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Originally posted on Quartz:

Last week, Brandeis University professor Chad Williams saw countless news stories and social media conversations about the shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a white man allegedly killed nine black people. What he did not see was historical context.

So Williams, chair of the school’s African and Afro-American studies department, started a hashtag.

“When events like this happen, or really anything having to do with race, I think there’s an impulse to start talking—’We need to have a conversation, we need to have a dialogue,'” Williams tells Quartz. “All too often those conversations are rooted in emotions, in feelings, rather than historical facts.”

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I finally visited the African American Civll War Memorial and Museum on June 5th. African Americans were 1% of the population in the northern United States.  However, African Americans comprised 10% of the Union Army and 25% of the Union Navy through the creation of the United States Colored Troops. The numbers at the memorial are only the official count of those who died in the war.  The names on the silver plaques do not include those forced into service by the Confederacy.  When I first got to the memorial it took my eyes a moment to focus on those small silver plaques and I realized each one was cover in the names of the fallen.  It was almost overwhelming to see so many names.  The front of the monument, named The Spirit of Freedom, depicts soldiers poised to fight and on the back of the monument is a solider, but also family (women and children).

The records of the troops are accessible through the museum and are not only of the fallen but all of the US Colored Troops, which can assist people in their genealogy searches.

Originally posted on theGrio:

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Against a backdrop of exclusive, sea-view apartments in Cape Town, South African and American researchers on Tuesday paid tribute at the spot where slaves died when the Portuguese ship that was carrying them into bondage sank in 1794.

Three divers, deterred by rain and wind that evoked the stormy conditions that wrecked the Sao Jose–Paquete de Africa slave ship, ventured a few feet (meters) into the surf of the Clifton suburb’s beach to scatter sand from Mozambique in honor of the doomed slaves, who were being transported from the former Portuguese colony. The divers hugged each other and one shed tears.

The memorial was the culmination of years of digging in historical archives and into the sea floor, casting new light on the century-spanning, Atlantic slave trade, in which millions from Africa were sent to labor in the Americas at the height of European…

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Most people know the history of slavery within the United States.  This video from TED ED explores the impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on the continent of Africa.

Originally posted on Issues and Interpretations in Public History:

An incredible example of how you take one object, a piece of paper evaluating “extra men”, place it in history then connect it to a larger issue, black humanity, and finally bring it into the present,  the events in Ferguson, all in two pages. It succinctly shows the past and its impact on today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/magazine/the-worth-of-black-men-from-slavery-to-ferguson.html?_r=0

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Originally posted on The Writing Campus:

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In a recent post from Bryn Mawr’s Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education, Professor Alejandro Quintana, Assistant Professor in the History Department at St. John’s University, and his student Writing Fellow, Morgan Zajkowski, have written an excellent blog post detailing their work together. Over the course of a semester, Quintana and Zajkowski collaborated on ways to improve student writing, retention, and participation in Quintana’s history course, guided by the principles of WAC. They offer helpful insights into fostering student engagement and making the classroom a dynamic place for collaborative discussion, while using low-risk writing assignments to build student confidence.

“I expected at some point to be forced to say no to any major suggestion to change my teaching practices. To my great surprise this never happened; our collaboration was progressive and smooth. Before I realized it, we were making significant changes to my teaching methodology. I learned so much…

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