The student textbook examines the courageous efforts of some "unsung heroes" who toppled barriers in education, voting, employment, housing, and other areas to participate more fully in democracy.
The book contains stories of women and men who crossed ethnic, racial, religious, and other divides to help further the cause of justice.
PUBLISHED: Teaching Tolerance
“Each section of A Place at the Table highlights a particular fight for broadly-defined equality in America through the eyes of individuals and groups fighting for their rights.
While themes are familiar, the actual stories usually fly well below the radar. The result is a guide to the struggle for equality that includes enough historical context to serve as an introduction for students, while still providing details and stories that go beyond a simple summary. The ‘chapters’ are interspersed with primary source documents and “in context” sections that focus on a particular lesser-known story. Take the case of Thomas Kennedy, a Maryland state legislator in the 1810s who spent his career fighting for the religious liberty of the 150 Jews in Maryland at the time. Likewise, an entire chapter is devoted to the renewed fight for American Indian rights in the Pacific Northwest during the 1960s and 1970s.
Many history classes, for example, might study the concept ‘melting pot,’ but few critique the origin of the term, as A Place at the Table does on page 65. Many history classes may pay tribute to the fight to abolish slavery or for women’s rights, but rare is it to find the personal stories combined with key historical background information and primary sources all in one place. A Place at the Table provides teachers and students with easy access to hard fights; it brings quality sources to the classroom, making it possible to have difficult conversations about the meaning of equality in this country. Students will grapple with how people have defined equality throughout the centuries, if equality has ever been achieved, in what form, and what it may take to get full equality today. -- Ariela Rothstein, high school history teacher, NYC
Thank you for the classroom set of A Place at the Table! Due to a glitch, the textbooks for my college class on multicultural education did not arrive and I have been using your book as the centerpiece of my course. – Apanakhi Buckley, Heritage University