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During my time as a Retro Report intern this summer, I discovered a number of videos that would have supplemented my high school studies. Here is a list of some of my favorites that I recommend you incorporate in your classroom this school year.
Last year my U.S. History teacher, Mr. Lopez, a Mexican-American who grew up in Southern California, often shared his point of view. We didn’t cover this student walkout in 1968 in Los Angeles, but I wish we had. This video and lesson put into context the role of civil disobedience in American history and made me wonder if it was successful. I could have compared it to other acts of civil disobedience that occurred in the United States, some successful and some not.
Through covering the Cold War and the United States’ role in it, this quick and informative video would have been useful for my 11th grade U.S. History class to improve our understanding of politics during that period. I would have appreciated this video, as it illustrates America’s influence over Europe after World War II.
I wish I had watched this informative video before the Supreme Court limited the consideration of race in college admissions. As someone who will be participating in a historic application season this fall—the Common Application will now allow colleges to suppress applicants’ responses to the optional question regarding race and ethnicity— this video is relevant to me and all of my peers who plan to begin college in the fall of 2024. It provides an overview of several cases that went before the Supreme Court: “Grutter v. Bollinger”, which ruled that the University of Michigan could consider race in law school admissions, and in the recent ruling that race-based admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina were unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.The video contains interviews with one student who had been hurt by affirmative action practices and one who had benefited from it. The two perspectives allowed me to better understand the implications of the ruling.
Although this McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit seemed silly to me at first, I soon learned about the misconceptions surrounding it. News organizations oversimplified, using sensational headlines that created bias against the victim. This video would have been great to show my journalism class and the middle school newspaper students that I guide, because it shows how the news media became an echo chamber of misunderstanding. It’s worth noting that a result of the news coverage was that the victim’s reputation and public opinion were harmed forever.
Last year in my U.S. History class, I examined Korematsu v. United States and the mistreatment of Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Additionally, for a project on “America’s Untold Stories,” I analyzed George Takei’s childhood and the trauma he and many other Japanese Americans faced.This Retro Report taught me what the Redress Movement was and showed the cause and effect of it. My class did not use the term “redress movement” to describe the ongoing efforts of Japanese Americans to regain rights after Pearl Harbor. I learned that Yae Wada waited four decades for a reparation check and apology letter from the government after her traumatic time at Topaz, an internment camp. Her experience of finally receiving recognition by the government and its admission of wrongdoing made me wonder what other horrific events might have occurred in U.S. history for which the U.S. government has not admitted wrongdoing.