BPC Teachers Selected for Prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute Seminars

Maureen Ray and Aly Mitchell

Aly Mitchell, our eighth grade history & geography teacher, was selected to attend the Gilder Lehrman Foundation’s history seminar on Reconstruction at Columbia University. Led by Professor Eric Foner of Columbia and Professor Martha Jones of Johns Hopkins, Ms. Mitchell examined the charged legacy of the Reconstruction Era (the period from 1865 to 1877). One of thirty teachers in the seminar, Ms. Mitchell dove deeply into this often misunderstood era, and returned with primary source documents to inspire thoughtful discussion in the eighth grade history classroom this fall.

Maureen Ray, our fifth grade head teacher, traveled to Memphis, Tennessee this past July to study the Civil Rights Movement with Professor Charles McKinney at Rhodes College. The seminar critiqued the “Master Narrative” of the Civil Rights Movement, disputing the widespread notion that the Movement began in 1954 with Brown V. Board and ending in 1968 with Dr. King’s Assassination. Ms. Ray learned how the roots of the Movement extend back to Reconstruction and World War II and still echo in present events. Local excursions included extensive time at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Clayborne Temple (the sanitation strikers’ hall in 1968), and Mason Temple, the site of Dr. King’s Mountaintop speech.