The African-American Experience

The African-American Experience Series Cover

Author Richard Beck wrote this article about Black History Month in the Herald Sun newspaper:

Black History Month is a celebration of important people and events in the history of African-Americans and is commemorated in the United States in February.

It was originated in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson, the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, as "Negro History Week" after he found little of the history of black Americans in books he studied at Harvard University. In 1976 the organization extended the week to a month-long observance.

But both black and white critics raise the question: Is Black History Month still needed?

"It's necessary because African-American history isn't yet fully integrated into American history," black author Mel Watkins declared. "The irony of it is that we still have to have a Black History Month to remind people that we have a history." Another author, David Dent, disagrees. "Black history is intrinsically American, so much broader than just one month," Dent said. "It has become a tradition, but we have to seriously consider the question, 'Is it time to move on?'"

Charles Quist-Adade, a professor at Wayne State University, stated, "The myth that Africa's history began with the arrival of the Europeans and that Africans had achieved nothing and had no culture before then is a part of the more insidious myth of racial inferiority which seeks to provide an excuse for master-servant relationships and domination of one race by another."

Kimberly Pollock, an educator in Washington State, claims, "Sometimes what's missing does as much damage as what's misconstrued. When you're learning about history and the Founding Fathers and people who've done great things, the fact that there are black people missing leads one to think they haven't done great things."

But another voice, actor Morgan Freeman, in an interview on 60 Minutes, said that the whole concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous." "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" he asked. "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history." He further noted that there is no "white history month," and the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

In agreement is Andrew P. Jackson, president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. "By now we shouldn't have to remind anyone of the contributions of black people. We should be past that, but we're not—not until you can go to school and not have to take African-American classes, not until you can go to classes and learn about Langston Hughes as part of American literature instead of African-American literature."

In 2009, the new black attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, said, "Black history is a subject worthy of study by all our nation's people. Blacks have played a unique, productive role in the development of America. Perhaps the greatest strength of the United States is the diversity of its people, and to truly understand this country, one must have knowledge of its constituent parts. But an unstudied, not discussed, and ultimately misunderstood diversity can become a divisive force. An appreciation of the unique black past, acquired through the study of black history, will help lead to understanding and true compassion in the present, where it is still so sorely needed, and to a future where all of our people are truly valued."

Attempting to bridge the arguments, Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, offered: "Black History Month feels especially significant this year. At too many points in our national experience, black history and American history have seemed to tell different stories. But when President Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, many were quick to point out that it was a historic day for black Americans and for all Americans. Two million multicolored faces of all ages cheering together on the National Mall seemed to confirm that this was a moment when the threads of our separate stories were finally woven together in a new quest for unity and community as one people. Everywhere one looked during Inauguration weekend were reminders of how black history and American history had converged."

Perhaps the final words should be left to Woodson, who wrote in 1926, "We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice."

We are pleased to offer Richard Beck's important history book and a series of 15 wall posters of images and heroes of the African-American experience.

Other books on the topic of African-American history are listed at the bottom of this page.

Richard Beck is a retired teacher and a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University.

Author Richard Beck wrote this article about Black History Month in the Herald Sun newspaper:

Black History Month is a celebration of important people and events in the history of African-Americans and is commemorated in the United States in February.

It was originated in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson, the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, as "Negro History Week" after he found little of the history of black Americans in books he studied at Harvard University. In 1976 the organization extended the week to a month-long observance.

But both black and white critics raise the question: Is Black History Month still needed?

"It's necessary because African-American history isn't yet fully integrated into American history," black author Mel Watkins declared. "The irony of it is that we still have to have a Black History Month to remind people that we have a history." Another author, David Dent, disagrees. "Black history is intrinsically American, so much broader than just one month," Dent said. "It has become a tradition, but we have to seriously consider the question, 'Is it time to move on?'"

Charles Quist-Adade, a professor at Wayne State University, stated, "The myth that Africa's history began with the arrival of the Europeans and that Africans had achieved nothing and had no culture before then is a part of the more insidious myth of racial inferiority which seeks to provide an excuse for master-servant relationships and domination of one race by another."

