It is hard sometimes to empathize with the things of the past. Especially one that is so radically different than our own. Currently our U.S. History II class is looking at how America was so different at the time of Jim Crow, and how Americans during the Civil Rights movement fought the fight for the equality of all Americans.
To introduce this topic, we as a class watched the documentary, A Class Divided by Frontline. In this documentary students observed how easy it was for individuals and children to hold bigoted beliefs and how quickly these beliefs can erode one’s morality and cause harm to those it’s directed against. The students then had the opportunity to reflect on the ideas of racism, where it comes from, and how best to stop it. The historical systematic institutional racism that was seen in Jim Crow may be today dead, but the human emotions of bigotry and hate have continued. In this way the students wrote reflections on the ways in which we can end the cycle of this hate. It is only when we can develop the empathy towards our fellow man, and dispel the ignorance which leads to prejudice that we can make the dream of equality a reality.