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Slavery lesson in elementary math class sparks outcry
This quesion in a math homework assignment for fourth grade students sparked outrage among some.
February 22nd, 2013
09:33 PM ET

Slavery lesson in elementary math class sparks outcry

By Laura Ly, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A math homework assignment that asked fourth grade students to tally the number of slaves on a ship has sparked outrage among parents and administrators in Manhattan.

The assignment was devised by another group of students, after they apparently expressed interest in the transatlantic slave trade. It required fourth graders to calculate the remainder of those not killed by a mutiny aboard the vessel, and to determine the number of times slaves were beaten in one month.

“This is really inappropriate,” student teacher Aziza Harding told CNN affiliate NY1 on Friday. “It should not be a homework assignment, and I did not want to make copies of this.”

Harding was asked to photocopy the assignment by another teacher, but refused because the questions made her uncomfortable and she thought it desensitized students to the horrors of slavery.

The first question read: "In a slave ship, there are 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 slaves are dead. How many slaves are alive?"

The second question read: "One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month? How many times did the two slaves get whipped together in one month?" FULL POST

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Filed under: Black in America • Education • History
Race on the track
February 22nd, 2013
10:50 AM ET

The forgotten godfathers of black American sport

By Sheena McKenzie, CNN

(CNN) - Think of the greatest American sports stars of all time and names like Jessie Owens, Muhammad Ali and Serena Williams will likely spring to mind.

But long before these champions smashed the record books - and blazed a trail in the public's imagination - the first generation of black U.S. athletes dominated an unlikely sport.

The godfathers of Owens, Ali and Williams weren't stereotypical towering, musclebound men found on basketball courts or in boxing rings.

Instead, they were the jockeys of the race track and their dizzying success - and dramatic fall - is one of the most remarkable buried chapters in U.S. sporting history.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Black in America • History • Sports • Who we are