Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Radio Show Features Story of Elaine, Arkansas Race Massacre Of 1919; Black Holocaust

Media Release
(7/27/2011)*9pm c/10pm e/7pm p*Elaine, Arkansas Race Massacre Of 1919
W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio
Air Date: Weds. July 27, 2011
Time: 9 PM C/10 PM E/7 PM P
Call-in Number: 646-652-4593

Topic: "Black Holocaust: The Elaine, Arkansas Massacre Of 1919"

Show Promo Video:



Publisher's Note: I just received this notice from this radio station about the upcoming program on the Elaine Massacre, an event that reads like a John Grisham novel.

In the morning hours of October 1, 1919, urgent calls went up and down the Mississippi River from the heart of the Arkansas Delta: blacks in Phillips County are rioting. No one seemed to be clear about what had touched them off, but a shoot-out at a church in a hamlet called Hoop Spur in the southern part of the county had left one white man dead and others wounded.

More historians are beginning to write about this tragedy, and Ron's program should be very interesting. I urge you to tune in.

Susan Klopfer, publisher
Civil Rights and Social Justice News
Author, Who Killed Emmett Till, Where Rebels Roost; Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited

P.S. If you are interested in reading more on this historical incident (once called a "race riot", here is information on a recently written book by an Arkansas historian --

Blood in Their Eyes is a relentless examination of one of the bloodiest American racial repressions of the 20th century. In retelling the story of the Elaine massacres of 1919 with moral fervor and canny reinterpretation of sources, Grif Stockley has written a study of collective barbarism in real time that deepens our knowledge of the psychodynamics of white supremacy.

-— David Levering Lewis, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author

Meticulously researched and compellingly argued, Blood in Their Eyes is the definitive history of the Elaine, Arkansas, massacre . . . [which] was the bloodiest race war of the Red Summer of 1919. Compounding the violence by rampaging white mobs and army troops was the torture of black survivors. Grif Stockley, a lawyer, has told the whole story, and in doing so, he has deeply enriched our understanding not only of America's violently racist past, but also of the challenges which that history poses for the future.

William M. Tuttle, Jr., author of Daddy's Gone to War: The Second World War in the Lives of America's Children (1993) and Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (2nd ed., 1996)

Awards for Blood in Their Eyes
American Association of State and Local History, 2003, Certificate of Commendation

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Civil Rights and Diversity Lessons -- School Librarian Tells How to ‘Teach Till’ Without Frightening Children

Media Release
Tuesday, July 13, 2011
Susan Klopfer
1712 Redrock Drive
Gallup, NM 87301

How to ‘Teach Till’ Without Frightening Children: A Resource Guide for Teachers

You are a classroom teacher. The anniversary of Emmett Till’s death is coming up, and you want to present a meaningful lesson for your students. How can you talk about the murder of Emmett Till -- a significant civil rights events -- without frightening children.

Patricia Fua, a 20-year-plus high school teaching veteran and librarian, believes she has answers and has developed a teaching guide for Help With Teaching a Lesson on Emmett Till. Fua shares this guide as this 46th anniversary of this important modern civil rights event arrives:
Resources for the Classroom

For ongoing classroom lessons which emphasize tolerance and diversity visit Teaching Tolerance through the link below.

This organization offers a free magazine for educators with articles for adults, and stories to share with your students. The magazine also offers many ideas for handling discipline and a wealth of lesson plans. The yearly program sponsored by this association is called “Mix it Up for Lunch”. This is a great activity which is strongly recommended as a school wide program for all ages and one that will have a lasting effect on both students and staff.

Preparing the Class for your Lesson on Emmett Till

The Emmett Till story evokes many strong feelings in modern day teenagers. No matter how you choose to introduce this story to students the result will be basically the same, many will be shocked, some angry, while others will be confused.

Initially, before introducing the story the activity below called “Information Circle” can be used to ease students into a topic which might make them uneasy. Using “Information Circle" at the beginning of your lesson allow students who have little or no knowledge of the Emmett Till story to acquire information from their peers, and to practice passing information along.
The general discussion time at the end of the activity allows the teacher to correct and modify any information which was shared which might be inaccurate. It is recommended that students have other lessons throughout the year which extend on this story so that they realize it was not an isolated event, that it led to a great movement in American History, and so that they can draw inferences to Jim Crow laws and racism in literature and history as they study throughout the year.

Closure on this lesson

Students will need some closure which will allow them to put the feelings which have surfaced into a proper context. Again using the activity below students might be given a specific assignment by the teacher to make the sense of closure more eminent. For example students might write a short sentence which they repeat to each student they meet in the circle when the music is stopped. It can be a pledge of what they will do to help end racism in the future, or a specific fact they found in their research. The slow movement together with the music should help to contrast this second staging of the same activity from the first. There should be a quiet sense of peace, a grieving time if you will in this closure activity.

After this activity a solemn pledge might be considered. Students could place their pledge which they read to one another into a small special container to be included in a school time capsule, or a pledge wall might be made in the hallway to show their peers how they feel. Ideas are unlimited and depend on the personality of the group.

For more closure activities see the Social Studies links provided under the high school section or visit .


Information Circle

This activity is suited for all ages including high school.

Before and after your lesson on Emmett Till a rewarding activity allowing students to review the information as well as voice their emotions is to play “Information Circle”.

Two circles are formed, one inside (circle A) and the other outside (circle B) thus including all the students in the classroom. Music is played, and in this instance Delta Blues should be used to set the mood.

