Wednesday, July 29

titles for teaching: resources for the classroom

With the recent influx of young teachers via programs such as Teach For America, Teaching Fellows, and similar programs, many teachers now have the opportunity to begin to effect our own children albeit in the confines of these programs. While they do present some challenges, it is still the job of good instructors to introduce our children to their history as well. We would hope that this happens within the boundaries of the curriculum, however that is an ongoing struggle (see the Philadelphia model). Despite this, many teachers have found ways to introduce the material through after school programs, tutoring, and other avenues. Two of the more important works in the past century, African Glory by John Coleman Degraft-Johnson (1954), and The Negro by William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1915), are great for teachers looking to expose youth to their history, beginning where it begins of course...the African continent. This is something most traditional textbooks do not accomplish. These short, but complete introductory works encapsulate the history of people of African descent in a manner that is easy for middle and high school students to comprehend.

(more after the jump)

African Glory: The Story of Vanished Negro Civilizations
by J.C. Degraft Johnson
Tracing the history of Africans from the earliest civilizations (Egypt, Carthage, etc.) to the modern contact with Europeans, Johnson, born in Ghana, offers students a clear and concise journey through history. Destroying the mythology surrounding the period known as 'pre-colonial' Africa, this work will enlighten interested students of world history. This work is available from Black Classic Press .

The Negro
by W.E.B. DuBois
DuBois also begins the historical narrative in the most ancient of civilizations. From there DuBois discusses the civilizations of Kush, Egypt, Nubia, Zimbabwe, Mali, Songhay, and Ghana. Ending the work, he discusses the "Negro in the United States." A great work for teachers looking show students the link between African-Americans and Africans on the continent and in the West Indies.

While these works are great educational resources for intellectual stimulation in the classroom, they are also of course phenomenal choices for the avid reader. For us, its an essential add to any complete library. I'm not sure whether or not Degraft-Johnson and DuBois ever met but their work is strikingly similar written 39 years apart.

Expand your mind!