Race and the American Story is a national educational movement dedicated to cultivating conversation, fostering understanding, broadening knowledge, and building community among people of different backgrounds in the U.S.
Focusing on the case study of African American history as an important and illuminating thread of the American story, this project aims to learn from and engage deeply in the historic and ongoing struggle for racial justice and reconciliation in the United States. In this way we hope to influence the construction of a shared American historical narrative–an American Story–that is capable of grounding and sustaining our precarious American experiment in the quest for freedom and equality for all.
The core of the Race and the American Story Project is our undergraduate course, which provides a distinctive opportunity for students to listen in on, and actively join, the conversations about race and American political principles that have in many ways defined American history from its beginning up to the present time.
How it Began
The “Race and the American Story” project was created by Stephanie Shonekan and Adam Seagrave as a response to racial tensions that were percolating both nationally and on the University of Missouri (Mizzou) campus in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Both faculty members at Mizzou at the time–Shonekan in Black Studies and Music, and Seagrave in Political Science and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy–Shonekan and Seagrave aimed to foster shared understanding among diverse students through two complementary avenues: the reading and discussion of primary American historical sources, and the sharing and discussion of great music.
Read the full story on how Race and the American Story got started.
Race and the American Story provides professional developent and curriculum consultation services to K-12 schools. We have collectively led sessions with hundreds of educators and administrators from public, private, charter, and religious schools.