This entry in the New York Times "Disunion" blog asks readers to examine the aftermath of Emancipation: "Was freedom, narrowly construed, enough? Was freedom simply a license, the right to make choices, however constrained, as white planters claimed? Or did freedom extend to the ballot box, to education, to equality of opportunity? And who defined freedom, and what did it mean to 19th-century African-Americans, both under slavery and after the war?" Gregory P. Downs and James Downs outline current historical arguments on the matter and present a reading list for those interested in learning more about the difficult Reconstruction period.
"The Union as it was / The lost cause, worse than slavery" by Thomas Nast
The Library of Congress
Though institutional slavery had been dismantled, the struggles of African Americans were far from over. Discrimination, intimidation, and violence against African Americans was common in many parts of the country, especially in the South, where groups like those depicted here not only used political influence to curtail the rights of African Americans but also intimidation, arson, and lynching.
The Next Electronic Field Trip
is When Freedom Came
February 16, 2012
Find sources of federal funding for EFTs in this PDF.
Downloadable American History
Lesson Plans from
and Colonial Williamsburg
Kids In Need Foundation Grants Open February 14
The Kids in Need Foundation is awarding 250 school supply grants ranging from $100 to $500 to teachers at schools in need. Teachers must choose a classroom project from the provided list and fill out an application explaining how the project will benefit their students. Projects are divided by subject and grade. History projects include living history presentations; building a Native American village; creating decision scrapbooks; and more. Applications can be downloaded starting February 14.
02/06: The Boston Slave Petitions
Vodcast: Interpreting African American History Then & Now
02/13: The Education Our Economy Needs
02/20: Washington's Pearly Whites
02/27: Our Native Past
Also check out our Black History Month podcasts!
The Idea of America
A digital American history program that inspires and prepares high school students for active citizenship, developed by Colonial Williamsburg and distributed by Pearson Education.
The period after the Civil War known as Reconstruction lasted from 1865 to 1877. It was a time of rebuilding and reunifying the war-ravaged country as more inclusive and without slavery. This was no easy task and equality was far from attained by Reconstruction's end. In this lesson, students compare the hopes and expectations created by the Emancipation Proclamation and Reconstruction amendments to the realities of discrimination after slavery.
Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of quality
American history instructional materials, including:
- Slave's Bag Hands-on History Kit
- Stories Under African Skies CD-ROM
- No Master Over Me EFT on DVD
21st Century Award
for Best Practices in Distance Learning,
United States Distance Learning Association, 2010
Distinguished Achievement Award Finalist 2011
Association of Educational Publishers
Quotation of the Month
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
—Frederick Douglass, in a speech made on April 16, 1886, on the twenty-fourth anniversary of emancipation in Washington, D.C. As quoted in The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series 1,
Vol. 1. ed. John W. Blassingame.
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979.
Colonial Williamsburg for Teachers