A Fugitive Slave Curriculum Controversy

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In the school district of the Village of Port Chester, where I live, a teacher offered an extra-credit option to create a fugitive slave advertisement. It created quite a stir, so I wrote about the reaction here.

Illustration: An American fugitive slave advertisement.

4 thoughts on “A Fugitive Slave Curriculum Controversy

  1. Olivia TwineOlivia Twine

    The exercise might be more effective if the students were asked to describe each other as if they were fugitive slaves. eg: “Jimmy, red hair, 10 years old, big nose, fat stomach, 4 feet tall, drops his ‘g’s’ , says ‘anyways’ instead of ‘anyway.’ Escaped from grandma’s on the last day of school and may be hiding down-the-shore. His hair is valuable; $10 reward, dead or alive.”

    1. Peter FeinmanPeter Feinman Post author

      That’s an interesting idea. One problem might be the lasting repercussions since the students would still be in the same classroom together after the assignment.

  2. Olivia TwineOlivia Twine

    Couldn’t the students hide their hurt, repress their anger, be quiet and keep looking down? You’re right. It wouldn’t work that way. The lesson has to be less personal.


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