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Results for BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

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“Ar’nt I a Woman?” Sojourner Truth and the Abolitionist Movement | BRIdge from the Past

10 Min

How can images help us understand the role of African American women in the abolitionist movement? In this episode, Mary explores an image of Sojourner Truth. Born into slavery in New York, she dedicated her life to abolition and equal rights for women and men. How did her famous "Ar'nt I a Woman?" speech convey her life-long commitment to the ideals of liberty and equality? *The source we reviewed used the phrase "Ar'nt I a Woman?" but Sojourner Truth's speech is often also titled "Ain't I a Woman?"

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American Progress | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

16 Min

If you lived in 1872, would this painting inspire you to pack up and move west? Mary is joined by Jotwan Daniels, 2019 BRI Teacher Council Member and high school teacher in Breckenridge, Colorado, as they explore John Gast's "American Progress" (1872) and America's rapid push westward following the civil war. What does this painting tell you about America's values at the time? Is it really documenting progress for everyone?

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Escaping Slavery During the Civil War: A Monument to African-Americans Lost Pursuing Freedom

10 Min

How can we explore the story of Black men and women who escaped from slavery during the fighting of the Civil War? In this episode of BRIdge from the Past, Mary explores the Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, to reveal stories of sacrifice and bravery. What imagery does the sculptor use to convey the hardships these men, women, and children faced? What is the significance of the statue's location right outside of Washington, DC?

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Monuments and Historical Narratives: The Freedman’s Memorial | BRIdge from the Past

11 Min

How can historical narratives help us understand statutes and memorials? In a special episode, Liz fills in for Mary to explore the Emancipation Memorial, also known as the Freedman's Memorial, in Washington, DC. After Lincoln's assassination, a group of formerly enslaved individuals raised money for this statue to honor Abraham Lincoln. How did this sculpture fit into the greater story of African American rights during Reconstruction?

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Monuments and Memory | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

16 Min

How do we choose to remember past events, and what does that say about us? Mary and Gary explore the "Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment" by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1884 - 1897). Shaw was a Union officer of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first all African American military units. Nearly half of the regiment, including Shaw, would be killed, captured, or wounded at the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. What does the story of the monument reveal about the challenges African Americans faced fighting in the Civil War? What can we learn from this regiment's bravery?

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More than a Statue: The South Mural of the Lincoln Memorial | BRIdge from the Past

8 Min

People often think of the Lincoln Memorial as just the giant statue of Abraham Lincoln overlooking the Reflecting Pool, but there is so much more to explore. It’s been a backdrop for many turning points in the Civil Rights Movement. What do you know about the south mural of the Memorial? Join us as we explore how the mural explores the themes of liberty and equality within the memorial. Disclaimer: Like many pieces of art from Roman and Greek history, this interpretation of the governing principles in Lincoln’s life depicts nude figures. The image has been retained in its original usage to present it accurately in its historical context for student learning. This is the actual depiction you can see at the Lincoln Memorial today.

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Paths to Freedom: African Americans and the American Revolution | BRIdge from the Past

9 Min

Images can help tell the story of major events throughout U.S. History, but sometimes, you must look closely to uncover the hidden stories from the past. In this episode of BRIdge From The Past, Mary explores famous paintings depicting the role of African Americans during the American Revolution. How are African Americans depicted in paintings from this period? What clues are we still missing from their role in the Revolutionary War?

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Portrait Stories: African Americans and the Founding Era *Part 2* | BRIdge from the Past

9 Min

What can portraits reveal about African Americans during the Founding Era? In her second episode exploring African Americans and the Founding Era, Mary looks at a woodcut portrait of Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught African American author and thinker born in 1731. What is the significance of the inclusion of this portrait in Banneker's own published almanac? What did Banneker's publishing of almanacs have to do with the fight against–in Banneker's own words–“the almost general prejudice and prepossession which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion”?

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Slavery at Mount Vernon: Grappling with Our Founding’s Complex Story | BRIdge from the Past

15 Min

How can we talk about founding principles of liberty and equality without accounting for slavery? To explore this question, Mary went to George Washington’s Mount Vernon just outside of Washington, DC, and spoke with Director of Interpretation, Jeremy Ray. What does the design of the Greenhouse Slave Quarters reveal about the two sides of the plantation: the ornamental, public-facing greenhouse side and the functional, behind-the-scenes side where the people held in bondage lived? How can visiting historical places like Mount Vernon help us grapple with our complex story?

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The Anti-Chinese Wall: Immigration Images in the Gilded Age | BRIdge from the Past

14 Min

Have American views on immigration changed over time? In this episode, Mary walks through "The Anti-Chinese Wall" cartoon by Friedrich Graetz to understand the discriminatory reasons why many Americans objected to Chinese immigration in the late 19th century, and what they revealed about many Americans' beliefs during the time. How did the debate against Chinese immigration turn into the Chinese Exclusion Act?

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There’s Something Happening Here: The Vietnam War and Student Protests | BRIdge from the Past

11 Min

While the 1960s may have opened as an optimistic era, by the end of the decade, Americans were deeply divided over the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. In this video, Mary looks at photographs both at home and abroad, examining the lives of those who fought in the war and those that protested in the streets. What does it mean to be patriotic? To serve? To protest? Can someone do both?

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Thomas Nast on Reconstruction | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

17 Min

What impact did the Reconstruction Amendments have on the application of our Founding principles? In this video, Mary and Gary explore two Reconstruction-era cartoons by Thomas Nast. “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner" (1869) and “The Union As It Was" (1874) give insight into the nature of liberty and equality in the United States shortly after the Civil War. Do you agree with Nast’s commentary about the intentions and consequences of Reconstruction?

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Thomas Nast Takes on Boss Tweed | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

12 Min

What is the role of the press in a democratic republic? In this video, Mary and Liz explore another one of Thomas Nast’s political cartoons, “The Tammany Tiger Loose" (1871). This striking image aided in the downfall of the corrupt de facto controller of the New York City Democratic Party, William “Boss” Tweed. Knowing both the positive and negative impact that Tweed had on NYC, do you believe Nast’s depiction of Tweed was fair?