Thursday, January 20, 2011

Common-Place publishes its January 2011 edition

History Education Hawaii has learned that the January 2011 edition of Common-Place has been released. Common-Place is published by the American Antiquarian Society in association with the University of Oklahoma.

What did Civil War veterans expect in their war stories? What did the New England Journal of Medicine want from Ann Hutchinson? And why were early American viewers fascinated with slow art? For the answers to these questions, the next installment of Ithaca, and much, much more, point your browsers to Common-Place and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apply Now: Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program for Sophomores and Juniors

Rise and shine Hawaii college sophomores and juniors!

History Education Hawaii, Inc., has learned that the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is extending a nationwide invitation to college sophomores and juniors with a passion for American history, and academic excellence in the field to apply for the Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program in New York City.

Hawaii college sophomores and juniors are strongly urged to apply.

The application deadline is February 15, 2011. The notification deadline is March 16, 2011.

The Institute's program includes the following:

• 10 Gilder Lehrman History Scholarships to a five-week research program from Sun., June 26 to Sat., July 30, 2011.

• Up to 30 awards for One-Week Scholars to attend the Institute's program from Sat., June 18 to Sat., June 25, 2011.

History Scholars conduct primary-source research, meet with eminent scholars in American history, and explore archives and museums. One-Week Scholars will attend lectures by leading historians, discussions with professionals about careers for history majors visit select New York City archives and museums. All applicants will automatically be considered for both programs.

Go to this link and apply today. We ask Hawaii history faculty members to pass this information to their students. Good luck!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Progress of the Americans. The Polynesian (Honolulu) February 21, 1852

Progress of the Americans.
The Polynesian (Honolulu)

February 21, 1852

An English journalist, speaking of the United States, in all the elements of national prosperity, sums up:

“In an interval of little more than half a century it appears that this extraordinary people have increased above 500 per cent, in numbers; their national revenue has augmented nearly 700 per cent, while their public expenditure has increased a little more than 400 per cent. The prodigious extension of their commerce is indicated by an increased of nearly 500 per cent, in their imports and exports, and 600 percent in their shipping. The increased activity of their internal communications is expounded by their number of post offices, which has been increased more than a hundred fold, the extent of their post roads, which has been increased thirty-six fold, and the cost of their post offices, which has been augmented in a seventy-two fold ratio.

“The augmentation of their machinery of public instruction is indicated by the extent of their public libraries, which have increased in a thirty-two fold ratio, and by the creation of school libraries, amounting to 2,000,000 volumes.

“They have completed a system of canal navigation, which, placed in a continuous line, would extend from London to Calcutta, and a system of railways which, continuously extended, would stretch from London to Van Diemen’s Land, and have provided locomotive machinery by which that distance would be traveled over in three weeks, at a cost of 1 1-2d per mile. They have created a system of inland navigation, the aggregate tonnage of which is probably not inferior in amount to the collective inland tonnage of all the other countries of the world, and they possess many hundreds of river steamers, which impart to the roads of water the marvelous celerity of roads of iron.

“They have, in fine, constructed lines of electric telegraph which, laid continuously, would extend over a space longer by 3000 miles than the distance from the north to the south pole, and have provided apparatus of transmission by which a message of 300 words dispatched under such circumstances from the north pole might be delivered in writing at the south pole in one minute, and by which, consequently, an answer of equal length might be sent back to the north pole in an equal interval.

“These are social and commercial phenomena for which it would be vain to seek a parallel in the past history of the human race.”

The London Shipping Gazette has this paragraph, in the course of an article upon the future of America:

“We have no desire, at present, to enter upon any question of disputed policy; but we wish to record an opinion, that the empire of the seas must, before long, be ceded to America; its persevering enterprise, its great commerce, and its accruing wealth, are certain to secure this prize; nor will England be in a situation to dispute it with her. With this crowning capital to its power, the onward march of the United States to what we believe will be overwhelming greatness, might not be so speedily accomplished; but America, as mistress of the ocean, must over stride the civilized world.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture Workshop: A Rising People: Ben Franklin and the Americans

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

History Education Hawaii is pleased to inform our readers of an upcoming NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture Workshop. Scheduled for this coming summer, the workshop focuses on Benjamin Franklin.

