Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: http://www.bcri.org/index.html
Birmingham, Alabama rose to national prominence during the civil rights movement both for the courage of its citizens (including its children), who used non-violence to fight for integration and equality, and also for the resistance of its local government to such change. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute memorializes the city’s role in the civil rights movement and raises consciousness regarding human rights around the world. Teachers will find most useful the tabs “Resource Gallery” and “Education and Programs” under the section entitled “Learn.” Within the “Resource Gallery,” there is an interactive timeline, oral histories, and a range of other primary sources documenting Birmingham’s role in the movement. The Institute has furthermore developed a curriculum guide that offers guidelines for teaching about the city’s role in the movement tailored to each grade level in K-12.
“Voice of Civil Rights: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories,” a digital exhibition of the AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the Library of Congress:
This website provides brief autobiographies, images and other primary sources about people affected by discrimination, violence and the subsequent civil rights movement. Stories can be searched by keyword and include a range of groups who have suffered from prejudice or intolerance, such as “Asian,” “Jewish,” “Disability,” or “Gay and Lesbian.” There is also interactive timeline of civil rights events and interviews with civil rights activists from the past and the present (look under “Unfinished Business,” “Civil Rights at 50,” “New Voices” and “The Culture of Civil Rights”). Finally, the website also features a link, the “Voices of Civil Rights Bus Tour,” that allows users to search for stories based on location, subject, name, and date.
“With an Even Hand: Brown v. Board at Fifty,” Library of Congress online exhibition: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/
This is a comprehensive and well-organized website that explores the issues surrounding equal education in America. It is divided into three sections: “A Century of Racial Segregation,” “Brown v. Board of Education,” and “The Aftermath.” The first section outlines the history of education in America as well as the court cases that and individuals who laid the groundwork for the Brown decision between 1849 and 1950. The second section examines the Brown decision specifically, and exhibition text is interspersed with images and primary documents, including excerpts from several legal briefs and newspaper coverage of the case that would made excellent teaching tools for high school students in particular. The final section includes images and documents that chronicle the aftermath of the decision on school integration in Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and elsewhere, as well as information and documentation about the children who were instrumental in ending segregation in America. Overall, the exhibition makes a direct link between earlier struggles with education in America to the Brown decision and ultimately to the achievements of the civil rights movement.
“We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement,” National Park Service online exhibition: http://www.nps.gov/history/nR/travel/civilrights/
This website includes information about the 49 places listed in the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary related to the Civil Rights Movement. The list, which was compiled by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration, highlights many of the key people and places that contributed to the movement. Sites include the Woolworth building in Greensboro, NC, the march route from Selma to Montgomery, and the homes of several prominent advocates for civil rights, such as WEB Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Paul Robeson, and Elizabeth Harden Gilmore. Teachers should note the concentration of sites in the south and be aware of the ways in which that reflects a traditional narrative regarding the civil rights movement. Middle school teachers might use this website and Google Earth or other technology to map the movement. High school teachers might ask their students to develop an equivalent site that examines the movement in the north.
National Visionary Leadership Project: http://www.visionaryproject.org/student/speeches.html
This website, which grew out of a project co-founded in 2001 by Camille O. Cosby, Ed.D. and Renee Poussaint, makes available rich materials related to three different teaching themes: (1) the impact of the civil rights movement, (2) the role that women played in the movement, and (3) non-violence as a tool for change. Teachers will find at this site short essays providing background information on each of these themes as well as video clips and photographs of movement participants. In addition, there are worksheets for each unit, an interactive timeline that includes relevant primary sources, and a bibliography with books, videos, and websites especially geared to children.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site: http://www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm
This is the official National Park Service website for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth home in Atlanta, Georgia. It includes a photo gallery with three mini-exhibitions, a short video (5 min.) of one school’s field trip to the site, and—under “For Teachers”—an excellent curriculum guide of fourteen lesson plans for elementary and middle school students. This website will be especially useful for teachers of younger learners.
“International Civil Rights Walk of Fame,” National Park Service online exhibition: http://www.nps.gov/features/malu/feat0002/wof/index.htm
This website includes short profiles of the leaders of the civil rights movement who have been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, a promenade in front of the National Park Service’s Visitor Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Individuals highlighted by the walk include Rosa Parks, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and baseball player Hank Aaron. The Trumpet Awards Foundation, which celebrates African American achievements, in conjunction with the National Parks Service determine inductees. Teachers should note which movement participants are and are not honored on this walk and think about what that says about the federal government’s efforts to memorialize the movement.
“Teaching Tolerance,” a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.tolerance.org/
In 1991, Teaching Tolerance, sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, launched a program for K-12 teachers and other educators to promote respect for differences and an appreciation of diversity. It publishes a semiannual magazine that profiles educators, schools, and programs promoting tolerance, and produces and distributes free, high-quality anti-bias multimedia kits. This website includes information about how to order the free magazine and education kits, as well as a number of online classroom activities and resources, classified by subject (language, history, math and science, and the arts) and grade level (K-12). Lesson plan topics explore specific historical case studies of groups facing discrimination in U.S. history (African American, Latino, women, and others.), as well as issues of bullying, discrimination, and difference facing students today.
“Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)” and “Contemporary United States (1968 to the present),” Teaching with Documents Lesson Plans, a program of the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/
These two sections are part of a larger collection of National Archive lesson plans designed to introduce students to primary document learning. Although the scope of the website is far larger than the Civil Rights movement, each topic contains several relevant subjects. “Postwar United States,” for example, includes lessons, primary sources and suggested classroom activities on Brown v. the Board of Education, well-known activists like Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as little-known figures such as Dorothy E. Davis, a 14-year-old Civil Rights campaigner from Virginia. “Contemporary United States” features a detailed set of materials on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement,” a National Archives online exhibition: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/heroesvillains/g6/
This exhibition explores Martin Luther King, Jr.’s role in the early 1960s civil rights movement through four case studies. The first examines desegregation at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Students explore the concept of segregation and find out what happened when the law was applied in one Arkansas school. The next two case studies, on the Birmingham campaign and the March on Washington, look at events involving Martin Luther King in the struggle for civil rights in 1963. These events illustrate his concept of non-violent protest (following Mahatma Gandhi’s model) and direct action in order to end segregation and discrimination in American society. Both case studies offer the chance to use primary documents with questions, and there is an additional activity to write a news report covering the March on Washington. The last case study contains eight sources on the death of Martin Luther King, and allows students to compare and contrast different opinions about his efforts to end discrimination.