Students walk in a circle slowly with each circle moving opposite of the other. When the music stops the students stand facing that person from the other circle and they exchange for 10 seconds each their knowledge of the event prior to the lesson, and their feelings about race in America after the lesson. The music is started again and a slow walk resumes to the next stop in the music. The teacher should facilitate the 10 second switch by monitoring the time and calling out, “A speaks” and then “B speaks”.

At the end of the activity (suggested overall time is 3 to 4 minutes) a class discussion can be held which is monitored by the teacher. All students will be ready to participate after gleaning information and opinions from others during the activity.

Springboard Lessons

Language Arts

Elementary School
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson with illustrations by Hudson Talbott

Middle School
Everyday Use by Alice Walker

A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson (sonnets, especially the crown sonnet form)

High School

Language Arts

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

and the
Scottsboro Trial


US Race Relations After WWII

Analyzing Primary Documents

Time line of the Civil Rights movement

Social Studies Segregation Voting Rights  Wall of Tolerance Civil Rights Memorial

Miscellaneous Resources PBS Teacher Guide to Activities

for use with the video
The Murder of Emmett Till

(Editor's Note: I have also added the following video by Keith A. Beauchamp:)

PBS Videos and Lesson Plans 

Glossary taken

from “Eyes on the Prize

Short profiles
* * *
Patricia Fua has taught school for 20-plus years and is currently the Librarian at a public high school in rural Nevada. Some of her most beloved teaching experiences have occurred in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and a troubled inner city school in Central Los Angeles. Through all of these experiences Patricia holds fast that, “Young people are the same everywhere. They are concerned with fairness and equality, and they want to do their part to make the world a better place.”

Winner of two Christa McAuliffe fellowships Patricia has stretched across the board in education creating programs for the arts in Micronesia, setting up and acquiring funding for computer labs in both Samoa and Saipan and working as a volunteer to help accredit schools at each school where she has taught. Her first love is teaching Broadcasting and Drama but says she has a true passion for teaching tolerance.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Recent mosque protests and congressional hearings on American Muslims 'unfortunate examples of rising tide of fear'

A Note From --
Elizabeth Potter

Unity Productions Foundation

As you know, America has always been a melting pot, but in the post-9/11 world the environment can be downright hostile. Recent mosque protests and congressional hearings on American Muslims are all unfortunate examples of a rising tide of fear. This climate of suspicion towards our fellow Americans compromises the great values that our country was founded upon. We've put together a 2 minute film in response that I believe you and the readers of Civil Rights and Social Justice News will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:

The site also has many other cool features including the ability to share your own stories and even taking the "My Fellow American" pledge. I would love it if you could post or tweet about this and share the video. If you can, please let me know. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Gallup, New Mexico Author Nominated For Dan Poynter Golden eBook Award; Who Killed Emmett Till?

Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till of Chicago was kidnapped and killed in the early morning hours of August 28 in 1955 while visiting Mississippi relatives. The sight of his brutalized body in an open casket, displayed to thousands of Chicago mourners a week later, was the spark that lit the modern civil rights movement. Among those moved to action was Rosa Parks of Montgomery, Alabama.

(Susan Klopfer, from the Google Knol on Emmett Tilll)

Gallup, NM --Civil right author and blogger, Susan Klopfer, has learned her eBook, Who Killed Emmett Till?, was nominated for a Dan Poynter Golden eBooks Award. Winners will be announced in August.

"This is a true honor," Klopfer said. Her book, also available in print format, focuses on the true story of a young Chicago school boy, Emmett Till, who in 1955, while visiting his Mississippi relatives, was brutally murdered. When his body was returned home to Chicago, his mother allowed it to be openly displayed and some historians say this was the spark that ignited the modern civil rights movement.

Klopfer lived in the Mississippi Delta for several years on the grounds of Parchman Penitentiary where her husband was the chief psychologist for the state's prisons. "We lived only a few miles from the site where young Till was murdered. And so, I met and spoke with people who lived there at the time, picking up interesting new information and clues about the murder."

While two Mississippi men eventually confessed to the murder, they were found not guilty in a trial in nearby Sumner, Mississippi. Rosa Parks was upset over what had taken place, and this was a chief reason she decided to go forward with her decision to sit at the front of a city bus in Montgomery, Ala.

"And we know what happened after that. The Modern Civil Rights Movement was underway."

Klopfer has written extensively about this murder and other civil rights events taking place in the Mississippi Delta. Her first book, Where Rebels Roost; Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited, covers a wide range of time, from pre Civil War to 2004 as the FBI reopened the Emmett Till files as a cold cas.

"Still, too few people know this story. It is not taught in many history classes and it is so important. Reporters from all over the world attended the trial in tiny Sumner and the U.S. was in the spotlight for its mistreatment of black people in this country.

"As children, today, are brutally mistreated and become victims of wars and terrorism, we can turn to this story of a young kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Klopfer said.

At the time Till visited his relatives in Mississippi, the Brown I and Brown II Supreme Court decisions over school segregation had been announced and tempers were flaring. In the small town of Belzoni, "right before Emmett came into Mississippi," the Rev. George Lee, an outspoken advocate of voting rights, was murdered in his car. "No one was ever prosecuted for this murder. Rev. Lee was a popular man and he, too, took the brunt of this extreme hatred and anger over the Brown decision," Klopfer said.

The New Mexico author has written a Google Knol on the Emmett Till book. A second book by Klopfer, Cash In On Diversity, has also been nominated.

"I certainly hope to win one of these awards. I guess I would be most pleased if it was for the Emmett Till book. This is a topic close to my heart."