It is no secret that I create our team's Black History Month lessons. Incorporating black history into my lessons is something I strive for year round, but honouring it during February is equally important right now as well. You can see where I've discussed this matter before: here. I wanted to share what I've done this year because it is different than what I've done in the past, incorporates brand new material, includes history you may not be aware of, and considers how we do this during the time of Covid. I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: These materials were created using free and fair use resources and are not for sale, but are available as I have shared them below. I have credited everyone I can in the Resources portion of this post. Additionally, you may find some errors in my writing. Please let me know by emailing me. Unless otherwise specified all video, audio, and stories are written by me.
This year's theme was ancient connections to Africa. I wanted to look at history and include things many students may not learn in their history courses or, potentially, ever.
I also wanted to make sure this was accessible for my students. I am teaching concurrently in person and digitally, so I needed a resource that would work for both and I also wanted to encourage exploration. I've also included a section at the bottom of this post about how I adapted it for my vision student.
So, I decided to make digital/bitmoji classrooms for each lesson. They are made for students to explore as a group or on their own, whichever the teacher decides and they are made to, hopefully, inspire questions and thoughts about why we only hear one side of the story and see how our world connects to ancient Africa.
Below I've detailed each week. I am in the process of making some, so this post will be updated as I do that. What you will find in each is a brief introduction, a list of materials included and what to click on to access them, and then a link to the digital classroom.
If you decide to use these lessons with your students, please give credit to mater monstrorum or Miriam Patrick. Additionally, let me know how it goes :)
Week 01 - Carthago
Another not so secret secret is that I love Carthage. So, it should come as no surprise that we started here. The question was, how do I fit so much awesome into one day?!? Carthage is a good starting place because it is something that many students learn about in Latin or in their world history classes. I also felt comfortable starting here as I am familiar with Carthage and the other topics were all relatively new.
Week 02 - The Ivory Bangle Lady
CW: mention of wh*t* s*pr*m*c*sts
While searching for notable people from Africa that appear in Roman history, an article on the archeological find of the Ivory Bangle Lady came up. Up until this point (AKA January 2021), I had never heard of her, seen anything about her on the various Latin groups I'm in, etc. Her story, while incomplete, is fascinating and turns what has long been the Classic line about the Classical world on its head - so much so that wh*t* s*pr*m*c*sts are incredibly angered by this find and its importance in the ancient Roman world.
Week 03 - The Garamantes
I chose the Garamantes because I wanted to find a group that had power and an empire that riveled Rome that may be unknown to many. Enter: The Garamantes. They are mentioned a few times in Roman literature: Pliny the Elder and Livy both mention them briefly. Lucan also mentioned them. Their empire lasted about as long as Rome's did and fell in the same century. The Garamantes maintained relationships with (if tumultuous) Rome, Aethiopia (enemies), and Carthage.
Week 04 - The Beachy Head Lady
Another amazing archeological find, the Beachy Head Lady (found in Essex, England) was a Sub-Saharan African woman about whom little is known. What has been discovered is that her body/bones were in very good and well kept condition, suggesting a comfortable life in some aspects. She provides context to the ancient world of Africa that is often missing from the world of Classics.
Accommodations for Vision Students
This year we have vision students in our Latin I program. Some of our students are in person and some are digital, so we've worked out ways we'll get these materials to our students. Here are some accommodations I made:
A Broad Abroad (2013). Ancient Carthage, resort towns, foreign investment & media: The first few days in Tunisia. Retrieved from: https://abroadabroadtravel.com/2013/01/15/ancient-carthage-resort-towns-foreign-investment-media-the-first-few-days-in-tunisia/
Aleksangel. Big comfy armchair. Retrieved from: https://www.canstockphoto.com/big-leather-armchair-vector-illustration-48772565.html
BBC (2014). Centuries old beachy head lady's face revealed. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-25962183
Leach, S., Eckardt, H., Chenery, C., Muldner, D., & Lewis, M. (2009). A lady of York: Migration, ethnicity, and identity in Roman Britain. Retrieved from: https://www.academia.edu/230134/A_Lady_of_York_migration_ethnicity
Millenial Boss. (2019). 17 inspirational quotes to motivate you to achieve your goals. Retrieved from: https://millennialboss.com/inspirational-quotes-to-motivate-you-to-achieve-your-goals/
Pinterest. Mosaic with hunting scenes: Garmantes. Retrieved from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/300474606373887849/
Otus (2021). Retrieved from: https://otus.com/
Quain, J. M.D. (1854). A series of anatomical plates bone plate. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jones_Quain#/media/File:A_Series_of_Anatomical_Plates_Bones_Plate_24.jpg
Susannp4. Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/window-wooden-windows-open-1202902/
Washington, J. (2018). Did you know Hannibal was black? retrieved from: https://urbanintellectuals.com/know-hannibal-carthage-black/
Wikipedia (2010). Book3. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Book3.svg
Yorkshire Museums and Gallery Trust (2021). Ivory Bangle Lady. Retrieved from: https://www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk/collections/collections-highlights/ivory-bangle-lady/
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