONS  OF  PERSONS  OF  AFRICAN  ORIGIN  WERE    13  ENSLAVED  AND  BROUGHT  TO  THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, INCLUDING THE UNITED    14  STATES OF AMERICA; ANYWHERE FROM BETWEEN  TWENTY  TO  FIFTY  PERCENT  OF    15  ENSLAVED  AFRICANS  DIED DURING THEIR JOURNEY TO THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE;    16  THE ENSLAVEMENT  OF  AFRICANS  AND  THEIR  DESCENDANTS  WAS  PART  OF  A          EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets                              { } is old law to be omitted.                                                                   LBD06288-04-5         A. 6362--B                          2      1  CONCERTED  EFFORT  OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TERRORISM THAT DEPRIVED     2  GROUPS OF PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESERVE MANY  OF     3  THEIR  SOCIAL,  RELIGIOUS,  POLITICAL AND OTHER CUSTOMS; THE VESTIGES OF     4  SLAVERY  IN THIS COUNTRY CONTINUED WITH THE LEGALIZATION OF SECOND CLASS     5  CITIZENSHIP STATUS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS THROUGH JIM CROW  LAWS,  SEGRE-     6  GATION  AND  OTHER SIMILAR PRACTICES; THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY HAS PERVADED     7  THE FABRIC OF OUR SOCIETY; AND  IN  SPITE  OF  THESE  EVENTS  THERE  ARE     8  ENDLESS  EXAMPLES OF THE TRIUMPHS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND THEIR SIGNIF-     9  ICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS COUNTRY.    10    2. ALL PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW OF AND REMEMBER THE HUMAN CARNAGE AND  DEHU-    11  MANIZING  ATROCITIES  COMMITTED  DURING  THE PERIOD OF THE AFRICAN SLAVE    12  TRADE AND SLAVERY IN AMERICA AND OF THE  VESTIGES  OF  SLAVERY  IN  THIS    13  COUNTRY;  AND  IT  IS  IN  FACT  VITAL  TO EDUCATE OUR CITIZENS ON THESE    14  EVENTS, THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY, THE SAD HISTORY OF RACISM IN  THIS  COUN-    15  TRY,  AND  ON  THE PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIGNITY IN A CIVILIZED    16  SOCIETY.    17    3. IT IS THE POLICY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK THAT THE HISTORY  OF  THE    18  AFRICAN  SLAVE  TRADE,  SLAVERY IN AMERICA, THE DEPTH OF THEIR IMPACT IN    19  OUR SOCIETY, AND THE TRIUMPHS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANT    20  CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS COUNTRY IS THE  PROPER  CONCERN    21  OF  ALL  PEOPLE,  PARTICULARLY  STUDENTS  ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOLS OF THE    22  STATE OF NEW YORK.    23    4. IT IS THEREFORE DESIRABLE TO CREATE A STATE-LEVEL COMMISSION, WHICH    24  SHALL RESEARCH AND SURVEY THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE  AFRICAN  SLAVE  TRADE    25  AND  SLAVERY  IN  AMERICA IS INCLUDED IN THE CURRICULA OF NEW YORK STATE    26  SCHOOLS, AND MAKE  RECOMMENDATIONS  TO  THE  LEGISLATURE  AND  EXECUTIVE    27  REGARDING  THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EDUCATION AND AWARENESS PROGRAMS IN NEW    28  YORK CONCERNED WITH THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE,  SLAVERY  IN  AMERICA,  THE    29  VESTIGES   OF   SLAVERY  IN  THIS  COUNTRY,  AND  THE  CONTRIBUTIONS  OF    30  AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN BUILDING  OUR  COUNTRY.  SUCH  RECOMMENDATIONS  MAY    31  INCLUDE,  BUT  NOT  BE  LIMITED TO, THE DEVELOPMENT OF WORKSHOPS, INSTI-    32  TUTES, SEMINARS, AND  OTHER  TEACHER  TRAINING  ACTIVITIES  DESIGNED  TO    33  EDUCATE TEACHERS ON THIS SUBJECT MATTER; THE COORDINATION OF EVENTS ON A    34  REGULAR BASIS, THROUGHOUT THE STATE, THAT PROVIDE APPROPRIATE MEMORIALI-    35  ZATION  OF  THE  EVENTS CONCERNING THE ENSLAVEMENT OF AFRICANS AND THEIR    36  DESCENDANTS IN AMERICA AS WELL AS THEIR STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM AND  LIBER-    37  TY; AND SUGGESTIONS FOR REVISIONS TO THE CURRICULA AND TEXTBOOKS USED TO    38  EDUCATE THE STUDENTS OF NEW YORK STATE TO REFLECT A MORE ADEQUATE INCLU-    39  SION OF ISSUES IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMISSION.    