Teaching Hidden Histories

Youth in our region are asking their teachers for help in preparing them to understand and become active participants in a society and culture that seems increasingly divided. Join Essex Heritage’s FREE “Teaching Hidden Histories” collaborative workshops as we utilize local organizations’ archives, scholars’ expertise, and community members’ voices to explore local historical examples of larger structural inequities and the fight for more access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Work with other teachers to find ways of making this history relevant to students as they confront modern challenges and opportunities built on these legacies.

Workshop 5:

The Struggle for Liberty, Equality, and Property: Examining Resistance to Exclusionary Policies Against Black People in Essex County Part II

The history of Black people’s experiences in Essex County, MA, including institutional integration, community activism, and hard-fought access to fundamental rights, offers a rich set of stories for our students to explore. In this workshop, we examine how these experiences exemplify a larger history of structural policies of exclusion and prejudice, but also perseverance and change.

Join us as we work to answer many questions about this history and its relevance today, including:

  • What are some exemplary stories of Black people’s experiences in our region that highlight larger themes of exclusion and the fight for access?
  • How can primary sources from the region’s past as well as contemporary voices in the local Black community inform our understanding of how to approach this topic with our students?


Dr. Kabria Baumgartner, Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies and Associate Director of Public History, Northeastern University; principal investigator, African Americans in Essex County, Massachusetts: An Annotated Guide ; author of In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America

Doneeca Thurston, Director, Lynn Museum and Lynn Arts

Edward Carson, Dean of Multicultural Education and member of the History Department, The Governor’s Academy, Byfield, Massachusetts

Brian Sheehy, North Andover High School History Department coordinator

Zobeida Chaffee-Valdes, graduate student, Northeastern University

Resources from Past Workshops

Past workshops examined different topics related to our theme. In advance of the virtual workshops, teachers received secondary and primary sources and scholars’ recorded presentations to prepare for our time together. At the synchronous workshops, they interacted with scholars and pedagogy experts via a panel discussion, and worked with other teachers in small groups to explore how to integrate content and techniques into curriculum development.

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation.