Get to Know Philip Reid
Art, Journalism, Social Studies, Government, U.S. History
Read The Washington Post article, “Slave named Philip Reid helped create Statue of Freedom that sits atop Capitol.” Guy Gugliotta tells the stories of the creation of the Statue of Freedom, the involvement of the slave Philip Reid in the project and the D.C. Emancipation Act.
Students may also enjoy viewing the historic cartoons video that is based on Flashbacks, A Cartoon History of The District of Columbia. They will learn how Philip Reid became the person to supervise the casting of the bronze statue in Mills’ bronze foundry in Bladensburg.
Draw Upon History
Art, Journalism, Social Studies, U.S. History, Visual Arts
Use Flashbacks by Patrick M. Reynolds as a model for students to relate historic events and individuals through cartoon panels. Flashbacks is published each Sunday in The Washington Post’s Sunday Comics section.
Student groups could be assigned segments of D.C. history from 1800 to 1900 to research, summarize and put into cartoon panels to tell the story. Students could relate the history of slavery and emancipation, of freedmen and indentured servants, or of individuals and different types of employment.
Check the Facts
Journalism, Media Literacy
A journalist is a reporter, a researcher, an editor and a writer. In “Think Like a Journalist” students are asked to be researcher, editor and writer.
Read what the reporter wrote. A reporter is to be unbiased, accurate and clear in his or her reporting. Do you understand what Guy Gugliotta wrote?
Read original documents — the Petition of Clark Mills. Does additional research in the files of the National Archives change what a reporter has written?
Remember — and Celebrate?
Character Education, English, Journalism, Media Arts, Music, Social Studies, U.S. History
April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia. How can it be a day of remembrance and celebration? Here are some suggestions to stimulate projects and activities in your school:
• Read the D.C. Emancipation Act. Work with students to prepare an interpretive reading.
• Give art students the D.C. Emancipation Act. Ask them to illustrate the story of slavery and what this document meant to slaves, slave owners and abolitionists.
• Read slave narratives, the works of abolitionists and writings from the time period. Select passages to read in a public performance. Begin with Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1861; My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass; and Amistad.
• Prepare a musical program to tell the story of slavery and emancipation. Include works by D.C. musicians.
• Read about D.C.-born poets, musicians and writers. Also, become familiar with D.C. Renaissance writers. [LINK to previous NIE DC Renaissance guide] Select pieces to include in a reading.
• Broadcast, journalism and Media Arts students could report on programs presented in their school.
• Broadcast and Media Arts students could work on a three- to five-minute short feature to inform the student community about Lincoln’s decision to enact the D.C. Emancipation Act and what it meant to people in the District of Columbia at that time.
• Arrange for a guest speaker to tell how to research genealogy.
• The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has funded two digital projects: The Freedman and Southern Society Project and Visualizing Emancipation. Although its student writing contest is over, follow its guidelines to respond to or to reinterpret one of the historical documents.
• Prepare a display case to tell the story of slavery and emancipation. Include the Underground Railroad and abolitionists.
Reconstruct Life After the Civil War
Social Studies, U.S. Government, U.S. History
To supplement a study of the D.C. Emancipation Act, the main focus of this curriculum guide, teachers are given a second resource guide. An overview of the history of African American enfranchisement after the Civil War and the path to achieving civil rights is presented in Jim Crow South. Beginning in 1865 with President Andrew Johnson's Presidential Reconstruction and the former Confederate states' laws, known as the Black Codes, students have a jumping off point to discuss and do further research.
The Radical Reconstruction period moved enfranchisement forward until the disputed election of 1876. Approximately 1,500 African Americans held public office in southern states in the period. Filling a vacant seat, Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress; Blanche Kelso Bruce was the first to be elected to a full term. At the same time, Jim Crow laws, hate groups and intimidation of poll taxes and literacy tests were established. The 1896 Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson is considered in light of the "separate but equal" doctrine that would prevail until 1954. The descendants' personal continuation of Plessy v. Ferguson may be found in the newspaper account, "Plessy and Ferguson unveil plaque today marking their ancestors' actions."
The resource guide includes a look at contemporary enfranchisement considerations of voter identification laws and early voting.
Washington Post columnist Colbert King wrote about parallels between the 2012 voter identification laws and the reconstruction period of Andrew Johnson. Read and discuss his column, "Romney: The new Andrew Johnson?"