History of Slavery in New York Discussion Today

Historian Alan Singer, a professor of education at Hofstra University, will address “Time to Teach the Truth: The History of Slavery in New York State,” during a daylong series of talks and workshops at SUNY Cortland and at Cortland Junior-Senior High School on Wednesday, March 4.

“Most Americans are aware of the more than two century-long history of slavery in our country,” explained Keith Smith, director of the Educational Opportunity Program and one of the event organizers. “Most, however, consider slavery to have been limited to the South. Dr. Singer is an expert on the many facets of slavery in the Empire State, and how to teach about them. He is eager to discuss his work with colleagues and students.”

A drop-in discussion session will be held between 9:30-11:30 a.m. in Old Main, Room 127, for any educators, would-be educators, and others interested in conversing with Singer and viewing his teaching materials. Singer will speak on the history of slavery in New York state during a sandwich seminar, which is free and open to the public, at 12:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

He will conduct a workshop on teaching about slavery from 3-4 p.m. at Cortland Junior-Senior High School. For information about attending that event, please contact Karen Hempson, coordinator of the Professional Development School, a SUNY Cortland-Cortland Public Schools initiative, at (607) 753-4209 or by e-mail at: karen.hempson@cortland.edu.

At the Hofstra University School of Education and Allied Human Services, Singer is a professor of secondary education and the director of social studies education. A former New York City high school social studies teacher, he is editor of Social Science Docket, a joint publication of the New York State and New Jersey Councils for the Social Studies. His books include New York and Slavery, Time to Teach the Truth and Social Studies for Secondary Schools (Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, 2nd edition, 2003).

Singer, who earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Rutgers University, is the author and editor of New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance, a 268-page secondary school curriculum guide.

The daylong events are being sponsored by a combination of College and community groups. The College sponsors are: Africana Studies Department- Center for Gender and Multicultural Studies- Dean of Arts and Sciences Office- Dean of Education Office- Education Club- Educational Opportunity Program- History Department- President’s Office and the Provost’s Office. The community sponsors include the Cortland Junior-Senior High School Department of Social Studies, the Professional Development School, and the Wilkins Foundation.

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