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A Worthy Piece of Work: The Untold Story of Madeline Morgan and the Fight for Black History in Schools

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The story of Madeline Morgan, the activist educator who brought Black history to one of the nation’s largest and most segregated school systems. A Worthy Piece of Work tells the story of Madeline Morgan, a teacher and activist in WWII-era Chicago, who fought her own battle on the home front, authoring curricula that bolstered Black claims for recognition and equal citizensh The story of Madeline Morgan, the activist educator who brought Black history to one of the nation’s largest and most segregated school systems. A Worthy Piece of Work tells the story of Madeline Morgan, a teacher and activist in WWII-era Chicago, who fought her own battle on the home front, authoring curricula that bolstered Black claims for recognition and equal citizenship. During the Second World War, as Black Americans reasserted demands for democracy at home, even as they fought to save it abroad, Morgan’s work gained national attention, widespread praise, and became a model for individual teachers, schools, and school districts across the country. Scholar Michael Hines outlines how Morgan’s curriculum gained momentum through the convergence of interests between Black educators and white policymakers which ultimately lead to her pioneering work in one of the nation's largest school systems to be used in the city of Chicago, and one of the first such curricula in use nationally. He unveils this history for the first time, providing a rich understanding of the ways in which Black educators have created counter-narratives to challenge the antiblack racism found in school textbooks and curricula. With Black history under attack in school districts and state legislatures across the country, A Worthy Piece of Work reminds us that struggles over history, representation, and race are far from a new phenomenon.


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The story of Madeline Morgan, the activist educator who brought Black history to one of the nation’s largest and most segregated school systems. A Worthy Piece of Work tells the story of Madeline Morgan, a teacher and activist in WWII-era Chicago, who fought her own battle on the home front, authoring curricula that bolstered Black claims for recognition and equal citizensh The story of Madeline Morgan, the activist educator who brought Black history to one of the nation’s largest and most segregated school systems. A Worthy Piece of Work tells the story of Madeline Morgan, a teacher and activist in WWII-era Chicago, who fought her own battle on the home front, authoring curricula that bolstered Black claims for recognition and equal citizenship. During the Second World War, as Black Americans reasserted demands for democracy at home, even as they fought to save it abroad, Morgan’s work gained national attention, widespread praise, and became a model for individual teachers, schools, and school districts across the country. Scholar Michael Hines outlines how Morgan’s curriculum gained momentum through the convergence of interests between Black educators and white policymakers which ultimately lead to her pioneering work in one of the nation's largest school systems to be used in the city of Chicago, and one of the first such curricula in use nationally. He unveils this history for the first time, providing a rich understanding of the ways in which Black educators have created counter-narratives to challenge the antiblack racism found in school textbooks and curricula. With Black history under attack in school districts and state legislatures across the country, A Worthy Piece of Work reminds us that struggles over history, representation, and race are far from a new phenomenon.

33 review for A Worthy Piece of Work: The Untold Story of Madeline Morgan and the Fight for Black History in Schools

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hayley Stenger

    Another 5 star book on history and who gets to tell it. I am on a roll. I took my time with this book as it requires thought. Michael Hines does an excellent job of conveying the story of Madeline Miller who worked as an educator to build curriculum in Chicago Public Schools during the 1930s and 40s. The curriculum taught Black history, history that had not been included in the curriculum. This book fills a historical gap I previously had in its short 160 pgs. I appreciate the connections to cur Another 5 star book on history and who gets to tell it. I am on a roll. I took my time with this book as it requires thought. Michael Hines does an excellent job of conveying the story of Madeline Miller who worked as an educator to build curriculum in Chicago Public Schools during the 1930s and 40s. The curriculum taught Black history, history that had not been included in the curriculum. This book fills a historical gap I previously had in its short 160 pgs. I appreciate the connections to current events, for example, the curriculum was praised during WWII when Americans need Black Americans to fight fascism, but support waned during the Red Scare of the 1950s. The book explains what Black Americans had to overcome when it came to education and stereotypes taught at schools and in the media. I enjoyed reading about people who were doing hard work to overcome these stereotypes. It is so similar to today's world. The message that will stick with me most after reading this is that history and support for inclusive histor7 waxes and wanes. It is important to continue moving forward.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julie Fortin

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sue Elliott

  4. 4 out of 5

    Addy

  5. 5 out of 5

    RaShauna

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erricka Hager

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lashunda Hill

  11. 4 out of 5

    Holly

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shana Zucker

  13. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Head

  14. 5 out of 5

    Latasha

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susie Weller

  16. 4 out of 5

    Krys Gutu

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  18. 5 out of 5

    Po

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Phung

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Hughes

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Wigand

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yueyee Vue

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Ball

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarina

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda Shields

  29. 4 out of 5

    Saralyn

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gracie Baker

  31. 4 out of 5

    Liz Miller

  32. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  33. 4 out of 5

    Edward

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