Phillis Wheatley was the first black poet in the United States. Born in Senegal, Wheatley was taken to Boston, Massachusetts, as a slave. Since she was too weak for manual labor, Wheatley was taught to read and write instead. She published her first poem in 1767. A two-page letter by Wheatley, previously unpublished, was recently auctioned. Listen to learn more about Phillis Wheatley, the contents of this letter, and why it is so significant to scholars, historians, and collectors.
Current Event May 25, 2016
The hit musical “Hamilton,” which tells the story of our nation’s first treasury secretary, has captured the attention of audiences around the country. Now, a Hamilton-based curriculum uses the play and its catchy music to teach history. Students have the opportunity to go to the musical, read related historical documents, and create their own projects inspired by the play. These activities help students empathize with important figures from our past and view history from diverse perspectives. Listen to hear more about how “Hamilton” is educating and inspiring students.
Current Event April 9, 2016
The War of 1812 between the United States and Britain is typically framed as a second war for independence. Less commonly known is the story of American slaves who were able to use the war as an opportunity to negotiate their freedom. Slaves in Maryland immediately recognized the British invasion as a chance to escape slavery. Initially, the British offered land in Canada or the West Indies to escaped slaves who were willing to offer intelligence or help as guides. Listen to learn more about how enslaved African Americans were able to negotiate their freedom during the War of 1812, and how this impacted the institution of slavery in the United States.