The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

What the Public Humanities Can Mean for Immigrant Communities


Nigerian basketball star Charles Okwandu on how the public humanities can help immigrants feel at home while honoring their nations’ histories and cultures.


Lend Me Your Ears: Rhetoric in Ancient and Modern Times

Bust of Alcibiades. Capitalize Museum, Rome

In a democracy, the ability to persuade a voting population is the road to power itself.


The Pride of Springfield vs The Pride of the Lakota

Florentine Films/Hott Productions finished two films this year that, at first blush, would appear to have no connection at all.  One is SciTech Band: Pride of Springfield, a half-hour film about a band in Springfield, MA that has a profoundly positive effect on the graduation rates of a troubled high school.  The graduation rates for […]


Inside the Young Writer’s Nest

I have a big job ahead. It’s up to me to connect but not invade, inspire but not require, corral but not suppress.


Sixteen Black Children’s Books for Better Bodies and Better Brains

This Black History month (and beyond!) let’s give our kids the gifts of learning and living.


We Need More Diverse Books Because Black Lives Matter

The WeNeedDiverseBooks and BlackLivesMatter movements are the same. One campaign deals with the movement’s beginning. The other campaign deals with the movement’s ending – if things are not changed in the beginning.


The Freedom to Play with Words

Our best language arts teachers are motivated by a desire to awaken the student’s essential self through literature and writing. Yet state and national curriculum do not emphasize creative writing.


Mill, Mountain, River: A Child’s View of Olde Coleraine

If you were a child living in Coleraine, Massachusetts, from 1840 to 1890, you would have been a witness to and a participant in America’s industrial revolution. Though the production of apples, honey, and maple syrup would continue to dominate the local farm economy, in 1828 Joseph Griswold, a native of Buckland, impressed by the industries he observed in the West, determined to create an industrial future for his family and community.


Choosing Heartbreak over Heartshrink: Reading History with Children

"Would I have to ride at the back of the bus?” my beautiful brown-skinned son asked me as we read Faith Ringgold’s If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks. Rory was six at the time and my heart broke as I contemplated how to answer this question. Honestly was the only option.


Adoption, Race, Culture: A Recent History

It’s funny how a photograph can stick in your mind. Maybe the stillness of the image gives it time to sink in, like dye, and become part of you. One image that sticks in my mind is of a White woman, perhaps a little older than I am now, with graying hair, standing in front of a sink. A tall young Black man is standing next to her. They are washing dishes and light enters from a window in front of them. They aren’t facing the camera.