Image

9:30 AM / Thursday December 3, 2020

27 Feb 2012

Smithsonian launches new website for teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
February 27, 2012 Category: Diaspora Posted by:

Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art at the Smithsonian is a new Web-based project developed jointly by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. It offers teachers an introduction to the Civil Rights Movement through the unique lens of the Smithsonian’s collections.

 

Drawing connections between art and history, Oh Freedom! gives educators tools to help students interpret the long struggle for civil rights. Oh Freedom! broadens the definition of the Civil Rights Movement beyond the 1950s and 1960s, presenting it as a longer and more complex quest for freedom, justice and equality throughout the course of the 20th Century and into the present.

 

Oh Freedom! brings together more than three dozen featured artworks from the collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, from early 20th-century photographs by James VanDerZee and Cornelius M. Battey to Shepard Fairey’s iconic “HOPE” (from the series “Obama”). An interactive timeline, “Explore History in Art,” frames these artworks with artist biographies and secondary sources from the wider collections of the Smithsonian, such as historical artifacts, additional artworks, musical and vocal recordings, photographs and more.

 

Image

The Archives of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of American History and the National Portrait Gallery also contributed to the site. These sources, along with a glossary and other materials, help students and teachers contextualize the stories revealed by each artwork.

 

“The momentous events of the civil rights era were the culmination of a long struggle for justice that is still inspiring us today,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “We are proud to use our rich collections to present this essential history in a new way in classrooms nationwide.”

 

The site offers lesson plans prepared by a national committee of teachers that teachers can download. Interactive features allow teachers to share new lesson plans using a prepared template, provide activities and reactions to the site, and discuss how artworks suit their particular classroom needs. Additional resources, such as teacher and student bibliographies, also are available online. The site is designed primarily for teachers of middle and high school students, especially those who teach Social Studies.

 

“As a middle school social studies teacher, the Oh Freedom! website is easy to use with its lesson plans and abundant teacher resources about civil rights,” said Penny Prado, a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Riverdale Middle School in Jefferson, La. “It is important for a teacher to spark student interest in a topic, and the Oh Freedom! website definitely sparked the interest of my students.”

 

Oh Freedom! is the first Smithsonian Institution-wide collaboration that focuses specifically on civil rights. The education, curatorial and new media departments of both museums created the program jointly. A national Content Advisory Council helped guide the site’s framework, artwork selection and the interpretation of art and history and a Teacher Advisory Council consulted about the site’s usability, provided feedback on activities and developed lesson plans.

 

To explore Oh Freedom!, visit http://africanamericanart.si.edu.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sun Report

Pennsylvania certifies Biden as winner of presidential vote

November 26, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: In this Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate...

Commentary

COVID holidays inspire united behaviors, expectations for life in 2021

November 26, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Mary Firestone Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Staff Writer For many Pennsylvanians, the late...

Color Of Money

Three lessons in resilience to help you get through 2020

November 26, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Billionaire Mark Cuban was fired from his first job in software. Actress...

Health

For second consecutive year AmeriHealth Caritas’ two dual eligible special needs plans earn overall four star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

November 26, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email PA plans nationally recognized for exceptional commitment to quality For the second consecutive...

Seniors

Simple ways to safely bring joy to seniors during the holidays

November 26, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Many seniors and their loved ones are taking special precautions to stay...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of November 29

November 26, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Aries (March 21-April 19)   This is a good week to make future...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff