Black History Freedom Program February 25, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at Christ Temple Church Bishop Luke Edwards, Church Pastor Come Join us for Good Music, Lively Speeches and Good Fellowship Keynote Speaker Hon. Curtis Anthony Senior VP of BBVA Compass B’ham, AL Special Guest Hon. Artis McCampbell,  State Representative For more information please Contact Spiver W. Gordon at 205-372-3446

Newswire: New study: U. S. schools are failing to teach the hard history of American Slavery

Educators not prepared to teach it. Textbooks have insufficient information about it.
By Maureen Costello

This famous 1863 photo of a severely beaten and scarred runaway slave named Gordon depicts some of the horrors of slavery that are being undermined in many classrooms across the nation.
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from
( – Even during Black History Month, U. S. schools are not adequately teaching the history of American slavery, educators are not sufficiently prepared to teach it, and textbooks do not have enough material about it. As a result – students lack a basic knowledge of the important role that slavery played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America, according to a recent study by the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project.
The report, Teaching Hard History: American Slavery, traces racial tensions and even debates about what, exactly, racism is in America to the failure of schools to teach the full impact that slavery has had on all Americans. The report examines the lack of coverage that U.S. classrooms provide about American slavery through a survey of high school seniors and U.S. social studies teachers. It also offers an in-depth analysis of 15 state standards and 10 popular U.S. history textbooks, including two that specifically teach Alabama and Texas history.
The investigation – conducted over the course of one year by the Teaching Tolerance project – revealed the need for far better and much more comprehensive classroom instruction across the board.
“If we are to move past our racial differences, schools must do a better job of teaching American slavery and all the ways it continues to impact American society, including poverty rates, mass incarceration and education,” said Maureen Costello, a former history teacher who is director of Teaching Tolerance. “This report places an urgent call on educators, curriculum writers and policy makers to confront the harsh realities of slavery and racial injustice. Learning about slavery is essential for us to bridge the racial differences that continue to divide our nation.”
Only 8 percent of high school seniors surveyed could identify slavery as the central cause of the Civil War. Most didn’t know an amendment to the U.S. Constitution formally ended slavery. Fewer than half (44 percent) correctly answered that slavery was legal in all colonies during the American Revolution.
While nearly all teachers (97 percent) surveyed agreed that teaching and learning about slavery are essential to understanding American history, there was a lack of deep coverage of the subject in the classroom, according to the report. More than half (58 percent) reported that they were dissatisfied with their textbooks, and 39 percent reported that their state offered little or no support for teaching about slavery.
Teaching Hard History: American Slavery relies on noted historian Ira Berlin’s 10 essential elements for teaching American slavery, articulated in the foreword to Understanding and Teaching American Slavery,as a framework for analysis.
Teaching Tolerance worked with the book’s editors, Bethany Jay, Ph.D., an associate professor of history at Salem State University; and Cynthia Lynn Lyerly, Ph.D., an associate professor of history at Boston College; to convert these elements into 10 key concepts of what students should know.
Teaching Tolerance also assembled an advisory board of distinguished scholars, and partnered with teachers and institutions of higher education, to develop a framework and offer a set of recommendations for teaching about American slavery.
The recommendations include fully integrating American slavery into lessons about U.S. history, expanding the use of original historical documents, improving textbooks, and strengthening the curriculum on topics involving slavery.
“It is of crucial importance for every American to understand the role that slavery played in the formation of this country,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University professor and adviser for the report. “And that lesson must begin with the teaching of the history of slavery in our schools. It is impossible to understand the state of race relations in American society today without understanding the roots of racial inequality – and its long-term effects – which trace back to the ‘peculiar institution.’ I hope that publishers, curriculum writers, legislators and our fellow American citizens on school boards who make choices about what kids learn embrace the thoughtful framework developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C., also praised the report and the resources being made available to teachers through the Teaching Tolerance program.
“As the first national museum dedicated to telling the African-American story, we strongly support and encourage Teaching Tolerance’s efforts to unpack the reality of what our education system teaches about slavery and what students are learning about slavery,” the museum wrote in a statement. “The information and the resources that Teaching Tolerance has developed will have a significant impact on the realm of history education.
“The NMAAHC looks forward to being a collaborator in championing the key components laid out in the Teaching Tolerance report, especially the need for schools, educators, students and families to become more savvy about talking about race and white supremacy as it relates to the founding of the U.S. and the legacy of slavery.”
study follows Teaching Tolerance’s widely cited Teaching the Movement reports that evaluated state standards for teaching the civil rights movement. At the time, researchers suspected that states did a poor job of teaching the civil rights movement, in part because they failed to adequately teach about its historical roots in slavery.
Teachers can access resources on teaching American slavery at: The resources are offered to educators at no cost.
Maureen Costello is Teaching Tolerance director at the Southern Poverty Law Cente

