Teaching African American History in the #BlackLivesMatter Era

Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Teaching and the OAH Committee on Community Colleges

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: African American; Public History and Memory; Teaching and Pedagogy


The emergence of #BlackLivesMatter, a movement and organizing strategy favoring social media over traditional organizing entities, has presented new opportunities and challenges for educators. As our students take to the streets to demand justice and the right to live, teachers at all levels strive to place the movement within the context of the historical struggle for African American rights. The participants include educators at two historically Black universities, a research-prime institution, a regional state teaching university, and a public high school. We seek to prompt thoughtful discussion of the topic with the audience.

Session Participants

Chair and Panelist: David Hamilton Golland, Governors State University
Dr. David Hamilton Golland is associate professor of history, coordinator of humanities, and President of the faculty senate at Governors State University. He holds a PhD from the City University of New York and an MA from the University of Virginia. His first book, Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity, was published in 2011 by the University Press of Kentucky and garnered positive reviews in the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History. His second book, A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican, published in 2019 by the University Press of Kansas, is a biography of the “father of affirmative action enforcement.” Dr. Golland has also published articles in California History, Critical Issues in Justice and Politics, The Claremont Journal of Religion, and the AHA Newsmagazine Perspectives on History.

Panelist: Stanley Arnold, Northern Illinois University

Panelist: Cheryl Eltonete Mango, Virginia State University

Panelist: Jessica A. Piper, Maryville High School, Maryville, Missouri

Panelist: John P. Wilson, Virginia Union University