Introduction - Answering the Call
Oral history provides a unique role in preserving rich and untold history. In this module, interviewees discuss their reasons in sharing their personal narratives before, during and after desegregation in Maryland.
Tips for using this module in your classroom
How can oral history help us re-examine what has been taught in order to build a more complete and accurate narrative of the past?
Documentary Clip 1
- Mr. Robert M. Bell asserts that the society in which he lived was antithetical to what was supposed to be the norm. What are ways that today’s society operates antithetically to its core values?
- What does the phrase “hazardous landscape” imply? What was hazardous about the living conditions of the 1950s?
- How does someone “make a way where there ain’t no way”? What are some other famous euphemisms that we use in everyday life?
- Discuss Ms. Treopia Washington Green’sstatement that “there are stories that need to be told, there are facts that need to be shared.”
Documentary Clip 2
- What may have happened if Mr. Louis S. Diggs decided not to write about the communities of Winters Lane?
- In your opinion, what other stories need to be told about American society?
- What are some of the hidden and or missing parts of U.S. history?
- What time periods, people, places should U.S. students learn more about?
Supplemental Enrichment Activites
Providing Students a Framework
- To allow students to begin thinking about segregation and desegregation, have them reflect on the following quote by James Baldwin:
The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.
- (James Baldwin, 1963)
- In what ways does learning more cause people to critique the world in which they live?
- How have you become wiser as you’ve gotten older?
- What are things that you are more critical or “aware” of now than you were 5 of 10 years ago?
Learn more about Mr. Louis S. Diggs
Reflect on euphemisms/phrases
- How does someone “make a way where there ain’t no way?”
- What are some other famous euphemisms that we use in everyday life?