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Afterthoughts is a dozen years old!
The anniversary gear is now available for pre-sale!! I am so excited about this. I plan to do a video about it later today, but suffice it to say that for a very limited time (two weeks), I have 3/4 sleeve raglan shirts and canvas field bags available in the shop. I wanted to do something special for the 12th anniversary of the blog, and my crafty cousin (owner of Bent Rail Design) is helping me out.
We’re doing this as pre-order and then she will make everything and we’ll ship is out ASAP. She already made a few just for ME, including my favorite, a Latin is my Love Language field bag!
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We’re reading many books this year for Year Ten history, but three that dovetail nicely are Arguing About Slavery, Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, and Frederick Douglass’ Slave Narrative. There is so much I could say about this reading, but I’ll stick to one idea today: it is so valuable to read more than one book on a subject. In high school, I read Frederick Douglass and that was my education concerning the Civil War. In California, it’s hardly touched on. I don’t think I even realized what a Big Deal it was until I was an adult.
When I was choosing books for my son, Arguing About Slavery was nonnegotiable — it’s primary sources after all. I really wanted to read Booker T. Washington because I had heard so much about him growing up (I attended an inner city elementary school where I was a minority with my blonde hair and green eyes), but I’d never read anything by him. But I ended up with extra room in the schedule and so I threw in Frederick Douglass as well. (Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a free read, so he hasn’t gotten to it yet.)
Here’s the deal: Booker T. Washington did not experience slavery the way that Frederick Douglass did. I don’t know if that is because freedom came to Washington while he was still young, or just the nature of where he was (geographically speaking) versus where Douglass was. I don’t know why. But the point is that if you just read Washington, slavery doesn’t sound nearly so bad. Of course, Washington’s book is more about recovery from slavery than slavery itself, so the two don’t compare anyhow.
This is the point. My son keeps commenting on how bad slavery is in Douglass versus what it sounded like in Washington. I realize now that it was almost accidental that I included them both, but in retrospect I see how important this was. Providence was gracious to me in my planning, I suppose.
When I say something like “read more than one book” it can sound like too much — like we’re weighing down the curriculum. In this case, both books are quite short, so that’s not happening. But either way, I do think it’s worth consideration, even if the second book is in the free reading pile instead of the curriculum proper.
My education consisted of stereotypes. North: good, South: bad, Lincoln: the best, everybody else: incidental. Arguing About Slavery alone helps a person see that the North was not holy and innocent and John Quincy Adams mattered oh so much. It’s a great step and if it’s all we do, it’s better than what most of us received. But I think if we’re going to add biographies and autobiographies, we need to add both Douglass and Washington. Because one without the other is only half a picture.
That’s my opinion, anyhow.
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This month in 2015:
I started 2015 off by personality typing my children. This is still one of the best things I’ve ever done. Really gave me new perspective on my mothering and continues to help me connect with my kids.
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This week’s links collection:
- To Understand Trump Talk, You Must Speak Outer Borough from The Federalist.
- I only speak Californian, so this was fascinating to me.
- Decluttering And Simplifying Your Way To Hell from CiRCE Institute
- I laughed, but also FOR REAL. It’s scary how far this philosophy has been taken. I’ve seen people weigh theology and relationships like this. Does your husband not spark joy? You’ve had no use for that annoying friend for a year? Get rid of them! Yikes. Important thoughts here from Josh Gibbs.
- Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool from The Guardian
- Yes, satanism really is growing in popularity. Pay attention.
- FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation from The Hill
- It’s about time. That foundation has been shady from the get go.
- A lone FDA scientist could end the autism epidemic by JB Handley
- The title’s a stretch, but the article was worth reading.
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