“The opposite of racism is antiracism, of course, or what we might call racial idealism or equalitarianism.” (Lowen,173)
Purpose: To illustrate how Abraham Lincoln, John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe are examples of the absence of antiracism in standardized curriculum. Through supplementary inquiry, students will be able to analyze openly the topic of race. Our overall goal is for students to synthesize the evidence of the topic of race and antiracism to recognize bias in the history textbooks. Often times, the topic of race or antiracism is too controversial for the textbooks to fully address. History textbooks contain bias about certain individuals, events, and philosophies that empowered generations. Hopefully, through this, students will be able to be more aware citizens and ultimately, more competent individuals by correctly recognizing bias in textbooks.
To illustrate how Abraham Lincoln, John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe are examples of the absence of antiracism in standardized curriculum.
Through supplementary inquiry, students will be able to analyze openly the topic of race. Our overall goal is for students to synthesize the evidence of the topic of race and antiracism to recognize bias in the history textbooks. Often times, the topic of race or antiracism is too controversial for the textbooks to fully address. History textbooks contain bias about certain individuals, events, and philosophies that empowered generations. Hopefully, through this, students will be able to be more aware citizens and ultimately, more competent individuals by correctly recognizing bias in textbooks.
The sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky (White House). Lincoln is extremely glorified as a paternal figure during his tenure as President during the Civil War (1861-1865). His decisions are presented as an inevitability of his perceived perfect moral beliefs. What is failed to be noted in current curricula, is his internal struggle through contemporary philosophy on race, equality and slavery. (Loewen)
"The son of a Kentucky frontiersman, Lincoln had to struggle for a living and for learning. Five months before receiving his party's nomination for President, he sketched his life:
'I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all.'
As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.
On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who thought he was helping the South. The opposite was the result, for with Lincoln's death, the possibility of peace with magnanimity died."
Born in 1800, John Brown is most well known as an abolitionist who led an assault on Harper’s Ferry on October 16, 1859. (PBS) Brown is ridiculed and dismissed as insane. Public school textbooks present Brown’s actions out of context. Additionally, there are no counterarguments presented. Brown, to students, is a hostile insurgent with a ridiculous beard and questionable motives. (Lowen) Due to his hostile actions in a moral response to slavery, Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859.
"The destruction of slavery in the United States was the driving ambition of abolitionist John Brown. He came to believe that it would take bloodshed to root out the evil of slavery, and by the mid-1850s he dedicated himself to an all-out war for slave liberation. On October 16, 1859, he and his "army" of some 20 men seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). By the morning of October 18, marines under the command of Bvt. Col. Robert E. Lee, stormed the building and captured Brown and the survivors of his party. The operation that Brown envisioned as the first blow in a war against slavery was over in 36 hours.
The fears inspired by the raid on Harpers Ferry exceeded and outlasted its actual threat. For thousands of southerners, it was evidence of a vast conspiracy of northern abolitionists whose object was to incite violence and destroy the southern way of life. John Brown's raid exacerbated a deepening sectional crisis between north and south and brought the nation one step closer to civil war. John Brown was hanged for treason on December 2, 1859." (National Archives)
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in June 14, 1811 in Connecticut. Stowe has a northern, white, affluent woman. As an author, her most famous work was first published in 1851, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Stowe Center). Uncle Tom’s Cabin focused on the subject of abolition. Many believe that through her work’s publication, alongside thousands of dedicated individuals, the abolition movement was sparked and put into motion. (Stowe Center)
"Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) published more than 30 books, but it was her best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin which catapulted her to international celebrity and secured her place in history.
But Uncle Tom's Cabin was not Stowe's only work. Her broad range of interests resulted in such varied publications as children's text books, advice books on homemaking and childrearing, biographies and religious studies. The informal, conversational style of her many novels permitted her to reach audiences that more scholarly or argumentative works would not, and encouraged everyday people to address such controversial topics as slavery, religious reform, and gender roles.
Harriet Beecher Stowe believed her actions could make a positive difference. Her words changed the world."
The focus will be around the absence of antiracism in curricula and practicum. The teaching of antiracism is either distorted or faint and often not included in the curriculum.
Teachers are encouraged to use our research to fill in the absence of antiracism from the Civil War framework.
Why is there an absence of antiracism in modern curriculum? Does this reflect a societal belief against antiracism or is it more of a passive omission?
Specific TEKS and National Standards can be tailored towards different types of assessments. While these act as a starting point, additional TEKS or National Standards can be added depending on the length allotted for the study of antiracism.
Provided on the Assessments Page, are two different types of assessments that waver from the traditional multiple-choice test or essay. These supplementary assessments are tailored for students with different types of multiple intelligences.
All information on this website has been procured through a multitude of different resources. Some are written while others are electronic documents or webpages. Feel free to peruse the Works Cited page for references and the Additional Resources page for further investigation. If the information sought after is elusive, consult with a local librarian as to how best acquire said information.