In September 2019, author Kenneth C. Davis began offering free virtual classroom visits on the subject of democracy and dictatorships. The intent of the virtual visits is to speak with middle school and high school students and their teachers about what democracy is, what threatens democracy today, and how to protect it. Teachers can have their class considered for a free virtual visit by going to the “Don’t Know Much About It“ website and specifying their school location, the grade level, and their class size. (Multiple classes are welcomed.) Davis will continue these virtual visits throughout the school year, subject to his availability. As the coming presidential election year draws closer, the issue of civic engagement is more important than ever.
Few American artists loom larger than Langston Hughes. He wrote novels, plays, short stories, films, librettos, children’s verse, newspaper columns, translations, and memoirs, and edited several important anthologies. But most of all, he remained a poet. From “Dreams” to “Let America Be America Again,” he explored social conscience and class difference with lyric beauty and music.
Filmmaker Ken Burns’s website, UNUM, is a new way to explore American history through scenes selected from across more than 40 documentaries. Visitors to the site can explore stories and topics by Themes, Events, People, Wars, and Time, as well as by AP US History Themes. For example, the UNUM short film “The Mythology of Monuments” explores what role monuments play in our culture.
Pithy and powerful, poetry is a popular art form at protests and rallies—from the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter. The poems of protest, resistance, and empowerment on the Poetry Foundation’s website call out and talk back to the inhumane forces that threaten from above.