Author:
Woodson Collaborative
Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Upper Primary
Tags:
  • Black American
  • Civics
  • Government
  • Reconstruction
  • Virginia Studies
  • Vote
  • Voting Rights
  • Woodson Collaborative
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

    1883: Narratives of Resistance

    1883: Narratives of Resistance

    Overview

    Author: Daniel Shogan, Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History

     

    Students will learn about the 1883 Massacre in Danville, Virginia as an example of racist mob violence against African Americans. Within the context of the massacre, they will be shown primary documents from the event. These documents will provide the students with not only a lens into the Danville of the nineteenth century, but also provide them with an opportunity to think critically about the biases present in some of the documents. After careful discussion of the events and outcomes of the massacre, the students will be given vocabulary worksheets that help to define and underline the most important elements of the narrative.

     

    INSTRUCTOR PAGE

    1883: Narratives of Resistance

    3rd/4th Grade

    Author: Daniel Shogan (Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History)

    Based on Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History Education Unit Think Like a Historian Created by Kate McDannold

     

    Task Overview: Students will learn about the 1883 Massacre in Danville, Virginia as an example of racist mob violence against African Americans. Within the context of the massacre, they will be shown primary documents from the event. These documents will provide the students with not only a lens into the Danville of the nineteenth century, but also provide them with an opportunity to think critically about the biases present in some of the documents. After careful discussion of the events and outcomes of the massacre, the students will be given vocabulary worksheets that help to define and underline the most important elements of the narrative.

     

     

    Targeted SOLs:  VUS.8d Essential Knowledge
    Discrimination against and segregation of African Americans

     

    Unpacked Standards: Complete the K.U.D. Chart

    Know (facts)

    Understand (concepts)

    Do (skills)

    In the late 1870s the Readjuster party, a biracial coalition party gained a majority in the Virginia General Assembly. In October of 1883 a group of Danville individuals and businesses signed an anti-Readjuster document entitled the Danville Circular. On November 3, 1883 tensions finally erupted into a massacre that left at least four black men and one white man dead. Soon after the Democrats won a majority in both the houses of the General Assembly. The Committee of Forty met in Danville, determining that the African Americans were to blame, but in May of the following year, the U.S. Senate declared the opposite. Soon after the Democrats won early every seat in the state and the short lived Readjuster party collapsed.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    •Racism in the United States, both in the North and South, did not end when slavery ended. African Americans were often treated as second class citizens.

    •Political representation represents power in America. The Readjuster Party created opportunities for African Americans, such as Danville’s integrated Police Force and the election of a majority black city council, and these important opportunities were often viewed as perverse or jeopardizing to a certain way of life.

     

    The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by

    a) analyzing and interpreting artifacts and primary and secondary sources to understand events in Virginia history

    d)         recognizing points of view and historical perspectives

    j)          investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Instructor Directions: Begin by accessing The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History’s website and finding the Think Like a Historian page. After watching the video, the students will have an idea of what to look out for when reading  primary documents. Following this, Click the Group One START button and go through the documents with the class, making sure to highlight differences in the narrative. Instead of telling them the differences, let the students describe them and explain why they are present. Finally access the New York Times article from a few days later and go through the same process. What are the differences, and why are they present? Is a reporter from New York more or less likely to have significant biases about the events in Danville? Finally, the attached Frayer Model worksheets (along with the Student Page below) can be worked on in groups or individually to begin a more macro-scale discussion about the reasons behind the massacre and the events that came after it. Indeed, the ideas and concepts that are present in this unit, both in terms of the overt biases of primary documents and of the often violent reaction of the dominant group when another group gains some semblance of power, will reverberate throughout the students’ time in school and beyond.

     

    Resources:

    https://www.danvillemuseum.org/think-like-a-historian

    https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/the-danville-massacre-new-york-times-november-10-1883/

    Frayer Model Worksheets (attached)

    Resources for offline work (attached slideshow)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    STUDENT PAGE

     

    1883: Narratives of Resistance

    Directions: Today we are going to be discussing the Danville Massacre of 1883. On the following pages are diagrams to learn about some important vocabulary that goes along with the events of November 3, 1883. Pay close attention to the documents because they will help you to better understand the vocabulary.

     

     

     

     

    By the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Collaborative and the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, 2021