Today, December 1, 2010, marks the 55th anniversary of Rosa Park’s refusal to move from her bus seat for a white passenger. This historic moment in the Civil Rights Movement is taught in classrooms around the country to students of all ages. Teachers can add to Civil Rights curriculum by incorporating some of the wonderful videoconferences on the movement into their classrooms. Here’s a sampling:
• The Civil Rights Movement on Television from the Paley Center for Media in New York City: Television played a vital role in the Civil Rights Movement, both as observer and participant. By watching a selection of significant television work from that era, students explore the role that television played in recording and shaping the struggle for equal rights in America. Clips may include but are not limited to: lunch counter sit-ins, school desegregation, freedom riders, the March on Mississippi, the Watts Riots, and Emmett Till. For 5-12th grade.
• Civil Rights: Before You Could Say “Jackie Robinson” from the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York: Want to motivate your students to learn about segregation and the importance of cultural diversity? Here is a colorful unit, designed for grades four through eight, that illustrates how baseball reflected and led critical social shifts in American history from the Civil War to the modern-day Civil Rights movement. Beginning with the origin of the Negro leagues to Jackie Robinson’s integration of Major League Baseball in 1947, untold stories of honor, courage, and perseverance are brought to life through interactive multicultural lessons spanning several subject areas. For 4-12th grade.
• Ball of Confusion: Rock Music and Social Change in the 60s and 70s from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio: The history of rock and roll overlaps with some of the most turbulent times in U.S. history. In the 1960s and 1970s in particular, American society faced challenges stemming from the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Women’s Liberation movement. During this time many people felt that the world was a “Ball of Confusion,” as described in lyrics of the popular Temptations song. This class features songs from artists including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane, and helps students identify ways that popular musicians have used messages of revolution, protest, and empowerment to question society and effect change.