Newswire : Portraits of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled

Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama.jpg

Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. on Tuesday unveiled the portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama painted by black artists.
Kehinde Wiley of Brooklyn, N.Y., painted President Obama and Amy Sherald of Baltimore painted Michelle Obama.
Wiley and Sherald are the first black artists commissioned by the Smithsonian to paint the portraits of a former President and First Lady.
At the unveiling, both the former President and First Lady commented on the process of having their portraits made. President Obama said, “I tried to get artist to make my ears smaller and show less gray hair, but he refused.”
There will be two sets of official portraits. One set will hang in the White House and these will hang in the Smithsonian. The portraits will be on display in the newly renovated America’s Presidents Gallery.

Realizing the Dream celebration activities set

Danny-Glover_Mary-Mary-800x450The annual Realizing the Dream celebration at the University of Alabama will feature award-winner gospel duo Mary Mary and actor and community activist Danny Glover.
The celebration will be from Jan. 12-15 and include a concert, banquet, speakers and a unity day. This year’s theme is Realizing the Dream Through Service to Others. The event, which celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., is hosted by UA, Stillman College, Shelton State Community College and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Glover will be the Legacy Awards Banquet speaker. The banquet will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Bryant Conference Center’s Sellers Auditorium. Tickets are $25 for individuals or $200 for a table of 10. Dress is semiformal.

Among Glover’s film credits are “The Color Purple,” the “Lethal Weapon” and “Dreamgirls.” Glover’s wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts focus on economic justice, access to healthcare and education programs.During the banquet, the Rev. Frank Dukes will receive the Mountaintop Award, a lifetime achievement award, for his work during the civil rights movement and as an educator in Alabama. UA associate professor Ellen Griffith Spears, author of “Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town,” will receive the Call to Conscience Award recognizing leadership and courage that helps to establish social justice, equality and peace. UA junior Marissa Navarro, who founded the Hispanic-Latino Association as a freshman, will receive the Horizon Award recognizing a young adult demonstrating outstanding vision and hope that promotes social justice, equality and peace.
Mary Mary, featuring the Grammy Award-winning sisters Erica and Tina Campbell, will perform during the 2018 Realizing the Dream Concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at UA’s Moody Music Concert Hall. Tickets are $15.
The events will continue Jan. 15, with Unity Day. The events, sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference begin at 7 a.m. with the Unity Breakfast at Beulah Baptist Church featuring speaker Joseph Scrivner, pastor at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church. The Unity Day march begins at noon at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and will travel to Beulah Baptist Church. The Rev. Tyshawn Gardner, SCLC president and pastor of Plum Grove Baptist Church, will be the speaker. The annual rally begins at 6 p.m. at First African Baptist Church and will feature speaker Bishop L. Spenser Smith, pastor of Impact Nation.
Tickets for both events will go on sale through the Moody Music Building Music Services Office Jan. 3. Office hours are 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

 Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Birthday
Commemoration schedule for
Greene County


47th Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Birthday Celebration
January 12-15, 2018

January 12,10:00 a.m – Student
Educational Seminar
at New Peace Baptist Church
Keynote Speaker,
Mrs. Katie Jones Powell
Former School Superintendent, Sumter County

January 14, 4:00 p.m. – Freedom Gospel Concert
New Generation Church

January 15, 8:30 a.m –
Unity Freedom Breakfast
Eutaw Activity Center
Keynote Speaker,
Rev. Joe Webb Pastor
New Generation Church

January 15,10:15 – Freedom March to
William M. Branch Courthouse

January 15,10:30 a.m. – Godly Women of West Alabama Religious Rally 
William M. Branch Courthouse
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Cynthia Warrick,
President, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL.


