Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Slavery in America- Primary Sources

The website listed below is a great tool when teaching about slavery in antebellum American and its legacy. Originally created as a companion to the PBS series, Slavery in America, this website has been sponsored by New York Life and remains active. I recently used some resources from this website in class to address a question that keep being asked by the students- how could the South have possibly defended slavery? The website offers a variety of primary source photographs, political cartoons, lithographs, and contemporary artwork based on slave narratives. I used 2 political cartoons from the defense of slavery section and the National Archives and Records Administration political cartoon analysis worksheet (link provided below) in my lesson.

The worksheet helps to guide the students to look closely at the political cartoon and its accompanying text for meaning. After examining what is in the cartoon with the students, also as them to look for what is not in the cartoon- which is just as important to their understanding of the Southern justification of slavery and the reality of slavery.