Profile

Scrapbook photo 1
Scrapbook photo 2
Scrapbook photo 3
Scrapbook photo 4
Scrapbook photo 5
Mark Thomas
Works at Indianapolis Public Schools
Attended IU East
Lives in Indianapolis, Indiana
4,682 followers|795,171 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube+1'sReviews

Stream

Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme - Branding Memorial Day

The origins of what we Americans celebrate  today as Memorial Day are many. But almost since the first person decorated the grave of a Civil War dead soldier, the meaning behind the war veteran's death has been branded in such a way as to erase a common understanding of what it is we're honoring.

The closest common answer likely to be heard today is we're honoring the ultimate sacrifice of those Americans who died in combat. But as at least a dozen or more states officially honor Confederate war dead, we can't accurately say the federal holiday honors those who died fighting for our country.

Despite one of the more notable points of origin for Memorial Day, the May 1865 ceremony by Charleston's African-American community honoring more than 150 Union troops who died, the theme of justice overcoming the evil of slavery was soon eclipsed by Grand Army of the Republic's increasingly political image of Memorial Day honoring the lives of Union soldiers who died to preserve the union. Period. 

As wars in which American's died became decidedly undemocratic in the makeup of not only those who died, but those who sacrificed by paying for wars, (let alone sending a family member to fight), Memorial Day" has been re-branded as an extension of the hollow cliche, *thank you for your service, or the equally meaningless bumper sticker, we support our troops. 

It's trite, I believe, to focus on the Monday off from work or the family cookout as the real concern as to *Memorial Day's meaning. What I believe should be the focus is what it is we're really honoring as we remember our war dead. 

If we, as Americans, can't honor something even greater than the ultimate sacrifice of war veterans, I believe the meaning of this day will further lost to nothing more than the marketing of endless wars.

What are your thoughts on Memorial Day?
19
7
mary jo dodd's profile photoBill Slawski's profile photojd quinitchette (CrazyLikeABOSS)'s profile photoJoey Schlager's profile photo
8 comments
 
I honor Confederate war dead as much as I honor SS war dead. 

As for what I believe this day to  mean, those who've fought in combat universally agree they fought, not for a flag, or a country, but for those intimates who faced the same dangers, their fellow fighting men and women.

I honor the fallen and renew my commitment to end wars of convenience, profit and religious hatred.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Teaching American History  - 
 
Ghosts of Mississippi remains an effective, affecting film across time and demographics.

Today, I showed to my inner-city alternative school students the 1996 civil rights movie, Ghosts of Mississippi. It had been eighteen years since I first showed the motion picture about the long wait for justice in the case of Medgar Evers' assassination in June of 1963.

In '97, as a student teacher, I played the film for a practically all-white student body. They were moved by the film and the realization that, in 1963, violence against African-Americans was still committed with the expectation of impunity. 

This morning, I showed the film to my inner-city alternative school class, decidedly different in ethnic makeup than that of the seniors I taught nearly two decades ago. 

Today's students haven't know the overt repression of their grandparent's and certainly their great grandparent's day. On this year's commemoration of Dr. King's birthday, I was stunned to encounter my first generation of students not intently interested in either King or civil rights movement. However, when my students watched Ghosts, their interest level was intense.

The dramatization drew in the students. They connected with the characters, most noticeably during the scene depicting Edgars' wife and three young children screaming for their mortally wounded husband or father. 

I explained to my students that I was alive when Evers was murdered, meaning their grandparents, (some who came from the Deep South before moving to Indiana), lived during this era.

I'll finish showing the film in two more class days, using class time to also ask probing questions and help answer the students' questions - just as I did eighteen years ago, a good testament to the educational value of this movie.
14
1
Timothy Crawford's profile photoderrick howlett's profile photoWilma Jenkins's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Mark Thomas  I've always felt that good stories are excellent teaching tools. Thanks for being a great teacher.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme - The Pullman Strike
On this date in 1894, workers collectively struck against the most powerful forces in the nation. Little did the workers know, but the President Grover Cleveland would send in federal troops - against the wishes of the state government - to tilt the balance in favor of the railroad owners.
THE PULLMAN STRIKE. CHICAGO, 1894. [Click on graphics for additional information.] [If it takes the entire Army and Navy of the United States to deliver a. The Pullman Strike of 1894 was the first national strike in United States history. Before coming to an end, it involved over 150000 persons ...
10
2
Timothy Crawford's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photoDouglas Pierre's profile photo
2 comments
 