A Rising People: Ben Franklin and the Americans will be held at Penn State Capitol College in Philadelphia June 26, 2011 - July 1, 2011, and July 10 - July 15, 2011.

Applications are due by March 2, 2011. Click here for application instructions.

The five-day workshop is open to K-12 educators across the United States. Hawaii history educators are urged to apply now. For details click this link.

JSTOR Partnership Initiative to Publish Scholarly Books Online

History Education Hawaii, Inc., has learned that JSTOR and Yale, Chicago, Princeton, Minnesota, and North Carolina University Presses have embarked on an initiative to publish scholarly books online as part of JSTOR’s services.

On behalf of Yale University Press Director John Donatich we have the following comment:

“Being part of this collaboration will enable us to reach the scholarly community in needed ways and contribute to the building of a valuable environment for libraries and users. But just as exciting may be the opportunity to create a new ecosystem for publishing in the arts through the collaboration of many like-minded organizations, including the potential for overcoming difficult rights and technological issues in the future."

Click here to read the full text of JSTOR's announcement.

What to Teach: An Overview and the Bradley Commission

The web site features a highly recommended and superbly detailed article with citations on the teaching history and geography. What to Teach: An Overview that presents information of chronological narratives, the use of conceptual frameworks and thinking strategies can be accessed at the hyperlinks.

Readers will find substantive information on the findings and recommendations of the Bradley Commission on History in the Schools:

The Bradley Commission is cited frequently in the education literature and on this website because its work was seminal, and its report is a model of clear thinking and reasonableness. Sam Wineburg said it "launched the current reform movement in history education." He described it as, "a considerable effort by historians, professors of education, and high school teachers to sit down and ask tough questions about the school curriculum."33

Released in 1988, the Bradley Commission's report is titled Building a History Curriculum: Guidelines for Teaching History in Schools. It begins by sounding a note of alarm about "the inadequacy, both in quantity and quality, of the history taught in American classrooms." It goes on to make "recommendations" (as in one colleague to another) that historical knowledge be used to support the development of student "judgment and perspective," that facts and narrative "be selected and taught to illuminate the most significant questions and developments,"that historical study focus on "broad, significant themes and questions," and that students develop historical "habits of mind,"34

The Commission recommended a minimum two-year sequence of study that includes both world history and Western civilization because "world history is inadequate when it consists only of European history plus imperialism, just as it is inadequate when it slights European history itself."35

Education Week's Quality Counts Report: Hawaii Schools Receive C-plus

Today's Honolulu Star Advertiser features news of a report published by Education Week. The Quality Counts Report focuses on the quality of public education across the country:

Hawaii schools got a C-plus in an annual report that grades the quality of the nation's public education systems, coming in slightly higher than the national average but lower than 19 other states.

Hawaii improved a bit from last year, when the state got a C.

The rankings are included in Education Week's annual "Quality Counts" report, released yesterday, which looks at school standards, student achievement, the finances of school districts and other factors to determine the strength of a state's education system.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is January 17

Monday, January 17, 2011 is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day across the United States. It is a federal holiday with federal, state government and schools closed.

On February 19, 1964 Rev. Dr. King spoke before an audience of 8,000 students jammed into the University of Hawaii’s Andrews Amphitheater. The next day the Honolulu Advertiser featured the following reflections in its editorial column:

“He captured and awed them with an hour-long richly vivid speech that was at once polemic, a sermon, a prophecy and an affirmation of faith in man’s essential decency.

“He said little that was new…but Dr. king gave the words a renewed meaning, holding his audience virtually hypnotized with his mighty, organ-like voice. The sentences marched in magic cadence, laden with Biblical imagery and Shakespearean quotation.

“It was a speech of compelling power and few could have come away failing to understand why Time magazine put Dr. King on its cover as Man of the Year.

“He stood forth sharply as the soul of the Negro revolution, and, even as spokesman for America’s conscience.”

In the April 5, 1968 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser features reaction to Rev. Dr. King’s assassination we take this occasion to share.

Charles M. Campbell was the leader of the Hawaii delegation at the Selma, Alabama March in 1965. He reportedly sent a telegram to Coretta Scott King which said:

“The news of your husband’s death has rocked the nation as well as the world. It has come as a great personal shock to my family and me, because we shall never forget the kind of constructive and warm advice that has given me concerning keeping the movement for the freedom of all people non-violent.