40    S  57.52.  AMISTAD  COMMISSION; ESTABLISHED. 1. THE AMISTAD COMMISSION    41  (COMMISSION), SO NAMED IN HONOR OF THE GROUP OF ENSLAVED AFRICANS LED BY    42  JOSEPH  CINQUE  WHO,  WHILE  BEING  TRANSPORTED  IN   EIGHTEEN   HUNDRED    43  THIRTY-NINE  ON  A  VESSEL NAMED THE AMISTAD, GAINED THEIR FREEDOM AFTER    44  OVERTHROWING THE CREW AND  EVENTUALLY  HAVING  THEIR  CASE  SUCCESSFULLY    45  ARGUED  BEFORE  THE  UNITED  STATES SUPREME COURT, IS HEREBY CREATED AND    46  ESTABLISHED. THE COMMISSION SHALL CONSIST OF NINETEEN MEMBERS, INCLUDING    47  THE SECRETARY OF STATE OR HIS  OR  HER  DESIGNEE,  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF    48  EDUCATION  OR  HIS  OR  HER  DESIGNEE,  AND  THE CHANCELLOR OF THE STATE    49  UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE, SERVING EX  OFFICIO,  AND    50  SIXTEEN  PUBLIC  MEMBERS.  PUBLIC MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED AS FOLLOWS:    51  FOUR PUBLIC MEMBERS, NO MORE THAN TWO OF WHOM SHALL BE OF THE SAME POLI-    52  TICAL PARTY, SHALL BE  APPOINTED  BY  THE  TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT  OF  THE    53  SENATE;  FOUR  PUBLIC  MEMBERS, NO MORE THAN TWO OF WHOM SHALL BE OF THE    54  SAME POLITICAL PARTY, SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY;    55  AND EIGHT PUBLIC MEMBERS, NO MORE THAN FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE OF THE SAME    56  POLITICAL PARTY, SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR. THE PUBLIC  MEMBERS         A. 6362--B                          3      1  SHALL  BE  RESIDENTS  OF  THE  STATE,  CHOSEN  WITH  DUE REGARD TO BROAD     2  GEOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY, WHO HAVE AN INTEREST  IN     3  THE  HISTORY  OF  THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE AND SLAVERY IN AMERICA AND THE     4  CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS TO OUR SOCIETY.     5    2.  EACH  PUBLIC  MEMBER  OF  THE COMMISSION SHALL SERVE FOR A TERM OF     6  THREE YEARS, EXCEPT THAT OF THE INITIAL MEMBERS SO APPOINTED: ONE MEMBER     7  APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, ONE MEMBER APPOINTED     8  BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND TWO MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE  GOVER-     9  NOR  SHALL  SERVE  FOR  TERMS  OF  ONE YEAR; ONE MEMBER APPOINTED BY THE    10  TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, ONE MEMBER APPOINTED BY  THE  SPEAKER    11  OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND THREE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR SHALL SERVE    12  FOR TERMS OF TWO YEARS; AND TWO MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRES-    13  IDENT  OF THE SENATE, TWO MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEM-    14  BLY, AND THREE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR SHALL SERVE  FOR  TERMS    15  OF THREE YEARS. PUBLIC MEMBERS SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR REAPPOINTMENT. THEY    16  SHALL  SERVE UNTIL THEIR SUCCESSORS ARE APPOINTED AND QUALIFIED, AND THE    17  TERM OF THE SUCCESSOR OF ANY INCUMBENT  SHALL  BE  CALCULATED  FROM  THE    18  EXPIRATION OF THE TERM OF THAT INCUMBENT. A VACANCY OCCURRING OTHER THAN    19  BY EXPIRATION OF TERM SHALL BE FILLED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL    20  APPOINTMENT BUT FOR THE UNEXPIRED TERM ONLY.    21    3.  THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION SHALL SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION BUT    22  SHALL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ALL NECESSARY  EXPENSES  INCURRED    23  IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES.    24    4.  THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE, SHALL SERVE AS THE    25  CHAIR AND THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, OR HIS OR HER  DESIGNEE,  SHALL    26  SERVE AS THE VICE-CHAIR OF THE COMMISSION. THE PRESENCE OF A MAJORITY OF    27  THE  AUTHORIZED  MEMBERSHIP  OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE REQUIRED FOR THE    28  CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.    29    5. THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  AND    30  DATA  TO  THE COMMISSION AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE COMMISSION TO CARRY    31  OUT ITS RESPONSIBILITIES PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE.    32    S 57.53. THE AMISTAD  COMMISSION;  DUTIES  AND  RESPONSIBILITIES.  THE    33  AMISTAD COMMISSION SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:    34    1.  TO SURVEY AND CATALOG THE EXTENT AND BREADTH OF EDUCATION CONCERN-    35  ING THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE, SLAVERY IN AMERICA, THE VESTIGES OF SLAVERY    36  IN THIS COUNTRY AND THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS TO OUR SOCIE-    37  TY PRESENTLY BEING INCORPORATED INTO THE  CURRICULA  AND  TEXTBOOKS  AND    38  TAUGHT IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF THE STATE; AND, TO INVENTORY THOSE AFRI-    39  CAN  SLAVE TRADE, AMERICAN SLAVERY, OR RELEVANT AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY    40  MEMORIALS, EXHIBITS AND RESOURCES  WHICH  SHOULD  BE  INCORPORATED  INTO    41  COURSES  OF STUDY AT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE    42  STATE.    43    2. TO COMPILE A ROSTER OF INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS  WHO  ARE  WILLING  TO    44  SHARE  THEIR  KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN CLASSROOMS, SEMINARS AND WORK-    45  SHOPS WITH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ON THE SUBJECT  OF  THE  AFRICAN  SLAVE    46  TRADE,  AMERICAN SLAVERY AND THE IMPACT OF SLAVERY ON OUR SOCIETY TODAY,    47  AND THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS TO OUR COUNTRY; AND    48    3. TO PREPARE REPORTS FOR THE GOVERNOR AND THE  LEGISLATURE  REGARDING    49  ITS  FINDINGS  AND  RECOMMENDATIONS ON FACILITATING THE INCLUSION OF THE    50  AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE, AMERICAN SLAVERY STUDIES, AFRICAN-AMERICAN  HISTORY    51  AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF THE STATE.    52    S  57.54.  AUTHORIZATION.  1.  THE AMISTAD COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED TO    53  CALL UPON ANY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE, DIVISION OR AGENCY OF THE STATE, OR OF    54  ANY COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY OR SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE STATE, TO SUPPLY SUCH    55  DATA, PROGRAM REPORTS AND OTHER INFORMATION, AS IT  DEEMS  NECESSARY  TO    56  DISCHARGE ITS RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE.         A. 6362--B                          4      1    2.  THESE  DEPARTMENTS,  OFFICES, DIVISIONS AND AGENCIES SHALL, TO THE     2  EXTENT POSSIBLE AND NOT INCONSISTENT WITH ANY OTHER LAW OF  THIS  STATE,     3  COOPERATE WITH THE COMMISSION AND SHALL FURNISH IT WITH SUCH INFORMATION     4  AND ASSISTANCE AS MAY BE NECESSARY OR HELPFUL TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSES     5  OF THIS ARTICLE.     6    S 2. This act shall take effect immediately. .SO DOC A 6362B         *END*                    BTXT                 2005 

