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You Sing, I Sing, We All Sing the Blues

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An Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Thematic, Standards-based Unit Comparing Slavery and the Holocaust. Experience has taught us that in order to understand the present, you must examine the past. The terrible toll of discrimination, hatred, and violence that enslaved individuals encountered must be studied by our youth that they not only understand their existence, but also appreciate their freedom. With countless soldiers represented in the various war memorials, one reflects on life and the essence of what it means to be free. Yet, what depicts the memorial of the experiences of the young slave or young Jew who loses his freedom when empowerment gained by racial discrimination eliminates that freedom. From the 1600s - the mid 1800s, countless American slaves were de-humanized and murdered by slaveholders and those who profited from these acts. Between 1939-1945, Jews were murdered by the Nazis. In the late 1990s, Bosnia Serbs murdered Bosnian Muslims. All are explicit examples of genocide. As this study allows the comparison of injustices encountered during slavery and Jewish imprisonment in concentration camps, students will see each culture struggles with various forms of enslavement. In this unit students will understand how the views of a few concentrating on the thirst for power can prevail over many. Upon completion of this unit, students will be cognizant of the effects of slavery and the importance of demonstrating respect, promoting human dignity, and tolerance for others in our communities as part of a nation and between one country to another.