“The grief that hangs over our nation is indescribable, but there is hope that this great struggle will now come to greater focus in a nation where bigotry has been allowed to survive all too long.

“From your husband’s teachings we now know that America can no longer expect to be secure where there is a remnant of discrimination based on race.”

The following is a listing with link to sample lesson plans and educational resources:

The King Center. Click here.

A-Z Teacher Stuff. Click here.

The Teacher’s Corner. Click here.

Read Write Think: International Reading Association. Click here.

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute of Stanford University. Click here.

U.S. History Site. Click here.

PBS NewsHour. Click here.

The National Archives. Click here.

The Asia Society. Click here.

Hawaii History Day 2011

Hawaii History Day is a program of the Hawaii Council for the Humanities. Online registration opened on January 3, 2011. Registration closes at midnight HST on Monday, January 31, 2011. Essay and web site entries are due on or before the same date.

Go to this link to register.

"Hawai'i History Day -an affiliate of National History Day (NHD)- is a year-long history education program that invigorates the teaching and learning of history in grades 4-12. It promotes a theme-based, research-centered model for history and civics education. Students present their projects in a display, performance, documentary, essay or web site project. History Day culminates in the presentation and evaluation of these projects at school, district, state and national history days.

"Public, Private, Charter, Hawaiian Immersion and Home School students in grades 4-12 are eligible to participate in the Hawai'i State DOE District in which their school is located. Please note: For Hawaii entrants, group projects are limited to 1-3 students."

NEA Learning and Leadership Grants: The Jack Miller Center

This morning we direct Hawaii history educators to The Jack Miller Center. We particularly call your attention to the NEA Learning and Leadership Grants:


Our Learning & Leadership grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes:
  • Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or
  • Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.

All professional development must improve practice, curriculum, and student achievement. “One-shot” professional growth experiences, such as attending a national conference or engaging a professional speaker, are discouraged. Decisions regarding the content of the professional growth activities must be based upon an assessment of student work undertaken with colleagues, and must be integrated into the institutional planning process. Grant funds may be used for fees, travel expenses, books, or other materials that enable applicants to learn subject matter, instructional approaches, and skills. Recipients are expected to exercise professional leadership by sharing their new learning with their colleagues.

Amount: The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study.


Deadlines and notification dates for applications are as follows: February 1 (notification: April 15, 2011); June 1 (notification: September 15, 2011); October 15 (notification: January 15, 2012).

Go to this link for application instructions.

Go to this link to apply online today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Metrical Grammar: A 1850 Perspective on Writing and Grammar

Good Monday Morning from History Education Hawaii!

The following poem, Metrical Grammar, was published in the May 25, 1850 edition of The Polynesian, a Honolulu-based newspaper. For our history and writing teachers we hope this brings a smile. Of course, please feel free to share this with your students. Best wishes for a great week ahead!

Three little words we often see

Are articles a, an, and the.

A Noun is the name of anything,

As school, or garden, hoop, or swing.

Adjectives tell the kind of Noun,

As great, small, pretty, white, brown.

Instead of Nouns, the Pronouns stand-

John's head, his face, my arm, your hand,

Verbs tell of something being done-

To read, write, count, sing, jump, or run.

How things are done the adverbs tell-

As slowly, quickly, ill, or well.

Conjunctions join the words together,

As men and children, wind or weather.

The Preposition stands before

A Noun-as in or through a door.

The Interjection shows surprise,

As Oh! How pretty, Ah! How wise.

The whole are called nine parts of Speech,

Which Reading, Writing, Speaking, teach.

The Beveridge Family Teaching Prize (K-12)

Established in 1995, this prize honors the Beveridge family’s longstanding commitment to the AHA and K-12 teaching. Friends and family members endowed this award to recognize excellence and innovation in elementary, middle school, and secondary history teaching, including career contributions and specific initiatives. The prize will be awarded on a two-year cycle rotation: in even-numbered years, to an individual; in odd-numbered years, to a group.

The next prize will be awarded to an individual. To be eligible, the candidate must be a K-12 teacher. The individual can be recognized either for individual excellence in teaching or for an innovative initiative applicable to the entire field.

Each letter of nomination must include the name and address and email address of the nominee and a statement indicating the basis for the nomination. Once the letter of nomination is received, each individual so nominated will be contacted and asked to submit the following electronically or by mail: a vita and an essay of no more than five pages in length describing the contribution or the product, discussing the achievement or innovation in approach and development, and summarizing the historical scholarship utilized. Up to ten pages of appropriate supporting materials can be included (e.g., letters of support and course materials, excerpts from a text book, or other evidence of contribution).

The prize carries a cash award plus travel expenses to the AHA annual meeting in January 2012 at which it is awarded.

Only the letter of nomination should be mailed (no faxes) to:

Beveridge Family Teaching Prize, American Historical Association , 400 A Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889

The deadline for the letter of nomination is March 15, 2011.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Meet Ric Burns at the NCHE Annual Conference: On History and Filmmaking

Ric Burns is recognized as one of the leading figure in American historical film making.

The National Council for History Education (NCHE) has announced that Ric Burns will be speaking on April 1 at the 2011 annual conference. His topic is 'On History and Filmmaking.' Special evening showings of his films will be featured each evening.

Go to this link at Steeplechase Films to learn more about his work.

The Economist: Lessons Learned: At last, America may change the way it trains, recruits and rewards teachers

We noted in yesterday's edition of The economist this article:

"BUDGET, curriculum, class size—none has a greater effect on a student than his or her teacher. Given this, politicians might be expected to do all in their power to ensure that America’s teachers are good ones. For decades, they have done the opposite. The trouble begins long before a teacher enters the classroom. In Singapore, which recently came second in an international ranking of 15-year-olds’ skill in maths (America was 31st), the teacher-training programme accepts only students in the top 30% of their academic cohort. In America, most teachers were mediocre students. Only 23% of new teachers were in the top third of college graduates."

Crafting Freedom Workshop for K-12 Educators

Crafting Freedom: Black Artisans, Entrepreneurs and Abolitionists of the Antebellum Upper South” simply known as the “Crafting Freedom Workshop is an NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for K-12 educators.

It is funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and offered for the eleventh and twelfth times in the summer of 2011. Hawaii educators are encouraged to apply.

The workshop engages educator participants, also known as “NEH Summer Scholars,” in intensive study using the power of place to motivate exploration of the lives and works of several significant antebellum African Americans.

These “freedom crafters” created opportunities and achieved greater freedom for themselves and others through their actions and ingenuity, through their works of art and craft, and through their spoken and written words.

The Crafting Freedom Workshop has reached 400+ educators from 38 states over several summers. It has consistently been rated “excellent” with many deeming it one of the best professional development experiences of their careers.

Click here to see a video about Crafting Freedom created a few years ago for a a national press conference kicking off NEH Landmarks of History and Culture Workshops.

Two Sessions of the workshop, each serving 40 participants, will be offered in the summer: Session I: June 16 – 21, 2011 and Session II: June 23–28, 2011.

For detailed information on how to apply, see application guidelines.

Top Chinese Educator Denounces Standardized Tests, Calls America the Leader in Education

Teacher Talk is a blog featuring commentary on education issues in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The blog is facilitated by Charles Costello.

The January 6 caught my attention because of the following:

"In a scathing op-ed, and a crushing blow to those who believe standardized tests are the be-all and end-all, a top Chinese educator says the United States does a far better job educating its students than China. Jiang Xueqin says Chinese students lack social skills, creativity, and lose their passion for learning (to name just a few of the problems) because the country has put such a high priority on standardized tests. On the other hand, he says that America is the leader in public education, with a curriculum that promotes critical thinking, innovative thought, and the acquisition of knowledge (to name just a few of its strengths)."

Jiang Xueqin, the deputy principal of Peking University High School, and director of its International Division wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal. Click this link to read it.

Star Advertiser: Superintendent says it will be tough to provide more school instructional time

Today's Honolulu Star Advertiser features a story about an on-going issue in Island public schools: instructional time.

To quote the story:

Public schools in Hawaii will have a hard time complying with a new state law requiring more instructional time next school year, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said.

