History Year

We are several months removed from the 38th Black History Month of the 2013th White History Year.

Hopefully, it will be the last of both.

Perhaps you heard it from Morgan Freeman. Perhaps you heard it from someone else. Perhaps you are hearing it for the first time. Setting aside a month for Black History encourages tokenism and promotes the sort of marginalization that the creation of Negro History Week in 1926 tried to combat. Continue reading

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Asking the Wrong Question

(Editor’s Note: This is a slightly updated version of something posted as a Facebook note several years ago.)

Wisconsin’s labor issues disturb me.

If this were to come to Minnesota (and it probably will), I would have a very hard time deciding what to do. Certainly, my right to bargain collectively is important to me. But it is not as important as my responsibility to help my students grow as learners and individuals? How can I fight for my own rights at the expense of my students’ right to an education? The fact is that I don’t know what I believe on this issue. Continue reading

New History

(Editor’s Note: This is a slightly updated version of something posted as a Facebook note several years ago. Also, I got the house!)

Many of you know that I am buying a house. Last Tuesday, I paid a home inspector to check out my (hopefully) future abode. After he looked it over, he asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a history teacher. Without missing a beat, he asked, “You’re not teaching that ‘new history,’ are you?” I charmingly told him that I teach the truth and nothing but the truth. I didn’t think about it again until today. Continue reading