COMING IN SEPTEMBER! UnErased: 50 Ways to Unerase History answers the what, where, and how to infuse LGBTQ-inclusive history and academic content in a cross-curricular approach. Each of the 50 access points includes background information, suggested discussion questions, learning outcomes, interdisciplinary connections, topics for further exploration and more. (Recommended for grades 9+)
The following is an example from UnErased: 50 Ways to Unerase LGBTQ History:
If you teach the Black Panther Party and coalition activism, use Dr. Huey Newton’s speech “A Letter to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters About The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements”
On April 15th, 1970, Dr. Huey Newton delivered the speech “A Letter to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters About The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements”. What led the Black Panther Party (BPP) to include gay liberation within its coalition activism?
Jean Genet’s support of the BPP is arguably one of the most significant influences that prompted the BPP to speak about, and write about, the BPP’s alliance with gay liberation groups. Genet was a French playwright and ardent supporter of the BPP since its founding. Genet, an open homosexual, is credited with writing a pivotal play that significantly advanced the development of black theater in the United States. The 1958 play, Les Negres (translated in 1960 to The Blacks: A Clownshow), employed all black actors (including James Earl Jones and Maya Angelou) and its poignant major theme was revenge against oppressors. The play opened in New York in 1961 and ran until 1963. Because of the play, Genet was perceived as an ally to black America. In the early 1970s, the BPP was in financial trouble and Black Panther David Hilliard called Genet for support. Genet responded immediately. Since he was denied a visa because of his criminal past, Genet illegally entered the U.S. through Canada to travel with the BPP on a speaking tour for the purpose of raising money. While on tour, Genet prompted debate about homophobia and encouraged the BPP to support gay liberation.
The beginning of Newton’s speech reads:
“During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some uncertainty about how to relate to these movements. Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.”
SOMETHING TO PONDER:
- What arguments does Dr. Newton present in this speech?
- How does Dr. Newton support his argument?
- How does Dr. Newton’s speech connect to current conversations about race, gender and sexuality?
- Make connections between Dr. Newton’s speech and current social and political discussions about race, gender and sexuality
- Understand Dr. Newton’s reasoning for coalition activism
CURIOUS FOR MORE?:
- Research and explore how James Baldwin’s authorship influenced the intellectual orientation of Newton and Seale
- Read Audre Lorde’s short essay “There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression” and compare and contrast Lorde’s essay with Newton’s speech
[Intersection: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.8 Delineate and evaluate an argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient]
HUE knows that educators are managing more today than ever before, and that is why UnErased: 5o Ways to UnErase History is the groundbreaking answer to what, where and how to infuse LGBTQ-inclusive history and academic content.