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All I can think of in terms of regions and food is up here in the Northeast we cannot live without our Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee even in the middle of a snowstorm!

My sister-in-law is from Memphis TN and for her wedding rehearsal dinner we had Memphis BBQ with all of the "fixin's". That was awesome!

I would like to thank everyone for their input on my first blog post. The ideas of justification through the Bible and past ancient history are truly compelling.

Choose one of the week 2 assigned readings from the Oxford Book of of the American South and one of the 3 historical perspectives we also have to read (Kupperman, Morgan, Taylor) What was your overall thoughts/what do you see as the themes that connect the two you chose? That is how I interpreted it and what I wrote about in regards to presenting the idea as part of a lesson. I may be totally off the mark, but I submitted my essay earlier tonight, so I hope that I am right. Keep your fingers crossed!

I too find that students do not have an understanding of the complex array of individuals that were dragged to the colonies as slaves. I found the Equiano piece compelling, as students are not afforded the enslaved populations perspective in a typical middle school Social Studies text. It is left up to districts, to provide supplementary activities outside of the text to approach this perspective, if emphasis and importance is given to Social Studies (which unfortunately always the case in the state of testing we are in) . More often than not, it is typically left to individual teachers to find their own resources.

I think this piece could be a good starting place to look at slavery in the United States from a different lens. We are in the middle of writing for our next pilot/adoption, and my wish looking forward is to do side by side unit study, partnering two students together to study slavery from a southerner's perspective, one from an enslaved person's perspective. I feel this would be a wonderful opportunity to incorporate historiography as part of the conversation with students.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Not only do my students struggle to understand how slavery was acceptable, I still do in many ways. As each rising generation was indoctrinated with the ideas that slavery was acceptable and colored races were inferior, their justifications would have sounded increasingly logical to them. Even Jefferson, who is recognized for his great, scholarly mind, is hypocritical on the issue in his Notes on the State of Virginia, but to his contemporaries it was deemed scientific thought. This always forces me to ask myself and my students, what have we been programmed to believe today?
Lianne, I love your comparison of Bartram’s description of the horses to slaves. These sources are a tidy set to investigate the justifications of slavery. Thank you for the teaching ideas in your analysis.

The religious justifications and historical continuity of slavery throughout the world are also arguments for the American acceptance and use of slavery. The New Testament admonishes slaves Ephesians 6:5-9: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
Jesus never condemned Slavery, but used the terms in his parables as in Luke 12:45-48: "The lord [owner] of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
Slavery is recorded in Hammurabi's Code, in Egyptian, Phoenecian,Greek and Roman Law. Looking to replicate the Classical Golden Age would require Southerners to include a social system that utilized a slave economy.

I would be cautious about viewing the acceptance of slavery through a primarily geographical lens. Climate may have made slavery more practical in the south, but acceptance of slavery was near universal throughout the colonies.

While large-scale chattel slavery emerged in the south, slavery was legal through the British American colonies. Massachusetts was the first of the British North American colonies to legally codify slavery in 1641. While there were not large numbers of African slaves in the north (largely a result of an economy which didn't rely upon large-scale labor-intensive agriculture), New Englanders did rely heavily on indentured servants, attempted to enslave Native American war captives, and aggressively entered the slave trade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Opposition to slavery emerged from a number of quarters as the end of the 18th century neared. I think the tortured logic of Jefferson and others took its toll. It was harder to justify slavery in light of natural rights theory and the rise in manumissions and the abolition of slavery in northern states reflects these changes. But opposition to slavery also stemmed from the growing sense that slavery was a threat to the status of independent farmers and laborers. This was the primary rationale behind the prohibition of slavery in the Northwest Territory. Thus, opposition to slavery was not necessarily an opposition to the institution itself, but the effects of that institution on free laborers.

Thank you for that information Renee. I have been on the site for about an hour and a half and browsed through several presentations. Dr Ayers has several interesting topics/lessons on the site and I will watch the video you suggested before the next class. There are so many contradictory/hypocritical messages from the "Founding Fathers". As I read the historians perspectives and the testimony/memories book, I find my jaw dropping more than once at the convoluted logic that was espoused by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in their defense of slavery.But you know what I really found interesting was the sense of entitlement going all the way back to Jamestown. The idea that gentlemen do not get their hands dirty, that it was beneath them to grow corn. I am really excited about learning more. Once again, thank you for the link.

The Center for Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi had done a tremendous amount of research on Southern "foodways" which explores food as a cultural, environmental, economic, and political indicator for different communities. One of the things they do is to try and explore the commonalities and differences of the consumption and production of certain foods in the Southern states. It is completely fascinating to think of food as a means to examine the tensions that exist in any society.

Hello Ann! I was just exploring the recorded lectures this Gilder Lehrman website has available (where our guest lecture comes from that we will view for the 27th). I noticed that there is a lecture on the very topic you mentioned you were interested in! It is called "In the Image of God: Religion, Moral Values, and Our Heritage of Slavery". Thought you might like to take a look at it. The videos are not long, and quite well done.

