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Using Oral History to Understand Segregation

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Why is oral history important to remembering and learning from the past? How can hearing the stories of individuals help us better understand the experience and effects of segregation? In this lesson based on the PBS film, "A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School,” students compare ideas and information from various sources to understand how oral histories contribute to our understanding of segregation. Students then conduct their own interviews to further their understanding of individual experiences during segregation.

Founded in 1886, the Bordentown School was an educational utopia and incubator for African American pride and intellect. It taught values, discipline, and life skills to generations of black children. In the accompanying videos, students will learn the story of that remarkable school, as told through the recollections of Bordentown alumni, commentary by historians, and rare archival footage.



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