Kate Belin teaches math at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, a progressive public school in the Bronx, where she implements the Algebra Project, an initiative that connects math to students’ lived experiences. We talk about the synergy between the Algebra Project and Fannie Lou, both of which have their roots in the history of the civil rights movement.

*Overview and transcript below. 

Image: Washington Post


Kate refers to these resources:

  • Book “Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississipi to the Algebra Project” by Robert Moses and Charles E. Cobb
  • Book “Experiencing Geometry: Euclidean and Non-Euclidean with History” by David Henderson and Daina Taimina
  • Book “Pounding the Rock: Basketball Dreams and Real Life in a Bronx High School” by Marc Skelton
  • Documentary “Freedom Summer” by Stanley Nelson Jr. 
  • Program Math for America
And Jon makes a reference to the book “The Making Of Black Revolutionaries” by James Forman. 


00:00-00:53 Introductions

00:54-04:59 Description of Algebra Project

05:00-10:31 Why Kate Belin became a math teacher and became involved with the Algebra Project

10:32-16:01 Background: Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, 1964 Democratic Convention

16:02-20:09 Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom H.S. vision

20:10-22:45 Implementing the Algebra Project at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom H.S.

22:46-30:55 Ethics and math

30:56-35:22 Math, ethics, and civic education

35:23-end Outro

Transcription of the episode

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