Sponsored by
Alabama Civil Right Freedom Museum Inc.
Greene County ANSC
Greene County Supportive
Elected Officials
Greene County Brotherhood, Inc.


For more information please contact
Spiver W. Gordon 205-372-3446


Students from after-school enrichment project present Christmas program at school board gathering

Santa babies.jpg

Prior to the opening of its regular meeting on December 18, 2017, the Greene County Board of Education, along with a community gathering, was entertained with a special Christmas presentation by students enrolled in the after school programs of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Students from Eutaw Primary School and Robert Brown Middle School presented dance ensembles, poetry and Christmas Caroling. The event culminated with the lighting of the Christmas tree and the appearance of a jolly “Santa.” The students were presented gifts and refreshments.

In his monthly report, Superintendent James Carter emphasized the system’s continuing goal of improving academic performance for all students. “School principals and teachers must be held accountable for closing the achievement gap. Our focus must shift now on recruiting and retaining talented principals and teachers, a task that is very challenging,” he stated.
Dr. Carter explained that if we are to improve academic performance for all students, there must be a shift in how we teach our students. “School classrooms must be re-designed to meet the needs of students in the 21st Century. We can’t continue to place students in classrooms where all they see is the back of another student’s head. Each school must create a team of leaders to manage instructional programs,” he said.
In his update on the system’s school property, Carter announced that, to date, he has received five offers on the purchase of the former Carver School and two offers on the former Paramount School.
In other business, the board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent.
* Resignation of Rebecca Coleman from the 21st Century Community Learning Center.
* Employment of Dorothy Powell, Jacqueline and Latasha Harris as Bus Aides.
* Employment of Latoya Consentine as substitute bus driver.
* Additional service contract at Robert Brown Middle School for 2017-18 academic year (separate contracts): Janice Jeames as Assistant Girls Basketball Coach.
* Additional service contract at Greene County High for academic year 2017-18 (separate contract) Jason Booth as Assistant Baseball Coach; Fentress Means as Assistant Basketball Coach.
Administrative services approved by the board include the following.
*Worthless Check Policy;
* Uncollectiable Meal Charge Policy.
* Field Trip requests: Greene County High to Dollywood, TN, April 20, 2018; Robert Brown Middle to National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN; Robber Brown Middle to Education Day at Six Flags Over Georgia, April 27, 2018.
The following instructional items were approved by the board.
* Voluntary Religious Expression Policy
* 21st Century Community Learning Centers Staff Handbook
* 21st Century Community Learning Centers Parent Handbook.

Terri Sewell holds ‘Congress in Your Community’ meeting at Greene County Health System

Terri Sewell.jpg

On Friday, December 15, 2017, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell held a ‘Congress in Your Community’ meeting in the dining room of the Greene County Residential Care Center. About 40 people attended the meeting.
Congresswoman Sewell thanked the people for coming out to listen and participate in the meeting, which she brings annually to every county in her district to seek input and questions from people about the work of Congress and the Federal government.Sewell thanked the people of Greene County and other voters in the Seventh Congressional District for their overwhelming support of Doug Jones in the December 12th Special Election. “The Seventh District was the only congressional district that Doug Jones won but he won by such an overwhelming majority, due to Black voters, that he will become our next Senator,” said Sewell. “I look forward to working with him in Congress for the benefit of Greene County and other parts of Alabama.”

Sewell said that she was working in Congress to find ways to help rural hospitals survive by seeking higher Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates and finding other special programs to help rural hospitals in her district and in rural areas across the nation. Greene County Health System is one of several rural health care facilities in her district that is facing financial difficulties, including facilities in Wilcox and Sumter counties.

The Congresswoman, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, expressed concern that the “tax reform bill” wending its way through Congress favors the richest people and doesn’t do as much as it should to help poor and working people. “This tax bill takes away some tax provisions like the New Markets Tax Credit which helps economically distressed communities to rebuild.” Said Sewell.

Sewell recommended that voters visit her website to sign up for newsletters, Federal grant program advisories and other important information.