Seminars on the Consequences of Slavery
This school year, Teaching American History is hosting a series of online Saturday morning seminars featuring many of the themes in our newest Core Document Collection, Slavery and Its Consequences. Our first session, Slavery and The Founding, took place on September 18. Dr David Tucker led the discussion, posing provocative focus questions: Should Thomas Jefferson’s words and deeds with regard to slavery affect our understanding of the words “all men are created equal?” How do we reconcile that famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence with Jefferson’s discussion of race in his Notes on the State of Virginia?
Registration is now open for the next three seminars. Next up is Slavery and Its Consequences: Political, Legal and Constitutional Issues. This session will be led by Dr Eric Sands of Berry College. Like David Tucker, Eric has developed a syllabus and reading packet that forecasts a lively discussion. We will discuss the 19th-century controversy over the prohibition or extension of slavery into the territories, reading James Talmadge’s speech calling for prohibition in the Missouri territory and Abraham Lincoln’s speech on the Missouri Compromise. Next, Eric turns our attention toward the Colfax Massacre, a notorious episode in Reconstruction-era Louisiana. The seminar finishes with 20th-century documents from Presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson and a State Department document detailing the danger “Jim Crow” presented to America’s claim of equality.
Click on the title below, and you will land on the registration page for that seminar. You may register for one or all of the fall seminars. Registration will open for Sessions Five – Eight in the late fall of 2021.
October 16: Slavery and Its Consequences — Political, Legal and Constitutional Issues. Discussion led by Dr. Eric Sands of Berry College
November 13: Slavery and Its Consequence — The Abolition and Pro-Slavery Arguments. Discussion led by Dr. Lucas Morel of Washington and Lee University
December 11: Slavery and Its Consequences — Social and Economic Harm. Discussion leader Dr David Krugler
Slavery and Its Consequences contains 45 documents, beginning with a protest against slavery by the Germantown Mennonites in 1688 and concluding with a discussion of reparations written by Stephan Thernstrom and Ta-Nehisi Coates in 2007 and 2019, respectively. The scope and depth of this volume are impressive. We encourage you to visit our bookstore for your copy and to grasp the opportunity to discuss many of these documents in our discussion-based seminars this academic year. Paperback editions of CDC volumes are $12.99. Teachers may download a PDF version at no charge.
Teachers interested in other seminars on slavery’s enduring legacy are invited to register for our Oct 14 Online Seminar: Voices of Women in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr Kathleen Pfeiffer, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Oakland University in Michigan will lead the discussion. Kathleen’s reading selection includes documents from Beatrice Charles, Fannie Lou Hamer, Modjeska Simkins, and others. If you have never participated in a TAH seminar led by an English Literature scholar, I recommend you join this discussion. Great Literature professors like Kathleen Pfeiffer offer a slightly different perspective on historical documents. That difference often helps our students understand the writer’s meaning in a new way. Click on the link below to register for this seminar.
Voices of Women in the Civil Rights Movement