Kimberly Pollock, an educator in Washington State, claims, "Sometimes what's missing does as much damage as what's misconstrued. When you're learning about history and the Founding Fathers and people who've done great things, the fact that there are black people missing leads one to think they haven't done great things."

But another voice, actor Morgan Freeman,  in an interview on 60 Minutes, said that the whole concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous." "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" he asked. "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history." He further noted that there is no "white history month," and the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

In agreement is Andrew P. Jackson, president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. "By now we shouldn't have to remind anyone of the contributions of black people. We should be past that, but we're not—not until you can go to school and not have to take African-American classes, not until you can go to classes and learn about Langston Hughes as part of American literature instead of African-American literature."

In 2009, the new black attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, said, "Black history is a subject worthy of study by all our nation's people. Blacks have played a unique, productive role in the development of America. Perhaps the greatest strength of the United States is the diversity of its people, and to truly understand this country, one must have knowledge of its constituent parts. But an unstudied, not discussed, and ultimately misunderstood diversity can become a divisive force. An appreciation of the unique black past, acquired through the study of black history, will help lead to understanding and true compassion in the present, where it is still so sorely needed, and to a future where all of our people are truly valued."

Attempting to bridge the arguments, Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, offered: "Black History Month feels especially significant this year. At too many points in our national experience, black history and American history have seemed to tell different stories. But when President Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, many were quick to point out that it was a historic day for black Americans and for all Americans. Two million multicolored faces of all ages cheering together on the National Mall seemed to confirm that this was a moment when the threads of our separate stories were finally woven together in a new quest for unity and community as one people. Everywhere one looked during Inauguration weekend were reminders of how black history and American history had converged."

Perhaps the final words should be left to Woodson, who wrote in 1926, "We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice."

We are pleased to offer Richard Beck's important history book and a series of 15 wall posters of images and heroes of the African-American experience. 

Other books on the topic of African-American history are listed at the bottom of this page.

Richard Beck is a retired teacher and a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University.

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African-American History

Author: Beck, Richard

Subjects: African-American; History; Social Studies; Civil Rights; Slavery

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-088092-431-3

Order code: 4313

Price: $40.00
Website price: $25.00

Class sets: 20 or more: $20.00 each.
Order code: 4313S

African-American History Cover

Now in its second edition, this is a vast yet concise history of the economic, political, social, and military contributions of African-Americans. From African roots to Civil Rights, Black Power, and President Obama, Mr. Beck reclaims the experience that is seldom mentioned in mainstream history texts.

The book contains 29 lessons, as well as numerous illustrations, such as bill posters, advertisements, photographs, cartoons, and maps.

Depending on the motivation and sophistication of the students, this book can be used at any grade in middle or secondary school.

Go to the top of the page to read about the author and why he wrote this book.

Contents:

Lesson 1. Slavery in the Old World
Lesson 2. The African Heritage
Lesson 3. West Africa: Background and Ghana
Lesson 4. West Africa: Mali and Songhay
Lesson 5. West African Culture
Lesson 6. From Africa to the Americas
Lesson 7. The Latin-American Experience
Lesson 8. The English Colonies
Lesson 9. Slavery and a New Nation
Lesson 10. Blacks in the West, 1800-1860
Lesson 11. King Cotton and Slavery: The South, 1800-1860
Lesson 12. Slavery Defended and Opposed: The South, 1800-1860
Lesson 13. Controlling Slaves and Free Blacks: The South, 1800-1860
Lesson 14. Blacks in the North, 1800-1860
Lesson 15. Fighting for Freedom and Equality: The North, 1800-1860
Lesson 16. Slavery Leads to War, 1820-1860
Lesson 17. The Civil War, 1861-1865
Lesson 18. Blacks During Reconstruction, 1865-1876
Lesson 19. The Western Frontier, 1865-1900
Lesson 20. Fight For Progress: Blacks After Reconstruction
Lesson 21. The Growth of Segregation: The South, 1876-1900
Lesson 22. Blacks Between Wars, 1898-1919
Lesson 23. The 1920s: Reaction and Renaissance
Lesson 24. The New Deal, 1932-1940
Lesson 25. Blacks in War and Peace, 1941-1953
Lesson 26. The Civil Rights Revolution
Lesson 27. The Black Power Movement
Lesson 28. Black Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century
Lesson 29. The New Millenium: African-Americans in the Twenty-First Century

Now in its second edition, this is a vast yet concise history of the economic, political, social, and military contributions of African-Americans. From African roots to Civil Rights, Black Power, and President Obama, Mr. Beck reclaims the experience that is seldom mentioned in mainstream history texts.

