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Home : 2002 : Feb : 16

    lessons for children about slavery
    By Carolyn

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    We are covering the Civil War right now in the Southern state where I teach. I am treading very lightly and carefully, although I still managed to offend some. I brought in a piece of a cotton plant to talk with the children about how important the cotton gin was to cotton production. I randomly asked an African-American child to come to the front of the room to demonstrate how difficult and time consuming it was to remove the seeds from the cotton. The African-American children (some of them) started to say something like I was treating her like a slave. That bothered me, because 50% of my students are African-American and the likelihood was equal that I would call an African-American child to the front of the room. I had not thought of race at all when I did this activity. I suppose that if I had called up a white child, this would not have happened. It's ridiculous how politically correct you have to be.

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