The Corner

Kass on King

The estimable public intellectuals, Amy and Leon Kass, have undertaken an important patriotic and historical educational project entitled, What So Proudly We Hail. Here is a brief description:

How can we produce citizens who are attached to our country, devoted to its ideals, and eager to live an active civic life? Studying our documents and learning our history can surely help. But stories are even better. With What So Proudly We Hail, educators Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass demonstrate how story, speech, and song can be used to enhance civic education and how a pedagogical approach that stresses learning through inquiry can make primary sources come alive for students of all ages.

Within the larger curricula, “The American Calendar” explores the purpose and meaning of our civic holidays, showing how their repeated celebration helps unite and identify us as a people and attaches us to our country.” The authors use all of the tools of the Internet, including text, links, and video.

For example, in the discussion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they link to King’s speech, “The Power of Non-Violence,” presented in 1957 at U.C. Berkeley in the wake of the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. From the speech:

The nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding. This was always a cry that we had to set before people that our aim is not to defeat the white community, not to humiliate the white community, but to win the friendship of all of the persons who had perpetrated this system in the past. The end of violence or the aftermath of violence is bitterness. The aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of a beloved community. A boycott is never an end within itself. It is merely a means to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor but the end is reconciliation, the end is redemption.

There is so much to explore here. Well worth your family’s time. 



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