« In Gabriel’s Band | Main | On the Voice of Nat Turner »

April 17, 2008

Comments

Trevor

Fascinating stuff. I'm also reminded of the classroom activity a couple years ago that caused a too-minor ripple where a history teacher was reenacting . . . something slave-related. Memory's foggy, but weren't they mimicking being packed into slave ships? I'm not digging through your archives, but I think you covered it at the time.

Whatever it was, clearly the teacher was playing with fire. They were unable to reproduce the severity and horror of the reality and so produced an inauthentic experience that trivialized slavery's awfulness.

Brendan Wolfe

I was just thinking about that the other day, too, Trevor. Here's the link:

http://beiderbecke.typepad.com/tba/2006/01/oprah_lopate_an.html

It contains a long quote from Phillip Lopate about attempts by educators to create situations in which students "empathize" with slaves or victims of the Holocaust by "reliving" those experiences -- by being chained up for a day or whatever.

Total BS from Lopate's point of view.

This touches on similar issues, but in Williamsburg, anyway, the scope of what they were doing was much more limited. Slave interpreters and their audience were experiencing a very accessible byproduct of slavery -- which was the separation of families. Not as dramatic as chaining everyone up, but in the end more real and more powerful.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

어서오십시오!

About the Banner

  • The banner image is a detail from Grant Wood’s “Young Corn.” Now owned by the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Community School District, it was painted in 1931: the same year Bix Beiderbecke died and a year after Wood painted “American Gothic.”

So Sayeth Snoop

  • “But I somehow, some way, keep coming up with funky-ass shit, like, every single day.”

So Sayeth Merle

  • “We don’t make a party out of lovin’.”

So Sayeth Aldous

  • “Nobody can make a habit of self-exhibition, nobody can exploit his personality for the sake of exercising a kind of hypnotic power over others, and remain untouched by the process.”

So Sayeth Van

  • “Gonna put on my hot pants and promenade down funky broadway ’til the cows come home.”

So Sayeth Bob

  • Oh, my name it ain’t nothin’. / My age it means less. / The country I come from / is called the Midwest.

Site Meter