"Freedom and Civil Rights" Essay QuestionsThe following unit is from a high school US History class. The class consists of all Sophomorestudents coming from a variety of backgrounds. Total number of students: 20 = White 6, African-American 2, Latino/a 3, Asian/Pacific islander 5, Native American 1, Multi racial/ethnic 3, Low-income 45%, ELLs 10%, IEP 13%.It focuses on the broad topic of “Freedom” during the 1960’s Civil Rights Era. The unit willallow students to analyze the different pockets of movements that enacted a larger societal changewithin an accustomed lifestyle. In this unit we focus three of our lessons on more specific occurrencesduring this era. Through the use of video and text, we highlight the main points of the Civil RightsMovement, major figures during the movement, and other ethnic movements inspired by the AfricanAmerican mobilization such as the Chicano, Asian, and Native American Movement. This unit isgeared to not only enable student understanding and analysis of more modern forms of movements, butalso it works to collaborate different forms of media to enable all students, no matter their learningstyle, to be able to attain the information provided and also be able to critically analyze the results of the Civil Rights Era in present time.Our unit includes interdisciplinary learning beyond social studies throughout the three weeks.For example, the movie
Birth of a Nation
is used on Tuesday of Week One in order to introduce thetheme of racism to students and provide them with clear examples of racism during the 1960s. Another lesson that reflects the main themes of this unit is one based on the different figureheads of the civilrights movement and how ideologies between people leading the movement differed. The final themethat is focused on for this unit is based around the influences that the African American Civil Rightsmovement had on other minority groups. Drawing from movies such as Birth of a Nation, speechesfrom the civil rights movement such as “I Have a Dream” and “Chickens Come Home to Roost,”articles from the civil rights era, and their own class notes students have an ample amount of resourcesto use for examples for these essay questions.-Birth of a Nation movie-“I have a dream” speech-Martin Luther King Jr. Article:-“War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America” By Huey P. Newton
-“Letter From Birmingham Jail”
The Rooster comes ho
: COINTELPROArticle: "Young Chicanos
Essay Question #1The silent-film
The Birth of a Nation
is controversial because of the way it portrays the Reconstruction-Era South and the violent actions of the Klu Klux Klan. After watching this movie in class, formulatean essay that covers the following: 1) How are African-Americans portrayed in the film? 2) Does
The Birth of a Nation
attempt to justify the actions of the Klu Klux Klan, and if so, how? 3) In Americatoday, can you think of any groups who use violent behavior similar to that of the KKK againstminority groups?Essay Question #2Two men, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., had a great influence on the Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement
The civil rights movement started during the period of late 50’s and early 60’s, with the core purpose of gaining equal rights for everyone. It was the biggest revolution in America and many people dedicated their lives for the success of this movement.
Most people believe that the civil rights movement was initiated by Rosa Parks, which however, is not true. No one can deny the efforts she made to make this movement successful but the idea was born in 1954 at the Board of Education of Topeka. It all started, because the African Americans were being treated in a very inhumane manner and served as slaves to the white. This is where the Black Panther Party came in, whose founders were Huey P and Bobby Seale. They promoted self-defense and civil rights and educated the black men about their rights as humans. The Black Panther party believed that the blacks will never fit into the American culture and will never be respected as the whites. On the Other hand, Martin Luther king made all his efforts to promote the idea, that African Americans are a part of America and will be given equal rights. The party did not allow any white to become a member, until they realized they needed the support of other minorities in the country to support their stance. After dedicated efforts for years, determination and firm belief the civil rights movement actually succeeded. No one would have thought this as possible but, it was the result of unshaken belief and strong devotion of our ancestors that today America sees a Black president. The civil rights movement seemed to be vague at that time and no one believed that slaves will get equal rights. The blacks themselves, did not believe that someday they will be treated as respectable men and will run and own business in America. Our ancestors did their best and convinced others with extreme struggle and well thought-out logic that we need to have a society, where people believe in equality.
Back in the 50’s it was almost impossible to believe that America will be close to a utopian society, where everyone gets their rights. If it wasn’t for Rosa Parks or Mr. Martin Luther King, we would not being living in a country where racial discrimination is overcome and people are evaluated on the basis of merit and capability rather than caste or creed.