Resources for Teaching About White Supremacy

Learning plans and other tools for educators

By Elaine Woo

White supremacy is rarely mentioned in the K–12 curriculum. To teach it well, educators can turn to an array of online resources.

PBS Learning Media offers a lesson plan for high school students that begins with a video of historical footage showing White resistance to desegregation. It concludes with students analyzing a flyer for a Ku Klux Klan meeting held 13 days before the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The lesson’s objective is to help students understand White supremacy as “an organized system of repression.”

Another popular resource is “Teaching Hard History,” a guide to learning about slavery from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Among the 10 essential concepts the SPLC says students in grades K–5 should learn is the idea that White supremacy “was both a product and legacy of slavery.” For students in grades 6–12, the SPLC encourages teachers to connect the legacy of slavery and White supremacy to contemporary American life by examining issues such as housing segregation.

As USC Rossier Assistant Professor of Clinical Education Akilah Lyons-Moore notes, teaching through the lens of equity means ending educators’ silence on White supremacy. “It may not be written in the educational standards,” she said, “but it cannot be separate from history.”

Read more about teaching Black history here.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

After Charlottesville: Teaching about Racism, Antisemitism and White Supremacy
From the Anti-Defemination League

What Happened When My School Started to Dismantle White Supremacy Culture
From Next Generation Learning Challenges