Critical Family History Book Review: Before we were Yours

Adoption presents challenges to family historians. Perhaps the greatest challenge is figuring out how important it is to trace biological ancestors, especially if they have had little or no role in actually raising a person. Lisa Wingate, in Before we were Yours (Ballantine, 2017), grapples with this question, although her purpose is mainly to critique […]

Confronting Racism at Home

As a white teacher educator who has taken on the “daunting” (Sleeter, 2008) work of antiracist education with preservice teachers, the work of critical family history is beginning to play a key role in my classroom. Importantly, critical family history is giving me insights into my family’s complicity in the fight against multiculturalism, as it […]

Four Generations of One Family’s Perspectives on Racism

During my doctoral program, I conducted two mini-studies on race and racism. The first was with successful Black professionals coping with micro aggressions in the workplace. I presented the findings from this study at the 2014 Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) conference in Houston where the audience had some interesting follow-up questions that led […]

Imah’s Legacy to a Science Educator

Most people call their grandmothers “granny,” “nannie” or simply “grandma”. Somehow, I knew the given Hebrew name for mother–“Imah” – which was what my grandmother told me to call her, revealed she was a phenomenal lady. As I analyzed closely the details of Imah’s life, it became apparent just how much she shaped my character as […]

Ancestors unKnown: Interview with Dana Saxon

Christine: I am having a conversation with Dana P. Saxon, Founder and Executive Director of an exciting resources for teachers, youth, and community organizations called Ancestors unKnown. Dana, on the website, readers can learn about the profound impact genealogy research had on you and why you developed Ancestors unKnown. Briefly, what would you say was the […]

Critical Family History Book Review: Silenced Voices

Inez Hollander grew up learning that her family’s past on the island of Java in Indonesia was “taboo even to remember.” Intrigued by self-censorship of not just her family but also Dutch society at large, she set out to uncover silenced stories which were part of a silenced history. Her book Silenced Voices chronicles her […]

Unsettling Facts from the Past

Our family stories can often reveal unsettling facts from the past. When we examine these stories in the appropriate historical contexts, however, we can often glean important lessons that can help inform our present and our future. Understanding our family history can help us develop the sense of self and self-confidence that are essential tools […]

Lessons From My Grandfather

“46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your […]

Critical Family History Book Review: The Warmth of Other Suns

Can you re-theorize history based mainly on oral history interviews with elders who may not appear in many other historical records? That is exactly what Isabel Wilkerson did in her award-winning book The Warmth of Other Suns, which tells the story of the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West […]

Use Context to Fill in Family History

I was born and raised in Kitui, Kenya. I teach 4th and 5th grade Newcomers at Place Bridge Academy in Denver Public Schools. I have been teaching for the last eight years. I am a master’s student in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity with an endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education at the University […]

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