Thursday, January 28, 2021

Black History Month

February is Black History Month. While Black History IS American history, and the incredible contributions, sacrifice, and impact of black Americans are taught in one U.S. History book – it is fitting to underscore and bring to light in open discussion the long, hard-fought struggle towards changing laws to move us closer to the ideal that ALL (men) people are created equal.® has a host of resources for you to use with your students this month. Our U.S. Constitution & Black History course is a great starting point that explores U.S. Black History through the lens of federal law, from the Constitution to Brown v. Board of Ed and beyond. The course covers the painfully slow, two-steps-forward, one-step-backward lurch toward the ultimate ideal of fully realizing Jefferson’s eloquent premise that “all men are created equal” as well as equality under the rule of law. 

Our Teachable Moments (under 5 minutes) are a great way to delve deeper, examining topics like the "Dred Scott" decision, "Plessy v. Ferguson," and "Brown v. Board of Education." I used these resources in a recent Civics class (see blog) where I share the when, how, and why I infused these resources towards a greater impact on student learning. 

We've also got a really special lesson for you! Lynne Jackson, the great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott spoke to my Civics class, presenting the nuances of the Supreme Court case battle and never-before-heard stories of the trials and tribulations of Dred and Harriet Scott! Lynne brings the "distant history" close enough to touch through her personal stories. Help students understand that the past really wasn't as "long ago and far away" as they may think by watching Lynne's classroom presentation in your own class.

Make Black History come alive as told by an incredible voice of history with a personal & poignant passion!


Dean Graziano, J.D., is vice president of, the education division of Free To Choose Network. He brings more than 25 years of education experience to, overseeing the growth and development of the teacher resource organization.

An award-winning educator and former curriculum specialist teacher, grades 6-12 social studies, Graziano served on the Massachusetts MCAS Standard Setting Panel, and was selected by the College Board to be an advanced placement reader for U.S. history. He worked on the historical inquiry model and a national presenter for ABC-Clio, a Social Studies data-base company.

In 2007, Graziano was awarded the United States Department of Educations' American Star of Teaching Award. He also was selected as the 2017 State of New Hampshire's Extended Learning Opportunity Coordinator-of-the Year. His pilot program in Rochester, NH was singled out by Governor Sununu as the model for the State of New Hampshire Career Academies.

Graziano received his Juris Doctor degree from Massachusetts School of Law and he is a member of Advanced Career Technical Education.

He lives in Dover, New Hampshire with his wife, Barbara.