Black Rebellion and the Political Imaginations of African American Teachers – AAIHS

Students in a classroom at the Flint River School in Georgia, May 1939 (Photo: Marion Post Wolcott, Farm Security Administration, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture).

Nat Turner became an impromptu topic of discussion in my third grade classroom. Ms. Todman had a way of getting her point across that seared it into your mind. She was an older Black woman from North Carolina, teaching at a Black parochial school in Compton, California during the 1990s. We were not taking our task seriously as we prepared for our school’s annual Black history month program. The assignment was to memorize Eloise Greenfield’s poem about Harriet Tubman running in the dead of night to escape bondage, and then returning time and time again to guide others on their path to freedom. The performance…

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