WNET

Pap Singleton: To Kansas!

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In this video segment, learn about Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, a former slave who in 1874 led a group of 300 African Americans--the first of many groups--out of the South to the state of Kansas in search of a better life. Singleton began his call for an exodus that year and in a few years time, migrating blacks built over 20 towns. Singleton and many of his followers found the civil and economic independence they were looking for in Kansas. But for many freedmen, the trip itself was too arduous and numerous individuals lost their lives along the journey.

Having a Strong National Government

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By the end of George Washington’s presidency in 1797, the country had split into factions and two distinct political parties had emerged. The Federalists believed in a strong national government while their opponents believed that a strong national government would be no different from the monarchy they had fought against during the battle for independence. This video segment from The Supreme Court highlights the partisan battles between the Federalists, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, and Thomas Jefferson, his cousin and a strong opponent of Federalism.

The Partition of Israel and Palestine

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This video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews explores the factors that led to the creation of the independent state of Israel. The segment describes the United Nations’ involvement in the partition of Palestine and Israel’s eventual declaration of independence, and the conflicts that followed. The video also explores the Palestinian perspective on the aftermath of the conflict and establishment of a Jewish state.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? and The Forgotten Man

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This enhanced video resource takes a look at the Great Depression, focusing on Yip Harburg’s song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and President Roosevelt’s famous "Forgotten Man" speech. The video segment provides background and context for the song, while the background essay examines specific elements of Roosevelt’s speech, focusing on his consistent allusion to and use of war metaphors. Ultimately, the resource helps connect the song to the speech, demonstrating the negative sentiment to President Hoover and the United States’ need for change following the devastation of the Great Depression.

 

Nixon and the Court | The Supreme Court

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In his campaign for president, Richard Nixon promised to respond to the social upheaval of the 1960’s with a return to order, law enforcement and conservative rulings. This video presents Nixon’s strategy to reconfigure the Supreme Court by appointing “strict constructionists,” justices with conservative backgrounds who would render the most literal interpretation of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court | FDR and the Court

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In 1937 when Elsie Parrish, a maid for the West Coast Hotels in Washington State, sued for back wages based upon the state minimum wage, her employer argued for “liberty of contract.” With the economic challenges of the Depression as a factor and in a true reversal from previous trends, the Supreme Court abandoned strict ideas regarding “free market” protectionism at the expense of individual workers and ruled on the side of Parrish. This video explores the Court’s evolution to accepting President Roosevelt’s New Deal and considering fair labor practices.

Jews in the Islamic World

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In this video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews, host Simon Schama discusses conditions for Jews living in Islamic lands during the Middle Ages. Schama points out that although Jewish communities in Muslim territories experienced a form of second class citizenship, they experienced a level of freedom, prosperity and acceptance not common in Medieval Christian Europe.

Legal Struggles | Women, War, and Peace

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This video from Women, War & Peace explains how the legal struggles of Cauca and La Toma began 10 years ago when Héctor Sarria was granted a license to mine gold in the mountain. In early 2010 he sped up his plan to begin mining. According to Sarria, his license says there are no indigenous communities in La Toma, despite the fact that Afro-Colombians have lived and worked there for generations. Sarria requested and was granted the right to evict any Afro-Colombian miners working in La Toma—1,300 families whose livelihoods depend on mining face eviction.

Students Strike at Fisk University

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This video from The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow highlights Fisk University, founded in the 1880s by the American Home Mission Society. By the 1920s Fisk was the top black college in the United States and provided the best liberal arts education for African Americans; it was also the alma mater of the intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois. In 1924, in an effort to gain sizable donations from wealthy northern and southern funders, the white president Fayette McKenzie made many concessions. Most notably, he began to change the curriculum to reflect a more industrial education. The students, outraged and encouraged by Du Bois, walked out. Eventually, McKenzie resigned and the school returned to its original mission: to provide an elite higher education for black youth.

The Emergence of Monotheism

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In this video from the PBS series The Story of the Jews, host Simon Schama travels to the Valley of Elah to visit the site of the biblical story of David and Goliath. He meets with archaeologist Yossi Garfinkel to discuss his theory that the famous battle between the shepherd and the giant reflects hundreds of years of conflict between the hill-dwelling Judeans and the coastal Philistines. Garfinkel takes Schama to the site of an Iron Age Judean fortress where he has discovered an altar and two ceremonial containers, or arks, which may be clues to the origins of Jewish monotheism.

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