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Copyright 2002 Gerri Gribi ||| Email ||| Updated 08/07/15
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Professional Development

1. Web Sites: Professional Organizations, Teacher Support, Grants, Trainings and Fellowships

2. Electronic Discussion Groups

3. Books: The Ebonics controversy and more.

Web Sites

American Memory Collection Learning Page

Lesson plans and resources that help you teach (or learn) using the primary sources and digitized documents.

Association of Black Women Historians

The ABWH was founded in 1979 to promote the study of black women's history, and also the professional development of women in the field. This web site is an on-going project and currently contains much useful information: bibliographies, publications by members, links to archives.

The Benjamin Bannaker Association

"The Benjamin Banneker Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization of individuals and groups concerned about the mathematics education of African-American children. It was founded in 1986 to provide a forum for mathematics educators, mathematicians, and other interested people to discuss the learning and teaching of mathematics to African-American children." Newsletters, workshops and lectures, and Teacher Awards.

Black Caucus of the American Library Association

The BCALA was organized in 1970 to serve "as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African American community." At their website you'll find professional development resources, links to local chapters, Top Twenty Children's Books of the Year, awards & scholarship opportunities, their newsletter and more.

Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English

Recommended book lists, events and support.

The Black Collegian Online

Resources for scholarships, career planning, and professional development, plus a content-rich section called African American Issues with articles on history and current events.

National History Day -Classroom Connection

Curriculum support, discussion groups, grants and workshop information.

Multicultural Pavillion

Teacher's Corner, reviews, a listserv, fact sheets, a vetted list of web sites, and much more.

National Alliance of Black School Educators

Promotes and facilitate the education of all students, especially those of African descent. They seek to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, opportunities and strategies, and to identify and develop African American professionals who will assume leadership positions. Membership is open to anyone who shares their mission.

National Archives and Records Administration: Digital Classroom

"To encourage teachers of students at all levels to use archival documents in the classroom, the Digital Classroom provides materials from the National Archives and methods for teaching with primary sources." This link will take you to their workshops (some available through ISDN-based videoconferencing systems) summer institutes, and collaborations.

National Association of African American Studies

Founded in 1992. Annual conference information, job postings and announcements.

NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education Grants & Programs

Innovation grants, fine arts grants for teachers of at-risk students, awards and more. "Think Big!"

Teaching Tolerance

"Teaching Tolerance supports the efforts of K-12 teachers and other educators to promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity. " Provides a clearinghouse of information about anti-bias programs and activities, distributes free, high-quality materials and anti-bias curricula. Includes a forum to connect with other teachers.

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Electronic Discussion Groups

Electronic Discussion Groups or Mailing Lists provide a way to share information with other teachers. You "subscribe" to a list, though there is no fee or commitment for doing so. You can then send a message, which is distributed to everyone else on the list. People can respond to you privately, or to the list publicly.

Some lists are moderated (the owner weeds out flames, irrelevancies and redundancies) but some aren't. Some come in digest form where messages are collected and sent in a batch once or so daily - always choose this option when available since some lists generate huge volumes of mail.

Save the confirmation letter you receive when you subscribe, since it contains valuable information, like how to UN-subscribe, or search the message archive.

AFAS-L: African American Studies & Librarians Section

This electronic discussion group studies "librarianship and collection development as it... relates to the African American Studies collection." You can subscribe or use the archive of messages.


The purpose of this electronic discussion group is to "provide an exchange of information for professionals, faculty and advanced students, in the field of African American Studies."


"H-Teach is interested in methods of teaching history at all levels--high school, university, and graduate--in diverse settings. Special attention is paid to use of new technologies in and outside of the classroom."

Multicultural Pavillion

"...over 425 participants from all over the world have congregated over the Internet to discuss issues of equity, social justice, and the transformation of schools and schooling."


Can We Talk About Race? And Other conversations in an era of school resegregation. Beverly Daniel Tatum. Beacon Press, 2007. Order at

I was halfway through this book when a family health crisis distracted me. A lot has happened since then, including the election of the first African American president. According to many white pundits, January 20 2009 marked the official end of racism in America...making this book all the more critical because now we’re even LESS likely to talk openly and honestly about race than we were before.

Each chapter in the book is based on a lecture in the “Race, Education and Democracy” series at Simmons College. In each, the author seamlessly weaves together personal experience, current events, factual data and policy analysis to help us not only understand where we are, but where we need to be and how we might get there.

The first chapter explains that school segregation (or as she puts it, “resegregation”) is still very much with us, and what needs to happen if we are to move beyond it. The second chapter examines why this even matters: because race in American classrooms is effecting achievement. The third chapter explores the thorny issue of cross-racial friendships, and questions whether we can have social change if we don’t have interpersonal social connection. The final chapter takes us in search of wisdom, providing examples of ways to cultivate leadership.

This book is more timely than ever. In a way, I'm glad I waited to finish it.

Perry, Theresa and Lisa Delpit, editors. The Real Ebonics Debate: Power, Language, and the Education of African-American Children. Boston: Beacon, 1998. (High-School - Adult) Read more at

This collection is a common-sense look at the the issue of Ebonics, and a must-read for any teacher of African-American children or for anyone who loves language.

Contrary to media frenzy and popular belief, the Oakland school board did not pass a resolution in 1996 requiring that Ebonics, or Black English, be taught in place of Standard English. It did, however, pass a resolution recognizing what linguists had known for years: that Ebonics, like Spanish or German, is not defective English but a valid linguistic system following precise rules of grammar. It also recognized that while students speaking Ebonics need to learn Standard English to attain success in mainstream American society, to do so they must be treated with the same respect as any student who enters the classroom speaking a different language or dialect. Instead, they are often dismissed as lazy or stupid.

Rickford, John Russell. Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English. NY: Wiley, 2000. (High School - Adult) Read more at

The subject of Ebonics generally sparks a knee-jerk reaction. This books attempts to lift the subject out of the political realm and into the more appropriate realms of literature, language and culture. It provides a well-researched and detailed account of how "Black English" evolved from African languages, and dispels the myth that it is simply "substandard English."

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