In October, the Teach the Black Freedom Struggle class series hosted author Ashley Farmer in conversation with Cierra Kaler-Jones about Queen Mother Audley Moore (1898–1997), one of the most influential Black Nationalist activists and thinkers of the 20th century. 

Farmer also shared stories from Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era, a comprehensive study of Black women’s intellectual production and activism in the Black Power era. Dr. Jeanne Theoharis briefly joined the conversation to discuss the decades-long relationship between Mrs. Rosa Parks and Queen Mother Moore.

In attendance were several coordinators and members from Teaching for Black Lives study groups. All participants are encouraged to attend these monthly classes to support their work and seed ideas for their own classrooms and curricula. 

Read key takeaways from class participants below.

Queen Mother’s depth, her relationships with many different people in the Black Movement (no matter the “side”), her gender politics — just knowing the full force of who she was. I did not know very much at all prior to this.
I will teach about Queen Mother Moore in my American Voices unit for 9th grade ELA. Female Black voices are harder to come across in curriculum then their male counterparts.
Black women’s freedom dreams, like Queen Mother Moore’s, are often more expansive than their peers and can inspire us today. Each of us doing our part can lead to dramatic and needed changes.
I plan on doing more research using first source documents and having students create journalism projects around their own research about women in history, including Queen Mother Moore.
I loved the stories (of course), but I also appreciated the peek into the professor’s classroom and the ways that students can change as they grow and the way they can practice new ideas of freedom.
I really loved learning about the history of Queen Mother Audley Moore and the way that she paved the way for the modern reparations movement.

Teaching Reparations

After the online class, study group members were invited to attend a participatory workshop on incorporating the topic of reparations into their curriculum. Participants experienced key parts of the Zinn Education Project activity, How to Make Amends, and shared ideas about how to apply or adapt the material in their study groups and/or classrooms.

Read some reflections below.

The idea of apologies seems like a simple concept, but this activity forced me to take a deeper dive into the importance of apologies and the role apologies have played in history.
Reparations is a complex concept worth researching and discussing with a mindset towards restoring peace to all involved.
Today widened my scope about the definition of reparations. It also challenged me to work with my elementary students to learn how to apologize and understand what it actually means.