I used to think Grover Cleveland was a moderately good president, but the more I know of his record, the lower he goes in my estimation.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas

Shared publicly  - 
 
I'd somehow missed this until today. A cross between Pennywise and a young Frank Sinatra, the singer has a tremendous voice, but...would you look at those awful dresses his backup singers are wearing!
15
2
victor bonilla's profile photoJimmy Shehan's profile photosanaa majeed's profile photoTimothy Derham's profile photo
6 comments
 
This is a cool song a little off the wall but I like it
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Diplomacy & War  - 
 
Happy VE Day!
70 years ago today.
#veday70  
 
It is the 70th anniversary of VE Day! Watch the people of Britain hear the news and celebrate: https://youtu.be/9RFgTHzwYGA
View original post
3
1
Dave Hill's profile photo
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme The workers who built America
(Please share with your circles.)
May includes both National Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and National Labor Month.  Let's share what we know and what we'd like to know about both of these essential, though often-overlooked themes in American history.
#laborhistory   #asianamericanheritage   #pacificislanderheritage #asianpacificamerican  
Chinese Laborers In The West Chinese laborers contributed mightily to the economic development of California and the West. Many industries relied heavily on Chinese labor. However, Chinese participation were limited severely after 1882, when Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, ...
14
2
RJ “Kanjii” MWilliams's profile photoDouglas Pierre's profile photoBrenda Schouten-Beckett's profile photo
 
The institutional patterns are indeed familiar..sadly
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Women's History  - 
 
Women on 20s - FINALISTS!

I'll tell you my final choice after I hear back from 20 who vote for his or her choice!
#womenon20s
Participate in a campaign for historic change! Cast your vote for an extraordinary American woman to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
7
2
Doodlee Pigvirus's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photoSuzi M's profile photo
2 comments
 
My U.S. History class affixed in our alternative ed school a number of posters telling of the program and the four finalists. Next week, students will share during morning announcements a mini-biography of each finalist after beginning with a summary of the program.
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
4,682 people
Naji Issa's profile photo
PAUL STENZEL's profile photo
Debbie Buckley's profile photo
Nutraplex's profile photo
Jasmine Greenhard's profile photo
1 Toys TV's profile photo
FUNNY PROJECT's profile photo
Amanda Godsey's profile photo
Plastic Cardz LLC's profile photo

Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly theme The Matewan Massacre - May 19, 1920

Today, Right to Work laws are purchased by business interests in state legislatures across America. It' a near certainty those who vote for supporters of these anti-work laws are profoundly ignorant of the struggles represented by The Battle of Matewan and other, similar incidents.
The Battle of Matewan. by Lon Savage. Railroad Alley - 1920 A young John L. Lewis had just taken office as President of the United Mine Workers of America when, in January of 1920, he announced the campaign in Bluefield, West Virginia: The UMWA would organize coal miners in the southern ...
13
3
Timothy Crawford's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photoRandy Rasmusson's profile photoBob Calder's profile photo
3 comments
 
The John Sayles move "Matewan" is a good representation of the events but the movie ends before some of the worst violence. The local sheriff is eventually murdered on the courthouse steps by mine owners thugs. Mother Jones shows up to support the miners and, if I remember correctly, is tossed in jail.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Women's History  - 
 
And the winner is...
Considered by many the “Moses” of her time, escaped slave Harriet Tubman became one of the country’s leading abolitionists before the Civil War. She returned to the South an estimated 19 times to rescue her family and others from bondage as a “conductor” on what was known as the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses leading to freedom in the North.
12
1
tom gross's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photoTimothy Crawford's profile photogeorge oloo's profile photo
5 comments
 
I would like to see the s--- storm if this president ordered taking a white president off the 20 and replacing him with a black woman. I really would like to see it done, Jackson is an embarrassment to the ideal of the rule of law.

