2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator

2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator

Thursday, February 4, 2016

PBS Honors Maya Angelou

“Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.”

 – “On the Pulse of Morning” by Maya Angelou On May 28, 2014,

Maya Angelou, Chwefror 2009

Renaissance woman and civil rights activist Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86. She read one of her most famous poems, "On the Pulse of the Morning" at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993.

Speaking at Bill Clinton's inauguration, 1993

Angelou’s talent was not defined by just one medium. Throughout her life, she was a poet, novelist, dancer, playwright, actor and educator. She has written autobiographies, poems, children’s books, essays, plays and screenplays. Angelou has been awarded more than 50 honorary degrees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

Maya Angelou speaking at a rally for Barack Obama, 2008

 In this lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra, students learn more about her extraordinary life. LESSON: http://to.pbs.org/1QqieWV

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

PBS Shows Us Harriet Beecher Stowe

Author Harriet Beecher Stowe had a tremendous impact on northern attitudes toward ending slavery. Her book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in 1852, became a sensation in part because it humanized slaves and focused on her readers’ emotions. I remember reading it when I was ten, and Stowe's description of abuses plantation owners inflicted on slaves has stayed with me even today.  It directed my reading and questioning of Southern literature, eventually leading me to Ralph Ellison's classic depiction of The Harlem Renaissance, Invisible Man.

 Uncle Tom's Cabin went on to sell 300,000 copies in the first year in the U.S. The novel was even more successful in Great Britain, where 1.5 million copies were sold in a year; a figure its publisher claimed was “10 times the sales of any book other than the Bible and prayer book.” 

In this video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists” featuring historical reenactments, students learn about the far-reaching impact of Stowe’s writings on the abolitionist movement. They will learn how Stowe’s commitment to the abolitionist cause was strengthened after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, and how her best-seller was credited with “putting a human face on slavery” and helping launch the Civil War. WATCH: http://to.pbs.org/1IOJJYA

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