| Rethinkin' Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation|
By Bill Bigelow, curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools and the co-director of the Zinn Education Project
Here's a history quiz to use with people you run into today: Ask them who ended slavery.
I taught high school U.S. history for almost 30 years, and as we began our study, students knew the obvious answer: Abraham Lincoln. But by the time our study ended, several weeks later, their "Who ended slavery?" essays were more diverse, more complex----and more accurate. In coming months and years, teachers' jobs will be made harder by Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, in which Daniel Day-Lewis gives a brilliant performance as, well, Lincoln-the-abolitionist. The only problem is that Lincoln was not an abolitionist.
Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner chose to concentrate on the final months of Lincoln's life, when, as the film shows in compelling fashion, the president went all-out to pass the 13th Amendment, forever ending U.S. slavery. Missing from this portrait is the early Lincoln----the Lincoln that did everything possible to preserve slavery. Read more.
"Rethinkin' Lincoln on the 150th Birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation" is the latest article in the If We Knew Our History series published on the Huffington Post. Help us reach a wider audience in three easy steps:
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