Civil Rights Movements

Hidden in Plain Sight: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Radical Vision (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Hidden in Plain Sight: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Radical Vision

Teaching Activity. By Craig Gordon, Urban Dreams, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project. 2003, updated in 2017. Lesson to introduce students to the speeches and work of Dr. King beyond "I have a dream."
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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collage of six Black abolitionists in the United States.

‘If There Is No Struggle…’: Teaching a People’s History of the Abolition Movement

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 16 pages. Rethinking Schools. In this role play, students become members of the American Anti-Slavery Society, facing many of the real challenges to ending slavery.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849, Civil War Era: 1850 - 1864
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance
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Kids in Birmingham 1963

Archive. An online collection of stories from people who were children in Birmingham in 1963.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements
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SNCC Digital Gateway

Archive. Historical materials, profiles, timeline, map, and stories on SNCC’s voting rights organizing.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, 21st Century
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing
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Sharecroppers Challenge U.S. Apartheid: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Teaching Activity. By Julian Hipkins III, Deborah Menkart, Sara Evers, and Jenice View. Role play on the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) that introduces students to a vital example of small “d” democracy in action. For grades 7+.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing
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Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today

Teaching Activity. Teaching for Change. 2015. Introductory lesson on key people and events in the long history of the Selma freedom movement.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing, Social Class
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The Black Upsurge Against Racial Segregation

Teaching Activity. By Tasha Boettcher. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 17 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the long Civil Rights Movement in America.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class
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Civil Rights Movement Veterans

Archive. Resources on the Southern Freedom Movement compiled by those who lived it. Includes a bibliography, timelines, photos, primary source documents, and lists of speakers.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Organizing
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Malcolm X: “Message to the Grass Roots”

Film clip. Voices of a People's History. Dramatic reading of Malcolm X's "Message to the Grass Roots" (1963) by Mos Def.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship
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Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching

Teaching Guide and Website. Edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray, and Jenice L. View. 2004. Provides lessons and articles for K-12 educators on how to go beyond a heroes approach to the Civil Rights Movement, with a focus on education, economics, labor, youth, women, and culture.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Organizing
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Sylvia Woods: “You Have to Fight for Freedom” (1919) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Sylvia Woods: “You Have to Fight for Freedom”

Film clip. Voices of a People’s History. Dramatic reading of an excerpt from an interview of Sylvia Woods (1919) by Alana Arenas.
Time Periods: People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Laws & Citizen Rights
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Women, Gays, and Other Voices of Resistance

Teaching Activity. By Jack Bareilles. Questions and teaching ideas for Chapter 19 of Voices of a People's History of the United States on the emergence and legacy of the 1960s counterculture, as well as the movements it helped create.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, LGBTQ, Women's History
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COINTELPRO: Teaching the FBI’s War on the Black Freedom Movement

Teaching Activity. By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. 29 pages. Rethinking Schools. Through examining FBI documents, students learn the scope of the FBI’s COINTELPRO campaign to spy on, infiltrate, discredit, and disrupt all corners of the Black Freedom Movement.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, Post-Civil Rights Era: 1975 - 2000
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity
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How Red Lines Built White Wealth: A Lesson on Housing Segregation in the 20th Century

Teaching Activity. By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. Rethinking Schools. The mixer role play is based on Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law, which shows in exacting detail how government policies segregated every major city in the United States with dire consequences for African Americans.
Time Periods: 20th Century, 21st Century
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Economics, Laws & Citizen Rights
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Lessons in Solidarity: Grady Hospital Workers United (Teaching Activity) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Lessons in Solidarity: Grady Hospital Workers United

Teaching Activity. By Larry Miller. Rethinking Schools. Story and discussion questions about a teacher's own experience of labor solidarity.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Labor
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