Civics - Unit on Race
- What knowledge, skills, and dispositions (intention to act) does a person need in order to be a powerful civic actor in our democracy and in our community?
- How will I use my rights and responsibilities to promote the common good in our democracy and community?
The Continued Struggle with Racism in the United States
The Continued Struggle with Racism in the United States
Watch The Uncomfortable Truth Documentary (available on Amazon Prime)
Description: When the son of Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, dives into the 400 year history of institutional racism in America he is confronted with the shocking reality that his family helped start it all from the very beginning. A comprehensive and insightful exploration of the origins and history of racism in America told through a very personal and honest story.
1793 - Cotton Gin
Watch PBS: Slavery and the Making of America Documentary (available on Amazon Prime)
Description: This four-part series documenting the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies to its end in the Southern states and the years of post-Civil War Reconstruction. Drawing on a wealth of recent scholarship, it looks at slavery as an integral part of a developing nation, challenging the long held notion that slavery was exclusively a Southern enterprise. At the same time, by focusing on the remarkable stories of individual slaves, it offers new perspectives on the slave experience and testifies to the active role that Africans and African Americans took in surviving their bondage and shaping their own lives. Preview and read more: Thirteen.org
Watch The Long Shadow Documentary (available on Amazon Prime)
Description: When filmmaker and investigative journalist Frances Causey, a daughter of the South, set out to explore the continuing racial divisions in the US, what she discovered was that the politics of slavery didn't end with the Civil War. In an astonishingly candid look at the United States' original sin, The Long Shadow traces slavery's history from America's founding up through its insidious ties to racism today.
Homework: Watch New Orleans Mayor Denounces Confederate Nostalgia in Stirring Speech Defending Monument Removal (Video) and answer the:
- Should the Confederate monuments and statues be removed? Why or why not?
- What do these monuments and statues represent to our African-American population?
- Are the Confederate monuments and statues part of our history and should be preserved?
- If you believe they should be removed, where do you draw the line? Example: Statue of Christopher Columbus in Lincoln Park in Chicago
Watch PBS: Birth of a Movement Documentary (available on Amazon Prime)
Description: In 1915, Boston-based African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly The Birth of a Nation, unleashing a fight that still rages today about race relations, media representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. Birth of a Movement, based on Dick Lehr's book The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights, captures the backdrop to this prescient clash between human rights, freedom of speech, and a changing media landscape.
Watch I Am Not Your Negro (available on Netflix and Amazon Prime)
Description: In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends-Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
Watch 13th Documentary (available on Netflix)
Description: The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world's population. "13th" charts the explosive growth in America's prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith's film "The Birth of a Nation"; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs and much more.
Description: The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
8 Minutes and 46 Seconds Won't Be Ignored
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee called 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life. By combining videos from bystanders and security cameras, reviewing official documents and consulting experts, The New York Times reconstructed in detail the minutes leading to Mr. Floyd’s death. Our video shows officers taking a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help. The day after Mr. Floyd’s death, the Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode, and on Friday the Hennepin County attorney, Mike Freeman, announced murder and manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer who can be seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground. Mr. Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to the criminal complaint against him. Our video shows that Mr. Chauvin did not remove his knee even after Mr. Floyd lost consciousness, and for a full minute after paramedics arrived at the scene.
Black Lives Matter Movement
- Mr. Streit - Conversation on Race w/ Community Leader Mr. Christopher Rudd Video (Thank you Mr. Rudd)
- Barack Obama: How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change
- LL Cool J - George Floyd Rap
- Black Parents Explain How to Deal with Police (Video)
- A Syllabus For Students When Dealing With Law Enforcement
- SI: What Do You Think of Colin Kaepernick Now?
- WSJ: Trump Responds to Violent Protests
- Atlantic: James Mattis, Former Sec. of Defense - Denounces President Trump,
- Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution
- NY Times: Remember, No One is Coming to Save Us
- LA Times: Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America
- Difference Between: Riot and Protest
- Anti-Racist Resources Guide
- TED Talk: Jay Smooth - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race (Video)
- AcTv: Systematic Racism (Video)
- Marley Dias (11 Year Old): Institutional Racism (Video)
- The Unequal Opportunity Race (Video)
- Animation Series: Something Happened In Our Town
- Teaching Tolerance
- Facing History: Identity Chart (Who Am I?)
- New Orleans Mayor Denounces Confederate Nostalgia in Stirring Speech Defending Monument Removal (Video & Script)
- NY Times: The Last Slave Ship named Clotilda?
- ESPN: Coach Gregg Popovich on Privilege (Video)
- What Was Life Really Like During Reconstruction
- TED Talk: The Danger of a Single Story Video
- NatGeo: America Inside Out - White Anxiety
- Ken Burns on Race Relations (Video)
The Ugly History of Jon Burge
Whenever Chicago Police commander Jon Burge needed a confession, he would walk into the interrogation room and set down a little black box, his alleged victims would later tell prosecutors. The box had two wires and a crank. Burge, they alleged, would attach one wire to the suspect’s handcuffed ankles and the other to his manacled hands. Then, they said, Burge would place a plastic bag over the suspect’s head. Finally, he would crank his little black box and listen to the screams of pain as electricity coursed through the suspect’s body.
Part I: Writing a Mission Statement for the Police
2. Class Discussion:
- Is a police department necessary in today's world? Why or why not?
- What are the most important functions of the police?
- Let's look closely at our mission statements. What similarities do you see? What words appear in several of the students? What differences do you see? What do you think accounts for the differences?
- Read each sentence of the mission statement carefully. What does each sentence mean to you?
- How is the CPD mission statement similar to the mission statement you wrote? How is it different?
- If you could change one thing in the CPD mission statement, what would it be? Explain your choice.
The Ugly History of John Burge Resources: