This course invites students to learn about how rich and complex the Civil Rights Movements was. All too often it is misrepresented as a linear successful progression with Martin Luther King Jr. as the only leader, a “president” of sorts. A recurring theme is that students reflect upon what would give them courage and motivation to commit to such a movement and make those extreme personal sacrifices. Another purpose is that students reflect upon how deeply entrenched beliefs can be, and what is required to change a society that holds those beliefs. This will include the goals and strategies used in the fight for equal rights for Black Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and also on the successes and challenges of the Movement. Although the content primarily focuses on the years between 1954 and 1965, it branches beyond these years to provide students a richer, more complete understanding of the Movement and how America was forever changed. The course begins with an examination of the conditions of the American South and factors that galvanized Black activism in this time period, and then moves on to the various campaigns and organizations that courageously fought racial injustice.
- Teacher: Stephanie Freitas