The law, passed following the state's embarrassment of having the nation's shortest school year because of budget cuts, was meant to guarantee that Hawaii schools would have at least 180 instructional days annually with 5.5 hours of daily class time in high schools and 5 hours, 5 minutes in elementary schools.

Hawaii students now attend class for an average of 4 hours and 43 minutes per day, short of standards in most other school districts nationwide.

Matayoshi said the teachers' labor union is arguing that adding instructional time will lengthen their work day -- contractually set at 7 hours -- and require higher pay.

"We're between a rock and a hard place, between a statute and a collective bargaining agreement, so we have to find a solution," Matayoshi said. "It would be a scramble for schools, but they'd make the effort for the kids to make the schedule work."

Read the full story and reader comments at this link.

Recommended: Humanities Resource List

As we say in the Hawaiian Islands, "Happy Aloha Friday!" This morning's mail brought a recommended online-based humanities resource site from Lauren Jackson of PNW Librarians.

"The Internet is teeming with scholarly information about the humanities but we're bringing the best to you in this easy directory. From traditional layouts to the more experimental sites, we’ve collected the top 36 resources and guides. From fine arts to political science, follow these excellent resources and their links to a fantastic array of information."

"I know this article would be a great addition to your information," Lauren writes, "and I'm sure that it could help many of your users. Let me know what you think!"

A big mahalo nui loa, Lauren! We're convinced educators in Hawaii and everywhere will agree!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

American Historical Association: William Gilbert Award

The William Gilbert Award for the Best Article on Teaching History recognizes outstanding contributions to the teaching of history through the publication of journal articles. The prize was endowed by a generous gift from Mrs. William Gilbert in memory of her husband, a distinguished member of the history department at the University of Kansas.

Articles by American Historical Association (AHA) members, published in the United States in a two-year period ending on May 31 of an odd year, are eligible to be considered for this biennial award.

For the 2011 award, articles by AHA members published between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2011, may be nominated for consideration.

Journals and individual members may submit nominations on the teaching of history (including scholarship of teaching and learning, methodology and theory of pedagogy) for each biennial cycle of this award. Journals, magazines, and other serials can submit up to two articles for each award cycle. Each nominator is required to provide a brief letter of support (no more than two pages) with the article.

One copy of each letter of support and article must be sent for each member of the Committee on Teaching Prizes. Entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2011. Entries will not be returned. No faxes will be accepted.

Send six copies of your completed entry to:

Gilbert Award Coordinator
American Historical Association
400 A St. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

REMINDER: Gilder Lehrman Summer Seminar Deadline: Feb. 1

K-12 history, social studies and English teachers are invited to apply to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 2011 Summer Seminars. Taught by renowned historians on college campuses in the US and the UK, these one-week seminars give educators the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of topics in American history—while gaining practical resources and strategies to take back to their classrooms.

The deadline is February 1, 2011. Hawaii educators are strongly urged to apply. Go to this link to apply today.

1876: Japanese Students in Oregon

As 21st century Hawaii is a popular destination for international students we thought the following story would interest our readers.

The October 2, 1876 edition of Honolulu’s The Friend featured a story about Japanese students enrolled at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. The graduating class numbered six, with three of them from Japan. The story quotes a column from the August 17 edition of the Pacific:

“One of them finished the regular course, and the other two graduated in the scientific department. They have been here six years, and two of them for a time among the number who were supported by the Japanese Government; but when that government called its young men home from America, withdrawing all support, they remained at their own expense. These came from noble families, one having been an army officer with 20 servants in his house.

“When they came here they went into families as servants, and remained so a part of the time, partly to be more economical in the expense of obtaining an English education, and partly to more thoroughly learn American manners and customs.

“When they first came, some of the people looked down on them, and at times treated them rudely; but they stood on their dignity, and have gained the respect of all classes. They have shown themselves to be scholars and thinkers, or, as one of the other scholars said before commencement, “they are going to make us American boys ashamed of ourselves.”

“Their orations showed that they were thinking about Japan and their future work there. One of them has become a Christian, and so firm a one that it is believed he will maintain his Christian character in Japan, whatever may be his position. Immediately after the commencement they went east to attend the Centennial, and also to spend a few years in studying the science of government.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Historic Deerfield 2011 Summer Fellowship Program

Historic Deerfield invites applications from undergraduate sttudents in their Junior and Senior years for the Summer Fellowship Program. Students from Hawaii are urged to apply.