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Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence’s Underground Railroad 
 
Curriculum Resolution


 Whereas Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence has identified as its top priority the inclusion of Black History (African, African American & Caribbean) in the NYC Department of Education curriculum––

Whereas more than 600,000 of the 1.1 million students in the NYC school system are of African Ancestry––

Whereas there is no accurate history of people of African ancestry being systematically taught within the NYC public school system––

Whereas Dr. Carter G. Woodson in his 1931 seminal work, The Mis–Education of the Negro, stressed Black children will never be properly educated without being taught their history is still true today––

Whereas numerous commissions have concluded that the teaching of Black History is related to enhancing Black children’s self esteem and overall success of their academic performance– including doing well on standardized exams––

 

 

 Whereas prior initiatives including:

        •    The Curriculum of Inclusion (1989)
        •    The Commission On Students of    African Descent (1995)

 Both have emphasized the urgent need for Black History to be taught in our schools–

Whereas numerous education experts and civic leaders including Regent Dr. Adelaide Sanford and Dr. Donald Smith have supported these initiatives as vital to the success of Black students––

Whereas the current curriculum is culturally insensitive and inaccurate which has, in turn, helped to alienate Black students from the educational process––

Whereas in 1997 the New York State Legislature, in Bill #8458–B, and the US Congress 1998 bill have both mandated the teaching of the Underground Railroad Curriculum to ALL children in ALL schools and colleges– public & private––

Whereas all research, Legislative acts, laws & commissions have been deliberately ignored and never implemented by either the New York City or the New York State Departments of Education––

Be it Resolved that:

We declare that we will no longer sit by and watch our children be subjected to an institutionally racist and humiliating education. As citizens and taxpayers, we are declaring a State of Emergency regarding the education of Black Children––

We are advocating that all the funds set aside to implement the Underground Railroad Curriculum since 1997 as well as at least 5% of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement be used to fund this Black History cultural initiative in order to bring about a semblance of cultural equity addressing the multigenerational mis–education of Black people––

We further call upon all Black parents, houses of worship, sororities, fraternities, unions, elected officials, community based organizations, artists and concerned individuals to join us in support of this resolution and in launching a campaign to teach Black History to our children after school, on weekends and holidays.

We the undersigned students, educators, spiritual leaders, parents and other concerned community people thereby strongly support the passage of this Underground Railroad Curriculum Legislation which has mandated Black History to be taught to ALL students––


Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence’s
Underground Railroad Curriculum Resolution

We the undersigned students, educators, spiritual leaders, parents and other concerned community people thereby strongly support the passage of this1997 Underground Railroad Curriculum Legislation which has mandated that
Black History be taught to ALL students––

 

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Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence

Underground Railroad Curriculum Frameworks

The Underground Railroad Curriculum (URC) must be comprehensive, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The lessons generated by the URC basic questions must touch on elements of science, math, art, language arts, music, social studies and even physical education. The scope of the Underground Railroad Curriculum must provide answers to historical, political, economic, social and cultural questions. We envision a framework for curriculum development that allows teacher/student participation at all levels of instruction. While appropriate for Early Childhood classrooms, the depth and breadth of the learning experience provided by the URC will change as students progress through school. At Early Childhood levels, students will be expected to develop a basic understanding of the fundamental questions posed by the URC. At Middle School levels students will build on prior learning and deepen their understanding of the basic questions. At the High School level, students will be expected to grasp the basic questions at a higher level of complexity and then be expected to do independent study/research using topics generated by the basic questions. The Underground Railroad Curriculum will be aligned with existing New York State Curricula and will exceed the New York State Standards at each grade level.

Underground Railroad Curriculum Basic Questions

The URC is being developed out a series of “generative” questions. These questions are based on the theories of Paulo Freire and the Independent Black Schools Movement. By using questions to frame the learning experience, students come up with knowledge that is “useful.” The answers that students come to understand deepen their comprehension of both history and the contemporary world. Here are some of the basic questions:

• How did African people get to the “New World?”
• How do we fix this historical reality in space, geography and time?
• What happened when African people arrived in North America?  South
America? The Caribbean? Central America?
• Why was it necessary to resist the institution of slavery? What forms did this resistance take? How widespread was the resistance?
• How did other groups assist Africans in resisting slavery?
• Escape was a major method of resistance. How was escape organized
throughout the Diaspora? In North America?
• What was the Underground Railroad? Why was it defined as being
underground and a railroad?
• Who are some of the major historical figures of the Underground Railroad?
• What impact has slavery had on the contemporary world?

Overall Pedagogy
The URC develops its pedagogy based on taking students from a concrete experience through higher levels of abstraction in the following six steps as conceived of by The Algebra Project but applicable with modifications" to any course of study. Students will:

1. Experience a physical event (the African Burial Ground, The Amistad, a museum trip, exhibition, debate, conference.)
2. Create a picture or model of the event (usually a collective mural
summing up students’ observations about the event) before, during and
after.
3. Use their own everyday language to describe/critique the event.
4. Learn how to transform the everyday language into formal/regimented
English, i.e. term and research papers, book reviews, debates.
5. Develop symbolic representations of the event if it involves some aspect of science, technology or mathematics, i.e. slave ship building, navigation, Underground Railroad “mapping.”
6. Students develop their own unique contributions to the URC and/or to the history of the Underground Railroad and Beyond Curriculum.

