Category: lillian e smith


The Need for Critical Thinking and Literacy: Part II

In the last post, I started talking about the importance of critical thinking and literacy skills, especially now. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at a few more examples and specifically looking at some ways I teach these skills in the classroom. Again, these examples are not exhaustive, but I believe they highlight the importance of analyzing everything we encounter with … Read More The Need for Critical Thinking and Literacy: Part II

“Is it starting here, yet?”

Madison Square Garden (MSG) played host to the “Pro American Rally” on February 20, 1939. Over 20,000 people packed into MSG to take part in the rally where they recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the National Anthem, and listened to speeches. The rally took place to coincide with George Washington’s birthday, and a large image of America’s first president gazed down on the … Read More “Is it starting here, yet?”


Reflections of the Self in “Infidel”: Part III

When Leslie sees the reflection of the racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic monster staring back at her in the knife blade in Infidel, we begin to see her own self-reflection of the deep rooted prejudices she holds, specifically during her conversation with her granddaughter Kris. Other characters see the same type of reflection, notably Ethan, or they don’t, notably Grace who I discussed in the … Read More Reflections of the Self in “Infidel”: Part III

LES Center Videos: IV

Periodically, I post some of the videos I have made for the Lillian E. Smith Center’s social media accounts. Today, I am sharing four videos, along with the scripts for three. The first video is one that I created for the 54th anniversary of Smith’s passing on September 28, 1966. In the video, she is reading the opening lines of The Journey (1954). I … Read More LES Center Videos: IV


“I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

On Wednesday, John Jennings posted one of his latest sketches on social media. The image of a tattered American flag lying on the ground as flies hovered over it with “The Untied States of America” as the caption. Jennings’ image hit me hard, especially after the racism on full display at the Presidential Debate on Tuesday night. I knew the debate was going to … Read More “I do not intend to be quiet about it.”