The Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (also here)*, coalesced in the wake of the mass murder of African American parishioners at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church, by a white supremacist, in South Carolina in 2015.
But despite its violent genesis and primary focus on college students (and above), the syllabus also has a section aimed at school-aged kids.
The creators of the syllabus introduce it like this:
Here is a list of readings that educators can use to broach conversations in the classroom about the horrendous events that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17, 2015. These readings provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance.
The suggested books mostly cover Reconstruction through the Civil Rights era, and they cater to a variety of grade levels and genres.
We invite you to take a look.
Young Reader Resources from the Charleston Syllabus
- Joy Hakim, Reconstruction and Reform (1994)
- Zak Mettger, Reconstruction: America After the Civil War (1994)
- Marybeth Lorbieck, Sister Anne’s Hands (1998)
- Karen Katz, The Colors of Us (1999)
- Joyce Hansen, Bury Me Not in the Land of Slaves: African-Americans in the Time of Reconstruction (2000)
- Deborah Wiles, Freedom Summer (2001)
- Patricia McKissack, Goin’ Someplace Special (2001)
- Meg Greene, Into the Land of Freedom: African Americans in Reconstruction (2004)
- Doreen Rappaport & Shane Evans, Free At Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation (2004)
- Michael Tyler, The Skin You Live In (2005)
- Tonya Bolden, Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877 (2005)
- James M. McPherson, Into the West: From Reconstruction to the Final Days of the American Frontier (2006)
- Adriane Ruggiero, Reconstruction (2007)
- Linda Barrett Osborne, Traveling the Freedom Road From Slavery & the Civil War through Reconstruction (2009)
- Deborah Wiles, Revolution (2014)
- Chris Barton & Don Tate, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (2015)
Further information about the Charleston syllabus, as drawn from the AAIHS site:
#Charlestonsyllabus was conceived by Chad Williams (@Dr_ChadWilliams), Associate Professor at Brandeis University. With the help of Kidada Williams (@KidadaEWilliams), the hashtag started trending on Twitter. The following list was compiled and organized by AAIHS blogger Keisha N. Blain (@KeishaBlain) with the assistance of Melissa Morrone (@InfAgit), Ryan P. Randall (@foureyedsoul), and Cecily Walker (@skeskali). Special thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions via Twitter. Please click here to read more about the origin and significance of #Charlestonsyllabus.