I like most all foods! One point about the south is the food reflects the region. I'm near the Georgia coast, so seafood and "lowcountry" fare are prevalent. We have BBQ, Shrimp-n-grits, collard greens, black-eyed peas, tomatoes and cornbread (yes, mixed together),banana pudding, peach cobbler/pie, pecan pie, and sweet tea (which I don't care for, but is essentially southern)!

Thank you for the clarification Lance!

Hi Chris and Chris - You're both correct! Our January 26th meeting is a Digital History Lab session, and as such, requires no pre-reading. The first readings relate to our first Seminar meeting, scheduled for January 27th. Additionally, there is an assignment posted on this course blog (see above) requiring completion ahead of the January 27th session. Please refer to the details in the assignment post above, and let me know of any questions.

I believe the first blog assignment and readings are for the class on the 27th. The class on the 26th is a pedagogy activity I think. The assignment for the blog appears to be a student choice topic if I am reading it correctly that correlates an idea present in the secondary and primary sources that we have to read.

From the syllabus: "Each essay should identify one key issue necessary for students’ understanding raised in both a primary reading from The Oxford Book of the American South and a secondary reading from the course reader, Historians’ Perspectives."

At least that is how I am reading it.

What is the first assignment? I can't find it. I looked in the assignments tab, but for the 26th, I didn't see any readings...

I am a huge fan of Texas (cow) BBQ, which seems to be very different than NC BBQ (pig). I am also a huge fan of pecan pie, iced-tea, and pralines (which I once mistakenly called fudge).

What is your favorite Southern food to eat?

Hi Ann,

I also think the Puritans were familiar with slavery, but not in the highly structured way it developed in America. On the other hand, I think and have read the white southerners justified their actions with the Bible itself, for the following scriptures read:

"They asked who could question the Word of God when it said, "slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling" (Ephesians 6:5), or "tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect" (Titus 2:9)

I am enthralled by this topic. I look forward to developing a deeper understanding of the South.

Hi Ann,

The Puritans were familiar with slavery through the Bible, classical Greece and Rome, as well as the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans by the Spanish and Portugese since the mid-1400s. They debated the morality of the slave trade, enslaving Native Americans and the continued enslavement of converted slaves. I think you might find these writings by Cotton Mather: and Samuel Sewall: ,both from the early 1700s, interesting examples of those debates.

The issue of slavery and gender is an even more interesting one, in my opinion. Gerda Lerner proposed that the archetypal slave was a woman since from early documentation of war e.g. Biblical, Home, we learn that men were killed in war and women were captured and kept for labor. David Brion Davis wrote an brief essay on the questions of slavery and gender and race with examples over a wide set of cultures and time periods: And Kathleen M. Brown in Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and Power in Colonial Virginia argues that it was initially laws about enslaved African women in 17th century that created the southern American version of chattel slavery.

As I am not a teacher, I am just auditing this course but I am very interested in learning from teachers about the challenges of teaching about Southern history and slavery in middle and high school classes.

Even in the north, there were forms of slavery extending all the way up through the Civil War, although not as prevalent as in other parts of the nation. I believe it was the state of New Jersey that still had 16 or 17 slaves (under the title of apprentice) who were only freed with the 13th Amendment in 1865. Even in the north there was significant racism and desire for segregation, hence the recolonization efforts. Many good questions and points in your post! Thanks!


Not sure why it is asking me for a comment. Gordo, you are a great fellow. Thanks for being a good husband, hard working father, a teacher, volunteer fireman, and the best fisherman Texas has ever seen. We are lucky to have you.

Blog 4

Seminar 2

Fiction Vs. Nonfiction

I am trying to order the second set of Constitution Day posters, and I keep getting kicked to this screen. Help!

Thank you so much! We are happy you are using this unit in your classroom.

every morning I have been teaching my 5th graders patriotic songs, I just love that when I actually teach them the lessons they will know the song and now the history. Thank you

My comments on this article is that the rise of this america revoultion was very intresting. When the british and indians were involved I was like amamazed by it like again their in it again.That the american peace commissioners John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay won but in indiviual stuff. The shocking part was that over 20,000 American soldiers died during the conflict. And when the British finally accepted defeat, 60,000 men and women left the United States.

Dear Glenn

How far do we go in tolerating these people & this trash under the excuse of academic freedom & freedom of expression? Please understand, that question isn’t made in any tone of accusation. I mean myself too in that use of the term ‘we.’

We wouldn’t let a LeRoi Jones in our livingroom and we wouldn’t tolerate this kind of language in front of our families. Hasn’t the time come to take on those neurotics in our faculty group and lay down some rules of conduct for the students comparable to what we’d expect in our own families? If we do and the ‘we’ this time means you’d have all the backing I could give you, I believe the people of Calif. would take the state college system to their hearts.

[Illegible] Ron


[1] Ronald Reagan, “The Morality Gap at Berkeley,” speech at Cow Palace, May 12, 1966, in The Creative Society, 125–129

Trash and neurotic are two words that leap out of this letter. RR will soon win the election in a landslide. He'll win the election in 1980. Today he is revered by Republicans and many Democrats...In 2012 the Tea Party is on the rise and Liberals are on the run...It looks as if the Conservatives least for now.