How did Living History Revolution come to be?
Frankly, as a coping mechanism to not become bitter. George Floyd was murdered. I am a Black woman, living in a formerly redlined neighborhood in Southern California, who was working at a predominately White school. Both then and now, I commonly feel the burden of tokenism, and I was sick of the kind people around me being shocked by the latest brutality to yet another Black person in America.
It’s been happening. All. This. Time. It had and has to be taught. And, the stamina of Black Americans made clear and palpable.
I wasn’t going to take it to the streets and risk getting or giving Covid to people (Thank you immensely to those who put their sneakers on the ground), but knew that a peaceful war against injustice could fire away from a Zoom Classroom. Educational activism.
I launched a written call to action to my loyal friends to help enlist volunteers to play the roles of Black people and their allies. A treasured blast from my past, in Washington, D.C, took the scroll and ran with it. Teamwork does, indeed, make the dream work. Can I get a high five?
A ring of reciprocity was welded together by several parents, my bosses, and mom friends of mine, who sent biographies of the person as both a thank you and learning tool, to the amateur thespians. Together- we made our giant confusing world supportive and simple.
Books, articles, documentaries, composition notebooks, and pens were my heavy artillery. I researched and wrote, wrote and researched, scripts for our visitors and notes to share; I’m ready for any duel that challenges the credibility of my methods. *My favorite sources are on this site. *
Each 55 minute class began with me setting the historical context, then…..we would transcend time and come face to face (screen to screen) with our guest. Chronologically. Everything in timeline order. Their visits led to clarity about America’s economy, government, laws, freedoms, protections, habit of systemic racism, the what's what of race, class, and gender related isms. And, of course, some juicy tidbits.
It transformed into a one room schoolhouse. Participants ranged in age from six to eighty-one. Not only eclipsing the concept of time, but literal time zones; Heroes representing California, D.C, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Canada all cared enough to take part. Each participant was a model of the explosive impact of lifelong learning.
America’s past belongs to all of us.
It’s a revolution!
Why The Living History Format?
Information is given in the narrative ↠ People are relatable.
It elicits empathy ↠ "the most radical tool we have" (Gloria Steinem)
The settings match what you see and hear in the news today and, perhaps, a place that you have visited ↠ immediate relevance and familiarity.
It's engaging and fun ↠ Information is easier to remember ↠ natural to pass on
It can be done virtually and in person ↠ physically accessible, schedule-friendly.