I am struggling with this video by Beyoncé. On one hand it is powerful, yet on the other hand she is still a bit of a sellout to capitalist norms that exploits black sexual desires. Hence, bouncing that ass while complaining about a culture of exploitation in the video. She will fool many; however, watch carefully and challenge the approach. Brother Du Bois often struggled with this too. I like that bell hooks reminded us of Beyoncé’s virtues and support of ideological ambitions that further the modern enslavement of black folks by empowering imperialism. This video is clearly present day and antebellum; it aims to heighten one’s awareness, while reminding us of white male sexual dominance of black women. Also, it shapes a southern black spirit I first learned in my reading of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” and Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”. We black folks have built a temple of idolatry comprised of black celebrities who prey on black folks financial campaign. I watched this video and I see a conflicting political message. Yes — like Beyoncé and other slaves to the industry, I am complicit in my contributions to the industry.



I am almost done reading Mahzarin Banaji’s book “Blind Spot.” The work examines our hidden biases and unconscious actions in making decisions. It greatly relates to my work and your work environment. People tend to hire and promote people just like themselves. This is a challenge to change. Folks who study this and who are aware continue to be a victim of such actions. What does your work environment look like? Can you keep people of color? Why do they leave? Do you care to hire them? How about diversity of faith? Sexuality? I heard Banaji speak at a conference in December and I love this image she displayed.  Janette and I are attending a training session here at Brooks on this topic tomorrow.

Daniel Williams’s Book, John Fea’s Interview

History Professor and Dept. Chair, John Fea of Messiah College, hosted Daniel Williams on his podcast. Fea, who has worked with my Brooks School students in the past, engaged Williams in a discussion about the history of the pro-life movement. It was fascinating to learn that the pro-life movement started on the left as a progressive action. Williams further addressed this matter as one not aligned with political parties. I learned a great deal from both John and Daniel, and I am impressed with the degree of intellectual history presented as part of the culture war narrative. I was most intrigued by how their discussion and Williams’s book presents a historical narrative of truth telling, which allows 21st century historians the means to make logical arguments. This piece is simply fantastic. Give it a listen here.

Historical Thinking Skills Text

















History teachers should be excited about the text John Irish and I are releasing via Norton Publisher; it addresses the historical tasks asked by the history redesign. Teachers are going to like the edited scholarly pieces for the SAQ section, which ask students to think about historical debates and interpretations. It is a great work designed to enhance one’s instruction. Historical Thinking Skills in AP European History, co-authored with John Irish, helps students hone the skills essential for success under the new AP history redesign courses. It includes chapters that utilize graphic organizers, cause and effect, chronological reasoning, compare and contrast, contextualization, continuity and change over time, defining the period, historical argument, and turning points as measures of skill building and refinement

Here are a few reviews of this piece:

“One of the biggest problems teachers will face in teaching the redesigned AP European History course is finding quality resources to reinforce information and to get students to think and make connections. There are numerous examples in this book and I think it will only enhance student learning.  Historical thinking skills can be challenging for students and this breaks it down and makes it much simpler for students to understand so that they will be more successful in both the course and on the AP Exam itself.”

Tina Gentry

History Teacher

Spring High School

“Carson and Irish provide an excellent resource in helping students master the historical thinking skills needed to reach their full potential in AP European History. It provides educators with numerous resources to help implement and build these skills with their students.”

Tara Gruber

AP World History

AP European History

Allen High School

“This new workbook doesn’t just explain the required historical thinking skills necessary for success on the AP European History exam.  It shows the student and teacher how to apply those skills effectively throughout the four periods of the course curriculum. Using specific examples and clear graphic organizers, the authors have revolutionized the way study skills can be taught, giving the student a clear idea of how to use each skill and how the skills interrelate with and complement one another.”

Pamela Wolfe

History Department Chair

Yeshiva of Greater Washington

Former member of the European History Development Committee


“A workbook, such as this, would prove incredibly invaluable to those AP students looking to demonstrate, refine and improve their expertise. I am confident in saying this workbook will do an exceptional job at addressing the new AP European History curriculum and what it entails.”

Michael J. Poirier

Social Studies Teacher

Nashoba Regional High School

“An invaluable and practical teaching tool that covers all the important Historical Thinking Skills for AP European History. An enormously valuable guide from two highly regarded veteran AP European History teachers.”

Jay Harmon

AP History Teacher

Houston Christian High School