Summer Edition (History): Remembering the Civil Rights Act 50 Years Later
If your history classes were anything like mine growing up you were told to copy notes off of an overhead (remember those) and then answer the questions at the end of the chapter. While I may have gotten good grades for being able to follow the directions, in the end I learned absolutely nothing! There once was a time when children of color had no choice but to attend schools where everyone looked like them. For many reasons researchers determined that such an academic set up was not beneficial for all students. But, despite the cons of segregation students of color were often times privy to black and brown history. Teachers and schools reminded students of the challenges faced and overcome by the people who came before them. When schools desegregated black and brown history was either lost or only certain facts were included. Either way a lose-lose situation for me and now for my children. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I want my children to understand, to fully and truly comprehend the importance of their civil rights. And should any civil rights violations pop up again on their watch, as I know they will, my children will not only know how to spot it but hopefully also how to do something about it.
This edition of Color Me Educated Tuesday is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What will they comprehend? Civil Rights - The importance of civil rights and civil liberties for citizens in American political culture and the protective role of the national government through the Bill of Rights, the judicial system, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Is your teen kind of fuzzy on the history surrounding the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then have them first watch this video: After watching,make sure they write down for you at least 5 things going on before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also ask them to answer who were key people involved?
Make sure they are clear about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by watching this video next: (from history.com) After viewing video have your teen think about and answer: What was the Civil Rights Act of 1964? What do some believe to be the main catalyst or motivation behind getting the Civil Rights Act of1964 passed? Why? (Always ask why…promotes critical thinking!)
Now have them think about how far have those impacted the most by the Civil Rights Act have come in 50 years by watching this video clip: Video about 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act (from cbsnews.com) Have your teen think about and write down how far they believe African Americans and women have come since the Civil Rights Act was signed? Make sure they give you three examples from current events on the news to support their answer.
What will they comprehend? Civil Rights- Compare the social and economic policies of presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, including support for civil rights legislation, programs for the elderly and the poor, environmental protection, and the impact of these policies on politics. If your middle schooler has no idea about what went on in America that caused the Civil Rights Act then they definitely need to watch the video below first: Watch this fantabulous video on American in the 1960’s:
After viewing the video have them think about and write down what kind of legislative changes/civil rights laws were made in the 1960’s? (They should name at least three and not all were for African Americans). What president was responsible for making these changes?
Have your tween or teen take a look at the photos of the Civil Rights exhibit, Standing up by Sitting Down –Sit-Ins 1960. After looking at the pictures have them think about and write what kind of Civil Rights were being violated? Explain how and why it is not easy to make legislative change. They might include the impact of marches, protests, how much of an impact does this actually have on changing laws? Why do they think it took so long for change to come?
Lastly, how far do they feel we’ve come in 2014? Have your middle schooler think about and write down how far they believe African Americans and women have come since the Civil Rights Act was signed? Make sure they give you three examples from current events on the news to support their answer.
What will they comprehend? Civil Rights Explain the advancement of the modern Civil Rights Movement; including the desegregation of the armed forces, Brown v. Board of Education, the roles of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, the Civil Rights acts, and the Voting Rights Act. Begin talking about civil rights by reading books: That's Not Fair! / No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice The true story of noted labor organizer Emma Tenayuca, beginning with her childhood in San Antonio, Texas. This bilingual children’s book describes how in 1938, while in her early 20s, she led 12,000 workers in the historic pecan shellers strike. Historians regard this as the first successful large-scale act in the Mexican-American struggle for civil rights and justice.
Ruth and the Green Book Ruth and the Green Book is the story of one black family's trip from Chicago to Alabama by car in the late 1940s. Along the way they encounter prejudice, but they also discover The Green Book, a real guide to accommodations which was published for decades to aid African-American travelers as they faced prejudice on the roads across the country. Ron’s Big Mission Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by "himself." But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, Ron's obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage - it is a young man's first courageous mission.
After reading: Have your whiz kid write down three things that were important or that they learned. Talk together about what they learned and observed about the way different people are treated. Introduce the term civil rights. Google historic events like Brown v. Board or people like Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Show them photos of this time period and discuss what it would have been like, what they think the people were feeling when the photo was taken.
National Guard escort African American students to Sturgis High School in Kentucky. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress NAACP Records) Malcom X
What will they comprehend? Rights of women and African Americans in the past and present - Compare the daily lives of children and their families in the past and in the present.
Kindergartners aren’t too young to discuss civil rights. All you have to do is keep the discussion the fight for civil rights on their level. Discuss the rights and roles of women and how it has changed over time. She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story is a great place to start. Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride is also a goodie to start civil rights discussion Born into slavery, Belle had to endure the cruelty of several masters before she escaped to freedom. But she knew she wouldn't really be free unless she was helping to end injustice. That's when she changed her name to Sojourner and began traveling across the country, demanding equal rights for black people and for women. You can discuss the challenges Egga Manley experienced as a woman and African American. Discuss whether her treatment was fair. Introduce the term civil rights and talk about how and why some people had to fight for them and some didn’t. Ask them to think about a time where they felt something unfair happened to them or to someone they know.
Happy Summer Learning! Here’s to Closing the Achievement Gap!