Magazine Feature

Toolkit for “We Are Our Ancestors' Wildest Dreams”

Want to take these teachers’ advice? Educate yourself on the deep and complex history of American slavery and how it shaped the American institutions and beliefs about race.

This toolkit accompanies the article “We Are Our Ancestors' Wildest Dreams,” and provides professional development materials that can aid educators in building their own capacity to teach effectively about American slavery.

Most students leave high school without an adequate understanding of the role slavery played in the development of the United States—or how its legacies influence us today. This toolkit introduces several resources educators can use to increase their own knowledge and make their teaching about slavery more robust. 

While the Teaching Hard History framework offers substantial guidance and extensive resources, many teachers may want to focus on their own learning first. 



Part I: Watch the Teaching Hard History: American Slavery Webinar

This introductory webinar is a good first step toward deepening your own knowledge. You’ll hear from historian Hasan Kwame Jeffries about why we must teach about American slavery honestly and comprehensively. You’ll also test your knowledge of this critical topic with a quiz and interact with Teaching Tolerance’s collection of resources designed to help educators overcome the shortcomings of textbooks and state standards in teaching this hard history.  


Part II: Take the Quiz 2.0

If you’ve watched the webinar, then you’ve already taken the basic quiz. This “Quiz 2.0” is longer and more challenging. Test your knowledge and learn something along the way!


Part III: Listen to the Teaching Hard History: American Slavery Podcast

Based on individual chapters from the book Understanding and Teaching American Slavery, this podcast takes a deep dive into topics like slavery and the Northern economy, depictions of slavery in film and the diverse experiences of enslaved people. Hosted by Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries, the series features the voices of historians, legal scholars and educators and focuses specifically on how to leverage this knowledge in the classroom. 


Part IV: Explore the Text Library

This collection includes more than 100 primary sources selected to support the deep teaching and learning A Framework for Teaching American Slavery. Each text includes a set of text-dependent questions.