White Man's Burden.net


About This Site

A "Huh?" a Hunch, and a Hope:

The "Huh?" was my reaction when I found that the Jim Zwick's anti-imperialism site at Boondocksnet.com had been taken down. For years, I had used the site as the centerpiece of a unit for my senior English classes, and I didn't know how I could teach the unit without it.

The hunch was that there were hundreds (maybe more) of teachers around the U.S. (and maybe around the world) who had also used Jim Zwick's site and were similarly left floundering.

The hope is that this site can be a collaborative effort to do Jim Zwick proud and not only replicate but build on and improve the work that he started. The intention is to make this site a permanent, easy to find, and easy to navigate resource for those wanting to investigate the White Man's Burden controversy.

A Little History:

In 1899, Rudyard Kipling (of Jungle Book fame) wrote a little poem that generated more than a little controversy. Kipling's poem, "The White Man's Burden," was a plea for America to be more involved overseas and, in particular, in the Philippines. Many people not only disagreed with the worldview expressed in the poem but also found it to be racist. And sexist. Some of those people responded to Kipling in the form of editorial cartoons, poems, essays, and letters to the editor. The topic was serious, but many of them were fun.

Until 2007 or so, there was an excellent website created by Jim Zwick that featured Kipling's poem and many of the responses. However, some but not all of the resources are still up on various places on the web.

I've found my White Man's Burden unit to be invaluable for the lessons it teaches. By looking at the more radical world views of our forbears, maybe, just maybe, we are better able to understand the shortcomings of our own vision.

As a teacher and as a believer in the valuable learning opportunities available in looking at the original poem and the response, I have started to re-collect these resources and put them back in one place. White-Mans-Burden.Net is now online to provide these varied materials with a single, permanent home. My hope is that teachers and students around the U.S. (and around the world) will find it a way to broaden their own understanding of themselves and of the world they live in.

Questions and comments may be sent to rwirth@rsu20.org

(The recieving PayPal Account is set up in the
name of Water Walker Kayaks. Any received funds will be
set aside specificallyfor the White Mans Burden site.

Thank you).

Home | White Man's Burden Response Poems | Response Essays | Editorial Cartoons | About this site | Support this site | Black Man's Burden | Brown Man's Burden | Crosby, The Real White Man's Burden | Jim Zwick | Lesson Plans | Links |