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  • Often, my first impulse when solving a problem — and this is not a good thing — is to invent a solution from scratch. So a year ago, when I told a group of Black friends from my alma mater that I was thinking about designing a course on the Black experience, they wisely advised me to look at what’s already available out there.
  • I’m excited to unveil the latest interactive offering in The Black Experience in America: The Course. Lesson 2: Othello. Shakespeare is a pillar of Western culture, and it’s profound that he tackled race, belonging and power in a play written before the first African slaves arrived in Virginia. In this lesson, we look at Othello through modern eyes (and at the modern world through Othello), and consider the inner toll […]
  • What’s the right way to teach American history, and the role of race in it? A bill in Texas, HB 3979, takes a stab at the question. It’s part of a push to direct the way students learn about racism and participate in activism. It’s also part of a broader backlash against an approach to history called
  • Now available: Teacher training materials for presenting The Course in middle school, as part of a licensing bundle. After I designed and taught The Black Experience in America: The Course last summer, I wanted to share its impact. What began as an effort to give my sons a deeper sense of identity, history and culture had turned into something more significant. They and the other kids who went through the […]
  • The calendar returns to May. A year ago in 2020, the road to The Black Experience in America: The Course started for me. That’s when Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and a bunch of things collided that I’d been reading and thinking about. I’d been writing a memoir about my high school journey, which spanned fall 1990 to spring 1994 (stay tuned for that); the Rodney King beating was in […]