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Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




It is no secret that America's history is one that reflects participation in chattel slavery in 1619. What is untold is the ways in which that part of America's past is reflected in curriculum. The question guiding this research is, "How is enslavement portrayed in 3rd through 5th grade social science curriculum?" to better understand the portrayals, representations, and messages communicated about enslavement to young learners. This research is a qualitative exploration of the ways in which enslavement is portrayed in 3rd through 5th grade social science curriculum by two of the most widely used publishing companies, McGraw Hill and Pearson. This content analysis of enslavement is guided by Afro-Pessimism as a conceptual framework. The findings reflect consistent themes of Afro-Pessimism, American exceptionalism, and curriculum policy as an enabler of exceptionalism in curriculum.

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