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Introduction || Timelines || Primary Sources || Featured Organizations || Featured Teachers || Sample Lessons || Research Questions and Biographical Notes || Curriculum Resources || Website Links || Curriculum Frameworks


History/Social Science - American History:

Core knowledge topics in American History frameworks that are relevant to African American studies:

  1. Early America and Americans (Beginning to 1650): Africa and the slave trade;
  2. Settlements, Colonies (1600-1763); Colonial era labor and North American slavery;
  3. American Revolution: Creating a New Nation (1750-1815): the three-fifths compromise;
  4. Expansion, Reform, and Economic Growth (1800-1861): the Northern and Southern economic systems; Jackson Era & Pre-Civil War reformers: abolitionism;
  5. Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877); A nation divided over slavery; Abraham Lincoln; Scenes of war; Mass. soldiers; Emancipation Proclamation; Gettysburg Address, Reconstruction;
  6. The Advent of Modern America (1865-1920): Changes and constraints for African-Americans; Plessy v. Ferguson; African-American migration to the North and West;
  7. The United States and Two World Wars (1914-1945): Jazz Age; arts and letters; the Harlem Renaissance;
  8. Contemporary U.S. (1945-Present): Continuity and dislocation in Mass. economy since 1945; poverty and causes; Rising demands for desegregation; Brown v. Board of Education and '60's busing; Assassination, civil rights struggles and laws; 80’s and 90’s: racial tensions and culture wars; debates over immigration.


Other History/Social Science frameworks include:

  1. World History (roots of African Americans; West Indies slavery and trade, immigration and emigration);
  2. Geography (Places and Time);
  3. Economics (slavery and its implications; comparisons of economic opportunities among Mass. populations);
  4. Civics and Government (relevant civil rights laws and court cases);


All Learning Standards in History are covered:

1) Chronology & Cause;

2) Historical Understanding;

3) Research Evidence & Point of View;

4) Diversity, Commonality and the Individual;

5-6) Interdisciplinary Learning.


Other Disciplines:

Language Arts aspects covered: this project is particularly rich in spoken and written literature that draws from African and African American cultures and encourages a respect for differences. Writings of Phillis Wheatly, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Toms Cabin) and other abolitionists, as well as biographies of key activtists, fit into curriculum frameworks. Media use is also strong: the Internet for research, video presentations, preparation of projects in various media, etc.

Arts that include music and dance can have many Mass. connections. The timeline includes The Anti-Slavery Harp, 1848, by William Wells Brown, with songs to recognized tunes. "I am an Abolitionist" is to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Another is called "Jefferson's Daughter", on her being sold into slavery. This information that was already known at the time, has more recently come to light , in terms of genetic testing proof.

Instructional Technology competencies are achieved through use of multimedia tools for learning, including website research.


© Massachusetts Studies Project 1997 - 2002