Based in Historic Deerfield’s eleven museum buildings, state-of-the-art exhibition and storage facility and library, all within the village of Old Deerfield, New England’s best documented town, this all expenses-paid, intensive nine-week living-learning program offers a rare behind the scenes view of the workings of a museum, and a thorough investigation of early New England history and material life.

Before applying, please be sure to download and read the
complete description of the 2011 Summer Fellowship Program (June 13-August 14, 2011).

The deadline for filing applications is February 25, 2011.

Applications must include:

  • Summer Fellowship Program application form
  • Official Transcript
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from college faculty members.
  • Personal statement discussing why you want to come to the Deerfield program, and how your academic experiences and other interests have prepared you for this program.
  • Financial aid award authorization form if applying for a stipend to offset lost summer income.
  • Non-refundable fee of $15

For further information, please contact Joshua Lane, Curator of Furniture and Curator of Academic Programs, at (413) 775-7209, or at this e-mail address.

National Gallery of Art Teacher Institute: Crosscurrents of American Art: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

(Picture: Edward Hicks. Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1834, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington)

The National Gallery of Art’s Department of Teacher, School and Family Programs invites teachers of kindergarten through grade twelve to apply for a six-day seminar this coming summer. Hawaii educators are strongly encouraged to apply.

The application deadline is March 15, 2011.

The 2011 Teacher Institute explores American art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Individual sessions will integrate art, social history, language arts, and learning theory through examination of the collections of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

For more information and an online application please click this link.

Report: Hawaii Public School Teachers (The Polynesian May 1, 1852)

In the days when Hawaii was governed as a monarchy the kingdom published its own official newspaper. The Polynesian was first published in 1841 followed by a twenty-year run spanning 1844-1864.

Hawaii has a rich history of public and religious schools chronicled in The Polynesian and other newspapers. For the edification of our readers we will be producing from time to time excerpts of news articles pertaining to Hawaii’s evolving educational system.

The following is an excerpt from the 1852 Report of the Minister of Instruction –Richard Armstrong- read before the King (Kamehameha III) and the Hawaiian Legislature, 14th April, 1852:

“The teachers of public schools receive a license from the inspector of the district, with the approbation of the local trustees in each case, after examination on the elementary branches of reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. Their number is determined by the wants of the district. They are required to exhibit evidence of good moral character, but no religious test is applied. By way of accommodation to the popular feeling, and the state of the schools, previous to the existence of a district Department of instruction, the Government has allowed the schools to have teachers, whose religious sympathies are in common with those of the parents of the children placed under their instruction; but the law recognizes no distinction, gives the schools no religious or denominational character, and assumes no control of the religious education of the young. As a matter of fact, however, religious instruction is imparted freely and without hindrance, in all the public schools; in no country is it more so, so long as the branches required by law are not neglected.”

Monday, January 3, 2011

Meet the Author: Isabel Wilkerson, 'The Warmth of Other Suns,' at Iolani School

Russell Motter, chair of the History Department at Iolani School, has informed History Education Hawaii that a public talk by Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of the highly acclaimed book on the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns, is scheduled for this coming Friday, January 7, at Iolani School’s Seto Hall.

This free event is open to the public and scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. A book-signing will follow. Hawaii history educators, history students and historians are encouraged to attend and meet Ms. Wilkerson.

It was one of the most important population shifts of the 20th century — an exodus of nearly six million black Americans from the South to the cities of the Northeast, Midwest and West — yet few people have substantively studied the effects of what is now known as the Great Migration.

Enter Isabel Wilkerson, who as the New York Times Chicago Bureau Chief in 1994 became the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. Her debut book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, puts a human face on that experience.

“There was a rich store of experience and adventure and narrative to be mined. There were voices that needed to be heard, and I wanted to hear those voices before it was too late. I needed people who left in three different decades to show the scope and breadth of the migration. I was looking for people who had distinctive voices of their own, people who you could identify with. People who wanted to share the good and bad, who weren’t representing themselves as perfect. That allowed it to be a more human story.”