The elderly conservatives that would drop dead from strokes would be a beneficial side effect.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas

commented on a video on YouTube.
Shared publicly  - 
 
What a gripping film. Well filmed and well acted, this movie does a fine job of mixing mysticism, to borrow from the film, with a history few Westerners, (especially Americans), realize happened.
2
1
Milan Voykovic's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photo
 
+Mark Thomas Completely agree, Mark. Very high production values as well. Reminds me a bit of 'Brest Fortress' (probably not the right name). So few Russian/East European war films get cinematic release here in the UK.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Introductions and Interests  - 
 
Google+ Collections is the newest feature to be introduced to users. It has already been tagged as Google's version of Pinterest. This new feature seems a natural for History as Prologue.   How do you see Google+ Collections being implemented among a community of U.S. History buffs?
#googlepluscollections   #ushistory  
 
Introducing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic

Our happiest Google+ users are those who connect with others around shared interests and passions. So we set out to give people a place to express the things they love. Today, we’re announcing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic.

Every collection is a focused set of posts on a particular topic, providing an easy way for you to organize all the things you’re into. Each collection can be shared publicly, privately, or with a custom set of people. Once you create your first collection, your profile will display a new tab where other people can find and follow your collections.

Posts in collections you follow will appear in your Home stream, with a link to easily jump right into the collection so you can get to similar content from that author. Collections give you a great way to find more of the stuff you love from the people you follow.

Collections is available on Android and the web, and iOS is coming later. For Android users, make sure to update your Google+ app to get access to Collections.

For inspiration on interesting topics, check out our Featured Collections page here: g.co/collections

Create your collections today and share what you love.

Edit : Have questions about Collections?  Join this community for Help, Tips & Tricks : http://goo.gl/meRk8j
155 comments on original post
3
Dave Hill's profile photo
 
The obvious application is to create collections for different eras (or perhaps general topic areas -- War, Economics, Politics). The question is, are people actually only interested in following certain eras but not others ("No, no, nothing before 1815 for me, please"), or is it just collecting for the sake of collecting.

Also be careful about topic areas that overlap; the ones I gave just above would be awful because a post can easily span more than one of them, and you can't collect a post in more than one place.  Chronological ones could have the same problems.
Add a comment...

Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme - The Ludlow Massacre

Labor history, for many years absent from school textbooks, then, at best, given a cursory mention, is still projected as one dimensional to students and the general public. Workers, whose rights are the target of open warfare, seem to feel a great disconnect between the narrative of how their rights were secured, often paid for in innocent blood, and the legislative assaults against a collective voice. 
Profile. The Ludlow Massacre was one of deadliest attacks on striking workers in U.S. history. Profile by By Howard Zinn with film clip by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller and song by Woody Guthrie.
23
10
ryan bell's profile photoDarrel D.'s profile photoXenophrenia's profile photoRobert Plumlee's profile photo
4 comments
 
Thanks for accepting me 
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
4,682 people
Naji Issa's profile photo
PAUL STENZEL's profile photo
Debbie Buckley's profile photo
Nutraplex's profile photo
Jasmine Greenhard's profile photo
1 Toys TV's profile photo
FUNNY PROJECT's profile photo
Amanda Godsey's profile photo
Plastic Cardz LLC's profile photo
Education
  • IU East
    Education, 1992 - 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Avid Google+ fan, teacher, proud progressive liberal, history blogger and foodie.
Bragging rights
I received my student pilot's license on my 16th birthday. I'm an Eagle Scout. I was promoted, meritoriously, to Sergeant in the Marine Corps. I completed college in my mid-30s. I ran a small, hometown newspaper. I served a term as a council member in my hometown. I presented at a statewide conference on gifted education. Oh, and I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan four times during his final year on Earth.
Work
Occupation
Education - Social Studies Teacher
Employment
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
    High School Social Studies Teacher, 2014 - present
    I teach sections of American History, World Geography and Current Events in one of our district's alternative education programs. I support students seeking to complete credit courses in social studies as they make their way towards graduation.
  • Indianapolis School Corp.
    Classroom Teacher, 2012 - 2014
  • SlingshotSEO
    Content Editor, 2011 - 2012
  • Indiana & Ohio Public Schools
    Teacher, 1997 - 2009
  • U.S.M.C.
    Sergeant, 1979 - 1983
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Indianapolis, Indiana
Previously
Fountain City, Indiana - Richmond, Indiana - Yuma, Arizona - Oceanside, California - Yucca Valley, California
Mark Thomas's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
VOCO Free International Calls - Android Apps on Google Play
market.android.com

