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Mark Thomas
Works at Indianapolis Public Schools
Attended IU East
Lives in Indianapolis, Indiana
4,879 followers|896,494 views
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Mark Thomas
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Teaching American History  - 
 
I've assigned my two classes of U.S. History to create materials for African-American History Month. The posters and profiles of largely unsung African-Americans will be displayed throughout our alternative school in Indianapolis.

The vast majority of the students served at our school have been failed by just about every adult one might expect to provide guidance, love, and even such basics as food, shelter, and clothing. 

Recently, one of our students was murdered, and practically all of our students have had a close family member or very, close friend killed by either drugs or guns. Not surprisingly, they have little knowledge of or passionate interest in historic African-American figures, such as Dr. King, or Harriet Tubman. They see no connection to their own lives with the contributions made by these persons. 

While I'm realistic as to the immediate impact this project may have, I'm hoping that, by researching lesser known African-Americans, some seed might find purchase and grow at some later time.
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Mark Thomas's profile photoRJ “Kanjii” MWilliams's profile photoWilma Jenkins's profile photoBob Calder's profile photo
12 comments
 
Something permanent - how about a blogspot? - would be nice +Mark Thomas - prioritize people with first person narratives.
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Mark Thomas
owner

Teaching American History  - 
 
Group-source request! Teaching the Depression from an African-American perspective

I'm preparing to teach my U.S. History students about the Great Depression and I'd like to have as many online resources available to teach this period from the perspective of African-Americans.

From rural, Southern experiences, to the Northern industrial cities, as well as those from the West and West Coast, these experiences are often overlooked, or lumped into only a single example. Please share your links to help my students, (and me). Thanks!
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derrick howlett's profile photoRJ “Kanjii” MWilliams's profile photoTimothy Crawford's profile photo
4 comments
 
+RJ MWilliams no, just an ex history major. ;)
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Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme Dr. King's legacy in a time of unprecedented wealth inequity.

For the rare figures in history whose early contributions to humanity are so transformative, a dilemma occurs in regards to their legacies. Such is the case of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the final chapters of his remarkable and short life, Dr. King was leading a movement to attack poverty and wars of economic convenience.

How can we, as a nation, honor through revival and by recommitting to finishing this work of the late civil rights leader?
In his final book, the civil rights leader laid out his vision for a universal basic income that would raise all Americans into the middle class.
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Interesting topic! It's shameful how rich some are in a world with yet so much poverty. And, in this 'wealthy' nation, we've become quite comfortable with the hungry dying as we waste food, with the homeless freezing as we casually waste resources to produce and sequester heat, and with the petty thief spending a life involved with the criminal justice system while bankers live in exuberant waste involved in our corrupt financial markets systems. What some of us are proclaiming as progress is an embarrassment.

Rev. Dr. King's work and dream was centuries old, when he was born. We have to remember the breadth of the story to have a fuller understanding of the depth of his work.

In our 21st century micro-soundbite tech environment, getting people to remember or learn is a serious, serious challenge.
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Mark Thomas

General Discussion  - 
 
Would you help a writer out?
I've resolved to start a new blog in 2016, and I'd like to know of alternatives to WordPress.
It's not that I'm unhappy with that platform, but I'd like to hear from writers who may have other suggestions.
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I like the customization available on WP. You can do almost anything. When I read other people's blogger blogs, comparatively they look pretty similar. -SamV
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Mark Thomas
owner

Databases and Resources  - 
 
Hear ye, hear ye!

In woefully late recognition of those members who routinely and generously share databases and resources invaluable for the study of American history, we've created a new category just for the sharing of these research treasures.

Thanks to all those who share databases and resources within this group, and thanks to those who suggested, (some time ago), this new category be made!
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Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly ThemeThe Paris Attacks and the First World War Geopolitics.

To understand the dynamics of the latest acts of terror in the world, you first have to understand what began a century ago.
https://youtu.be/EN9KvSVWLko
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4 comments
 
+Mark Thomas We have been for sometime.  I know what you mean, at war with Russia, China and Iran as we were in Vietnam.  
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Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme Discussion: Moving forward with African-American History Month
 
In your view, what do Americans need to do in order to move African-American History Month to a new, more impactful level?

While +s and shares are always appreciated, thoughtful comments and respectful discourse is especially sought.
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Wilma Jenkins's profile photoRJ “Kanjii” MWilliams's profile photoKen Harbit (Pogi)'s profile photoderrick howlett's profile photo
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As a beginning, I think that people, especially young people, should be encouraged at home, at school, in articles, etc. to investigate the history of black people, especially Americans, ONLINE, for instance, by googling "Black History Month," Afro- American History Month," etc., and if a student, to write a report on the most interesting findings.  
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Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme: Rethinking Shays Rebellion

On this date in 1787, the revolt by agrarians against an unresponsive government run by powerful bankers and merchants reached a fateful climax. A botched attack on the federal arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts marked the beginning of the end for the insurrection. 

Historians still debate the impact Shays Rebellion had on the scrapping of the Articles of Confederation and the shaping of our Constitution.

http://personal.tcu.edu/gsmith/GraduateCourse/Colonial%20PDF%20Articles/RobertFeer.pdf
http://lehrmaninstitute.org/history/constitution.asp
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Mark Thomas
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Weekly Theme  - 
 
Weekly Theme Wounded Knee and Myth of American Exceptionalism

On the morning of December 29, 1890, American Soldiers of the 7th Cavalry, who fourteen years earlier had been roundly defeated at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, massacred outright nearly 150 Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. Moments before the killing began, the Native Americans, operating under a white flag of truce, had peacefully surrendered their arms as agreed in a meeting with Army officers the previous evening.
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Yet we cast aspersions on others for their genocidal acts.
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Mark Thomas
owner

Political History  - 
 
Spoiler alert!

Just because the other kids did it  -  doesn't make it right.
Rabid xenophobia “is not what this country stands for.” But it is what it’s built on.
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Mark Thomas
owner

Weekly Theme  - 
 
About which event in American history would you like to know more?
26 votes  -  votes visible to Public
New Madrid Earthquake - 1811
38%
Battle of the Bulge - 1944
23%
Wright Brothers 1st Flight - 1903
8%
Battle of Mississinewa - 1812
31%
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Wilma Jenkins's profile photoMark Thomas's profile photoGeoffrey Swenson's profile photoderrick howlett's profile photo
10 comments
 
Thanks again, and happy holidays! :-)
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Mark Thomas
owner

Diplomacy & War  - 
 
On this date in 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of two battalions of marines. Since that date, November 10, 1775, U.S. Marines have celebrated the birth of what became the United States Marine Corps.

Happy 240th birthday to all my fellow Marines! Semper Fi!
#marinecorps   #marinecorpsbirthday240  
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I did not realize the Marines began this early in the history of our country.
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Mark's Collections
People
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4,879 people
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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
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.
Collections Mark is following
Education
  • IU East
    Education, 1992 - 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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?

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 - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
2 reviews
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