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 Lynching in America 
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Hey! I was really moved by the painting of the lynching of Clyde Johnson. It reminded me of the story of Emmitt Till. I took the opportunity to share the story in my ELA class, and of course ELA goals and objectives were intertwined into the lesson, when students began learning about the civil war in their social studies class. It is a very moving story to share with children who are ready for it. I thought that my 14 year old students would be the perfect audience for this story. I kept a lot of the more disturbing details out of the lesson. Although almost every one was moved and researched further on their own to know more, I had several who thought it was stupid and could not be motivated to respond to the story with any emotion. Do you think this is because of their upbringing? What goes on at home? Generations and generations of hatred? Or are they honestly not mature enough to even handle the harsh realities of what hatred can do?


Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:51 pm
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Tina, I feel the same way you do! The image that really stunned me was that of William Brown from Omaha, Nebraska. He was accused of molesting a white young lady and was thrown in jail. A mob stormed the jail, shot, mutilated, and burned Brown. I feel they were hung because it was a public display of humiliation. The mob wanted to shame them but they didn't even have evidence against him.

I feel that sometimes as educators when something gets missing from our room, the first thing we think is where were our low socioeconomic status students? They would have reason to steal, right? It is so important that we offer each student the same education and not dismiss students because of the clothes they wear or the ESL/EC status they hold.

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(Ariana) Nicole Benton Hazelwood


Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:25 pm
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I was probably most affected by the picture with the hair from a lynching victim. I agree with both of you, Tina and Nicole: lynching is the result of hatred and fear.

I have a student who is a known gang member, and when he was first placed in my class, I was fearful. I probably distanced myself from him out of fear more than anything. In my second semester with him, I have gotten to know him more since I let my fear dissipate. He is actually a sweet student and gifted artist.

The lynching text helped remind me of the negative aspects of fear and not attempting to understand others. From my experience with the student I mentioned, I know that holding back from fear only makes it more difficult to make a difference in a student's life.

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Misti Holloway


Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:08 pm
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Good point Misti. Fear stops of from going that extra step as a teacher. I am fearful that I may be too hard on a student and they may come back to school with revenge in their heart and a gun in their book bag.

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LaRhonda Williams


Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:32 pm
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I think one of the things that struck me, that Gayle called to our attention, was that all of those little children were exposed to this hatred as entertainment. It made me sick to see the smiles on people's faces as they watched another human being die! This is the very reason that this hate is so difficult to educate against...it is so engrained in the history of America...a very sad commentary on our country.

Also, what hit very close to home for me was the photo of the Italian men hanging...that could just as easily have been my husband's relatives who came 2 generations ago from Italy. It broke my heart.

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Lora T. Tiano


Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:03 pm
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What really stands out to me about this topic is that I feel like our country is doing the same thing towards Hispanics, Muslims, and other immigrants. We are not lynching people in the literal sense, but I feel like we are lynching them from education, human and social services, and the chance at a better life.

When I refer to immigrants, I am mainly refering to legal immigrants. However, I do struggle personally with how many services to we provide to illegal immigrants, because they are people too. The human rights advocate gets stirred in me because at the end of the day we are all people and we all need the same necessities. I haven't figured out the best way to go about solving this problem, but while immigrants are here shouldn't we at least show some humanity? If not I fear we will create more racism, prejudice, and discrimination towards a group of people that isn't necessary.

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Meghan Wood


Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:07 pm
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