In the last several months, with the murder of George Floyd and others by the police, and the rise of White Supremacy in the United States, there has been a call; not only for true equality, but a reassessment of the true role of African-Americans in our nation’s history. The call for social activism has been at its strongest in most of our lives and Congressman John Lewis, at the end of his life, encouraged young Americans to pick up the baton and continue leading that call for education and justice. Because of this, I want to give you an opportunity for some social activism.
This semester, I want you to devise an event in which African-American history can be taught to the local public. You will choose one of three scenarios for this.
Florida’s fourth grade classes: It is in the fourth grade where students learn a bit of Florida history but how much of the history of African-Americans in Florida do they really learn?
The college setting: While the college does promote Black History month in February, do they do it well enough on all campuses? Should learning about African-American history really be relegated to one month or can events celebrating the contributions of African-Americans be spread throughout the year? What would such events look like?
The public community overall: How do public libraries, churches, community centers, and local historic sites celebrate the achievements of African-Americans? How can we devise events that would help them do this? (For example, the Bulow Plantation Historic Ruins Park is looking for someone to create events that focus on African-American history during Bulow’s history. Tomoka Park once was segregated but there were civil rights activists that helped to integrate the area. Has that ever been honored?)
You will devise an event that could be developed and enacted in one of these settings. Within your paper, you will research and discuss the history you wish to illuminate; noting the sources that you would use to tell your story. You will talk to people in these areas to see what they would suggest you do to develop your project. If you have a child in elementary school, for example, you could talk to a teacher about what they would look for in such an event. Also, remember that the college has an education department. Dr. Don May teaches Social Studies education for DSC and I’m certain he would be happy to talk with you. Talk to your pastor or local librarian as to what might be needed to promote African-American history. Have a discussion with Bruce Cook or Lori Lemoine in Student life to show what type of programs you would like to see on campus.
In all of this, you are not only discussing your goal for what history you would like to have presented but how you would present this material. Also, consider the costs, the type of presenters you would want to invite, how you might get others involved, and the overall goals you would like to accomplish with your event.
In completing your project, your paper must adhere to the following requirements:
Individual papers should be eight to ten pages. If two students decide to work together on this project, their paper should be a maximum of between twelve to fifteen pages.
Each paper should have a minimum of ten sources. Sources can vary and do not mean merely books. Every person you talk with is a source. If you call for certain newspaper images to be enlarged for posters for your project, those newspapers are sources. If music forms a particular part of your event, those music selections can be sources. The only sources NOT allowed are Wikipedia or online encyclopedias. The only exception to this, and you can discuss this with the college librarian, are college level encyclopedias.
Throughout the project, you will make four entries into the project Discussion Board. Two of those entries should be your thoughts on your project; what you are planning and any questions/concerns you have about what you are creating. The additional two entries can consist of replies to classmates. Ask your classmates questions on their projects or give them advice and suggestions on what they can do.
Your paper should be written in TIMES NEW ROMAN 12-point font and double-spaced. You should cite any sources in the Chicago Manual of Style, using either footnotes or endnotes (NO INTEXT CITATION).
You should have indented paragraphs, no subheadings, and no photos.
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