23 april 1968 & washington teachers union & sclc produce lesson plan on uprising
#OTD-ish 23 April 1968 The Washington Teachers Union (WTU) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) produced "Why Did Washington Burn?: a relevant lesson plan and resources for District of Columbia teachers." This 4-page document offered DCPS teachers a guide on how to teach about the uprising.
Here's the rationale for the lesson plan:
"The brutal murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. demands that teachers everywhere continue to confront the issue of racism in their classrooms. As we all know, the murder of Dr. King should not really be a shock to America, for he is only one of the many freedom fighters who have died at the hands of a white racist society in recent years.
In an effort to confront this burning issue, particularly in view of Dr. King's assassination and the recent uprising in the District of Columbia, a committee of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in cooperation with the WTU, has prepared the following lesson plan to deal with the current social rest.
The plan is merely a suggested one, for it does not provide a comprehensive study guide. However, we hope it can serve as a starting point with respect to offering a relevant curriculum to our students for the remainder of the school year.
As Dr. King once said, "We can't afford to return to a business-as-usual attitude." It will be disastrous if the teachers in D.C. return to Dick and Jane, to biased history, textbooks, and to an observation of Afro-American history that is limited due to one week a year."
Please comment below. Did you, a family member or neighbor help to produce this lesson plan? Were you a DCPS teacher in 1968? Did you use this lesson plan in your classroom? As a student, do you remember what you learned about the uprising in school? You may comment privately here.
Photo: Courtesy Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Pride Inc. Papers.