The book contains 29 lessons, as well as numerous illustrations, such as bill posters, advertisements, photographs, cartoons, and maps.

Depending on the motivation and sophistication of the students, this book can be used at any grade in middle or secondary school.

Go to the top of the page to read about the author and why he wrote this book.

Contents:

Lesson 1. Slavery in the Old World
Lesson 2. The African Heritage
Lesson 3. West Africa: Background and Ghana
Lesson 4. West Africa: Mali and Songhay
Lesson 5. West African Culture
Lesson 6. From Africa to the Americas
Lesson 7. The Latin-American Experience
Lesson 8. The English Colonies
Lesson 9. Slavery and a New Nation 
Lesson 10. Blacks in the West, 1800-1860
Lesson 11. King Cotton and Slavery: The South, 1800-1860
Lesson 12. Slavery Defended and Opposed: The South, 1800-1860
Lesson 13. Controlling Slaves and Free Blacks: The South, 1800-1860
Lesson 14. Blacks in the North, 1800-1860
Lesson 15. Fighting for Freedom and Equality: The North, 1800-1860
Lesson 16. Slavery Leads to War, 1820-1860
Lesson 17. The Civil War, 1861-1865
Lesson 18. Blacks During Reconstruction, 1865-1876
Lesson 19. The Western Frontier, 1865-1900
Lesson 20. Fight For Progress: Blacks After Reconstruction
Lesson 21. The Growth of Segregation: The South, 1876-1900
Lesson 22. Blacks Between Wars, 1898-1919
Lesson 23. The 1920s: Reaction and Renaissance
Lesson 24. The New Deal, 1932-1940
Lesson 25. Blacks in War and Peace, 1941-1953
Lesson 26. The Civil Rights Revolution
Lesson 27. The Black Power Movement
Lesson 28. Black Americans at the End of the Twentieth Century
Lesson 29. The New Millenium: African-Americans in the Twenty-First Century

African-American History Cover

African-American History sample pages:

African-American History: Teacher Manual

Author: Beck, Richard

Subjects: African-American; History; Social Studies; Civil Rights; Slavery

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-088092-432-0

Order code: 4320

Price: $20.00

African-American History: Teacher Manual Cover

The Teacher Manual contains for each lesson answers to the review questions in the student book, class discussion questions, a list of activities for the students to do, and a reading list so that motivated students can expand their learning on topics in that lesson.

The Teacher Manual contains for each lesson answers to the review questions in the student book, class discussion questions, a list of activities for the students to do, and a reading list so that motivated students can expand their learning on topics in that lesson.

African-American History: Teacher Manual Cover

The African-American Experience: Set of Posters

Author:

Subjects: African-American; Social Studies; Civil Rights; Classroom Posters; American History

Order code: 1544S

Price: $25.00

This is a set of 15 posters of African-American images, heroes, and civil rights leaders. Each poster is 18 inches by 24 inches and is headed: HEROES OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

The posters depict:

George Washington Carver
Angela Davis
Deadwood Dick
Frederick Douglass
W.E.B. Du Bois
Marcus Garvey
Jesse Jackson
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Malcolm X
Bill Pickett
Harriet Tubman
Booker T. Washington
Migrants waiting on a levee in 1897
Soldiers manning a tank in World War II
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., together

This is a set of 15 posters of African-American images, heroes, and civil rights leaders. Each poster is 18 inches by 24 inches and is headed: HEROES OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

The posters depict:

George Washington Carver
Angela Davis
Deadwood Dick
Frederick Douglass
W.E.B. Du Bois
Marcus Garvey
Jesse Jackson
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Malcolm X
Bill Pickett
Harriet Tubman
Booker T. Washington
Migrants waiting on a levee in 1897
Soldiers manning a tank in World War II
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., together

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