Civil Rights Movement

Essex Street Academy

Consortium school

This course will examine the American Civil Rights Movement. Specifically, students will explore the extent to which the civil rights movement was successful at addressing racial violence, segregation, and the fight for access and equality. The basic skills that students will sharpen include understanding point of view and historical context, using evidence from primary and secondary sources to support opinions in writing and in oral presentations, and summarizing, analyzing and addressing opposing opinions in writing.

Shame of the Nation (Kozol)
Why Do All the Black Kids Sit Together in the Cafeteria (Tatum)
The Debt: What America Owes Blacks (Robinson)
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (King Jr.)
It's the Ballot or the Bullet (Malcolm X)

Students will research the fight to address racial violence, beginning with the slave trade and lynching through the murder of Emmett Till and James Byrd. They will then research the fight to end segregation, from the struggle in Montgomery, Little Rock, and Birmingham to forced busing and Kozol's research on the re-segregation of public schools. Finally, students will research affirmative action, from the famous Bakke v University of California Regents decision to more current battles at the University of Michigan and the Louisville public school district.

Media Used: 
Eyes on the Prize
The Murder of Emmett Till
The Two Towns of Jasper
Interim Assessments: 

Did the CRM successfully address racial violence? (persuasive essay)

Is America still segregated? (persuasive essay)

Do blacks and whites have equal access in American society? (persuasive essay)

Significant Assignments: 

Emmett Till vs. James Byrd debate - what do these cases of racial violence suggest about the fight to end lynching in the Unites States?

Segregation RAFT assessment

Affirmative Action debate - Is affirmative action a necessary policy to address past wrongdoing, or is it a racist policy that perpetuates inequality?

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Journal writing

RAFT assignments

Read Alouds

Roundtable Debates

Guided Writing

Sample PBATs: 
Affirmative Action - A Necessary Evil?
Emmett Till vs James Byrd - Case Studies in Racial Violence