With VOCO you make free GSM International voice calls. VOCO doesn't use data during the call, so you don't rely on good data connection for

Evangelicals’ racist “purity” culture: What’s really behind Huckabee’s B...
www.salon.com

When Mike Huckabee suggested that Jay Z was a pimp, he was tapping into an ugly history – and, likely, on purpose

White Bronze - A Monument for All Time
agraveinterest.blogspot.com

(A short sabbatical is in order - So, for the next few weeks, we'll take a look back at some older posts: This one is from 2011 on those gor

A Look Back at the Vicitms of Jack the Ripper
agraveinterest.blogspot.com

(A short sabbatical is in order - So, for the next few weeks, we'll take a look back at some older posts: This one is from 2012 about the Vi

What went wrong with Google GLASS? | LinkedIn
www.linkedin.com

It was a cold Thursday morning on February 21, 2013 in central Indiana. I was on my first cup of Starbucks dark French roast for the day and

A Simply Spook-tacular Idea, Horror Fans
agraveinterest.blogspot.com

Last summer, I wrote two blog posts about horror show hosts. Many readers wrote back about their favorite memories of local horror hosts and

Jersey Jazzman: Why Do We Need Tenure? Ask Belleville's Teachers
jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com

In the wake of the truly awful Vergara decision, there have been plenty of reformy types crowing that we just don't need teacher tenure any

Out of Our Past: Beer, base ball exciting in 1881
pinews.co

Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed, “No mind is thoroughly well organized that is deficient in a sense of humor.”

Stop Expecting to Change Your Habit in 21 Days
www.linkedin.com

I'm writing a book about habit formation -- such a fascinating subject. I identify the multiple strategies that we can use to make or break

Google Debuts Classroom, An Education Platform For Teacher-Student Commu...
techcrunch.com

Google is tackling the persistent need in education for better software with Classroom, a new tool launching in beta preview to help teacher

Scallop Platter - an Amuse-Bouche
linsfood.com

A deliciously spicy amuse-bouche in the form of a mini scallop platter

Seething hate even Fox News can’t deny: Cliven Bundy is not an outlier
www.salon.com

There should be no surprise here: GOP thinking is that government "free stuff" is a form of slavery

Gates and the Teacher Wars: It Matters Where You Stand - Cult of Pedagogy
www.cultofpedagogy.com

Does staying out of the education reform debate make you out of touch, a peacekeeper, or a self-serving a-hole?

3 inconvenient facts that make libertarians’ heads explode
www.salon.com

Because acknowledging that inequality is a problem that needs solving is apparently a bridge too far...

Defining the terms of my review, I've just returned from a tour of the Madame Walker Theater and my sole regret is having not visited the landmark sooner. There was no stage production or even rehearsal taking place during the tour. In fact, including my guest and me, I doubt there were ten people in the structure during the two hours of the visit. What made the experience so memorable was a 91 year old docent, a D-Day veteran who spent his youth living, playing working and learning along Indiana Avenue on which the theater was built when he was only aged five. Thomas Ridley, with the recall and energy of a man half his age, described the history of the building's namesake, Madame C.J. Walker, the nation's first self-made female millionaire who, as the child of two former slaves, built a thriving enterprise manufacturing and marketing hair care and beauty products largely for fellow African-American women. The theater, however, was built five years after the company matriarch died, by her also dynamic daughter and the Indianapolis attorney who managed the company both before and after Madame Walker's death. Built two years before the start of the Great Depression, the theater's four stories rose at the center of Indianapolis' thriving Black community. Mr. Ridley described how the theater showed both silent films as well as the new phenomenon of "talkies". As the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis was a regular stop for the top jazz bands of the day and Ridley believably saw them all. The architecture borrows from the flatiron style on the exterior, while the theater itself displays reminders of East Africa and Egypt, a preference of M. Walker's fashion conscious daughter, A'Lelia. The physical community described by Mr. Ridley is gone, an unintended consequence of desegregation in the 1950s and 60s and the unthoughtful effect of urban renewal of the 1970s. If you visit the theater, do so with an appreciation of the story represented by the building and not with the gauche idea of comparing it with some contemporary venue built with little consideration for community. If you're very lucky, Thomas Ridley will be your guide.
• • •
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
2 reviews
Map
Map
Map