View as Webpage


New Reconstruction Lesson

Dozens of Primary Documents

The Zinn Education Project is excited to announce a follow-up lesson to Reconstructing the South using primary source documents to reveal key outcomes of the Reconstruction era.


Reconstructing the South, written by Bill Bigelow, has students imagine the perspective of newly freedpeople grappling with six critical questions about how to organize and build a post-slavery society.


Mimi Eisen and Ursula Wolfe-Rocca designed this new activity to build off students curiosity and excitement from the role play into the process of finding out what really happened by analyzing and discussing an assortment of primary source documents.

Sample document from new lesson: A businessman from Boston reports on the reaction of freedpeople to learning that land seized from Confederate plantation owners would be put up for auction by the U.S. government rather than awarded to the freedpeople who had toiled for decades on it without compensation.

This collection is organized around five themes of Reconstruction: land, labor, suffrage, safety/protections, and the Confederate coalition. The lesson prompts students to analyze each document in conversation with others.

Learn More and Download Lesson

Virginia’s Governor

Threatens History Teaching

12-CabinSchool-14-Wide-650x498 image

Freedpeople’s school, ca. 1890. From the Valentine Museum.

For two years, new education standards for history and social science classes have been drafted in a public process. As those new standards come up for formal adoption, the Virginia Department of Education under Gov. Glenn Youngkin has proposed their own revisions, in consultation with Hillsdale College, proponents of the right-wing 1776 Curriculum.

We took a close look at the standards on Reconstruction. They are terrible. Youngkins proposal downplays African Americans’ aims and achievements for freedom and equality and the white backlash to those efforts, which are central to this history.

Read More

Staughton Lynd, ¡Presente!

People’s historian Staughton Lynd died on Nov. 17 after an extraordinary life as a conscientious objector, peace and civil rights activist, tax resister, professor, author, and lawyer. He worked with prisoners and challenged the prison-industrial complex.

Lynd inspired us with his role as a people’s historian, always working in solidarity with struggles for justice today.

staughton_lynd_podium_400pxw image
Continue Reading

See You in Philadelphia

NCSS-2017-650x364 image

The Zinn Education Project team will be at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Philadelphia from December 2–4, 2022.

Stop by our exhibit booth to learn about our campaigns, Teaching for Black Lives study groups, the Howard Zinn Centennial, and more. We are raffling people’s history books with dozens of chances to win. Attend our people’s history workshops on Reconstruction, the Black Panther Party, redlining, and resistance to enslavement.

Let us know if you plan to attend. We’d love to meet up with you there.

People’s History at NCSS

Support Teaching People’s History

Defend-Teachers-5 image

The main support to sustain and grow the Zinn Education Project comes from individual donors like you.

Donate Today
Donate Now



PO BOX 73038, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20056 

202-588-7205 |

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram