Saturday, October 27, 2012

Black American Africa

Last Sunday I was walking to the bus from church and struck up a conversation with one of the New Life teachers called Henlicky. He teaches history and geography to A-Level, the 16-18 year olds. Through our conversation we began talking about American History, which gradually led him to request that I come teach an 80-minute lesson on the American Civil War and the significance it had for black Americans.
I taught the class this Wednesday and it was wonderful. I brushed up on the topic by doing some Internet research and rereading some papers I had written for my AP US History class a while back. I compiled a PowerPoint and used it to supplement the diagrams I provided on the chalkboard.
The high school I attended was monogamously Caucasian, so it was the first time I had visited black American history in the presence of black students. This made me nervous entering the lesson, however I by the end I realized that it added emphasis. The students (and the teacher, because he took notes on the class as well) were particularly moved by the information and were highly responsive. They felt a clear connection to their tortured black American brothers and sisters. The fact that I, their teacher for the lesson, am white was not uncomfortable at all, rather we viewed it as proof that white supremacy is a dead illusion. Henlicky asked me to return in the future to teach more American History and a few Western European History classes (French Revolution and British Revolution). I thoroughly enjoyed the experience to teach an advanced academic class in a foreign cultural setting and look forward to the opportunities I will have to do so in the future.

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