BNYEE’s Black History Month’s Lesson Plan Sampler

In The Rebellious Tradition: Black Resistance from the Underground Railroad to The Civil Rights Movement

Learning Objectives
•  Students will be able to have an awareness of the power of “Tradition:” the connections between Black resistance against slavery and the tumultuous uprisings of the Civil Rights Movement.
•  Students will be able to demonstrate –orally, written form, and artistically- their understanding of the connections between the forms of resistance used during the slavery era and those of the Civil Rights Movement.
•  Students will be able to know the difference between resistance and criminal activity: unjust laws that violate one’s human rights and dignity, and just laws that uphold the basic tenets of Human Rights.
•  Students will complete a survey of their family members’ and friend’s history of direct involvement within Black Resistance struggles in the US, Africa and the Diaspora.

Activities
Give the students a visual image of the brutality & resistance of the Civil Rights Movement juxtaposed to Slavery. Either a video, book, magazine or online resources with suggested pictures depicting resistance, rebellion, and brutality. For example, the classic photo of a Birmingham Black Youth of 1963 being attacked by a policeman and his dog juxtaposed with Harriet Tubman with her gun.
•  Geography discussion: “Same Cargo-Different Destination”

(need Peter’s Projection map)
•  Just and Unjust Laws discussion: Criminalizing of a race.
•  Family Survey of Civil Rights/antislavery involvement includes the anticolonial struggles

Suggested Time: 80-90 minute blocks 


The History of Resistance –When are Laws Just Unjust?

ACTIVITES FOR K-12
Determination of the implementation of the parts of the activity will depend on the developmental level of students. For younger children, the rules of the classroom and the school can be a basis for discussion as opposed to the laws of city, state and federal government for older students.
Students will have experienced the activity with photos of slavery and the civil rights movement. Teacher should have previewed pictures for younger children to determine which ones are most appropriate as younger children cannot determine as easily the nature of current past and future events and their own and their families’ lives. Below are activities with adaptations for Grade Levels.

Grades 7-12 (or 9-12)
Teacher introduces words such as... LAW (“RULES” can be used for younger children) RIGHT WRONG RACISM WHITE SUPREMACY FAIR BAD GOOD NICE MEAN HURT HUMAN BEING DIGNITY CARE APOLOGIZE SLAVERY FREEDOM FAMILY KIDNAP PREVENT EQUAL JUST TRUTH… by writing on the board in circle with spikes for each word coming out. For older students a worksheet can be handed out with the same information. The teacher introduces her/himself as the LAW and that he/she is ALWAYS FAIR.
The teacher then asks what the students would think if the teacher tried to do something that was one of the listed negative things –MEAN PREVENT BAD HURT KIDNAP RACISM WHITE SUPREMACY SLAVERY WRONG-- to uphold the LAWS he/she set. Students are asked to think of enslaved Africans and Civil Rights workers who were defying the law. Several pictures of attacks against enslaved and civil Rights workers can be used to ask what you think was fair, just and nice about what you know about these responses to abolitionists and Civil Rights workers. For younger students the discussion can lead to what do you do when you see something wrong, and how do you decide what is “wrong” or “bad” in response.
Have students meet in pairs and come up with their definitions of each of the words which one person writes down on a form given by the teacher, a sample is included. Give students enough time to talk in pairs about why they feel a certain definition should be used. When students come back together, have each pair state their definition with teacher writing key words of each definition. The discussion should help students to:
•  Examine their ideas about fairness in the time periods of slavery and the Civil Rights Movements and who decided what was “legal”
•  Discuss how the decisions making slavery “legal” had an impact on the responses to the Civil Rights demonstrators and supporters
•  Determine how each student would decide what is legal or not legal if they had been in a position to make laws in the United States during slavery—would you have been an abolitionist and why/why not?
•  How do you think you would feel if you were a slaveholding family member’s child, relative in Europe if they knew how slaves were treated
•  How would you talk to a family member of a Civil Rights participant in     student sit ins to tell them why it is right/wrong for their family member to participate?
Read a chapter in a book about the Civil Rights Movement from the point of view of the participants. Read a narrative written by an enslaved African and make a comparison of their experiences. For younger students picture books can be used and responses dictated.
•  Final activity is to state the laws of their school as they know them and how they relate to the history of unequal education that was one of many reasons the Civil Rights Movement started.