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New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth Hardcover – July 10, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Blending historical narrative with ideas for engaging young people as historians and thinkers, Alan J. Singer introduces readers to the truth about the history of slavery in New York State, and, by extension, about race in American society. Singer's perspective as a historian and a former secondary school social studies teacher offers a wealth of new information about the past and introduces people and events that have been erased from history.

New York, both the city and the state, were centers of the abolitionist struggle to finally end human bondage; however, at the same time, enslaved Africans built the infrastructure of the colonial city. The author shows teachers how to develop ways to teach about this very difficult topic. He shows them how to deal with racial preconceptions and tensions in the classroom and calls upon teachers and students to become historical activists, conduct research, write reports, and present their findings to the public.

"Alan Singer has produced a wonderful teaching resource for those interested in New York State history, the history of slavery and abolition within the state and in the North, and African American history. The book will be useful to teachers at all levels and to a general audience for several reasons. Written in lucid, accessible prose, the book addresses methodological and pedagogical issues with candor and transparency at a conceptual level and simultaneously provides many helpful examples and models for constructing practical lesson plans. The historical content reflects the author's comprehensive review of the secondary scholarly literature and familiarity with pertinent primary sources. The book is an excellent guide for instructors wishing to supplement standard textbook treatments of slavery in the northern United States, New York State, and New York City." -- Myra Young Armstead, author of Mighty Change, Tall Within: Black Identity in the Hudson Valley

"Slavery helped forge America's political economy, culture, and race relations. In clear, thoughtful, and accessible language, Alan Singer has helped us better understand and teach the `peculiar institution.' This excellent guide is not just for teachers or New Yorkers, it is for all of us." -- William H. Watkins, author of The White Architects of Black Education: Ideology and Power in America, 1865-1954

About the Author

Alan J. Singer is Professor of Secondary Education in the School of Education and Allied Human Services at Hofstra University. He is coauthor (with Maureen O. Murphy and S. Maxwell Hines) of Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach: A Handbook for Secondary School Teachers and Social Studies for Secondary Schools: Teaching To Learn, Learning To Teach, Third Edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo (July 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791475093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791475096
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,767,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Singer is a social studies educator at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies). He is a member of New York State Council for the Social Studies, New Jersey Council for the Social Studies, Long Island Council for the Social Studies and the Association of Teachers of Social Studies (New York City).

Alan Singer is a graduate of the City College of New York and has a Ph.D. in American history from Rutgers University. He taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. He was a co-director of the New York State Great Irish Famine Curriculum Guide and the editor of the "New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance" curriculum guide. Both curriculum projects were recipients of National Council for the Social Studies Program of Excellence Awards. He has a regular blog on educational issues on Huffington Post. His street/rap name is Reeces Pieces.

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Format: Paperback
Alan J. Singer (Professor of Secondary Education, Hofstra University) New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth is more than a history of slavery in early New York; it's a guide for educators, historians, and thinkers to teaching the next generation the whole truth about New York's legacy of slavery, emphasizing that "Black History is American History". "Too often the public or 'official' version of history follows one of three fundamentally unreliable and predictable models. There is the uncritical patriotism presented at national monuments such as the Alamo or Mount Vernon... The 'Disney' version of history roughly draws on the past as a starting point to present entertaining and marketable stories that tells little about actual events or people... Meanwhile, for the so-called History Channel, history is most often reduced to blood and gore, a whirlwind of war, natural disasters, and other kinds of mayhem." Offering a variety of methods to teach young people the truth about the history slavery in America, from "mock slave auctions" to core historical ideas upon which a curriculum can be solidly grounded, New York and Slavery resists the all-consuming drive to make scoring well on standardized tests the goal of education, emphasizing rather the importance of focusing on the realities of history and helping young people become savvy critical thinkers. Indeed, the title of "New York and Slavery" is slightly misleading since it deconstructs myths about slavery in all the Northern states, not just New York. An absolute "must-read" supplementary resource for junior high, high school, and even college American History educators.
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