Desegregation


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INTRODUCTION

Twenty years before the start of the Civil War and another one hundred years before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Frederick Douglass and his friend James Buffum refused to leave a segregated car in 1841.


SIT-INS


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REading

A Blueprint for First Class Citizenship
By Pauli Murray


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Teaching Reflection

Sit Down Marie!: Eugenia Fortes at the Hyannis Port Beach
By Maggie Donovan 

Students react to a story about two young African-American girls who refused to move to the colored section of the Massachusetts beach.


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Teaching Reflection

Language and Sit-Ups
By Maggie Donovan

First graders learn about sit-in strategies.


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LESSON

Bigger than a Hamburger
By Maggie Donovan

An activity for young students to understand and visualize the various goals of lunch counter sit-ins inspired by Ella Baker's words, "current demonstrations are concerned with something much bigger than a hamburger."


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LESSON

Second Graders Learn about the Power of Sit-Ins
By Chris Hoeh   

A role play lesson on sit-ins.


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LESSON

Comfort Food: A Lesson for Child of the Civil Rights Movement

Food played an instrumental role during the Civil Rights Movement, bringing people together to plan, gain strength, and organize. Community members played an important role feeding volunteers.  


TRANSPORTATION DESEGREGATION


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QUIZ

Montgomery Bus Boycott Quiz


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Reading

Transportation Protests: 1841 to 1966
By Julian Hipkins III and David Busch

The struggle for the desegregation of transportation has a long history in the United States. Read about key individuals and organizations who took a stand against segregated transit.


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Reading

Two Poems: The Enactment and Claudette Colvin Goes to Work
By Rita Dove

Poems about Mary Ware and Claudette Colvin, two African-American women who challenged segregation laws in Montgomery, Alabama prior to Rosa Parks' more famous protest.


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LESSON

Montgomery Bus Boycott: Organizing Strategies and Challenges
By Alana D. Murray

In this activity for middle and high school, students act as organizers and learn about many of the challenges faced by the group who sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott for 381 days.


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Teaching Idea

Song: If you miss me from the back of the bus

What came to be known as "freedom songs" during the Civil Rights Movement grew out of the tradition of singing in church. This song was inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott and has been sung with many different lyrics to match many kids of situations.


SCHOOL DESEGREGATION


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Reading

Desegregation Court Cases Before and After Brown v. Board of Education
From the Brown v. Board Orientation Handbook with additions from Teaching for Change

Selected school desegregation court cases 1849-1969.


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Reading

Soul Power and the People
By Jenice View

Essay recalling memories of school desegregation in 1967 Washington, D.C.


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Reading

Desegregation
By Eloise Greenfield

Poem about desegregation.


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Reading

Soul Make a Path through Shouting
By Cyrus Casells

Poem about desegregation.


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Teaching Activity

A School Year Like No Other
By Bill Bigelow

Students write poetry or prose in reaction to viewing "Eyes on the Prize: Fighting Back 1957-62" and two readings.


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Teaching Activity

Gallery Walk on the History of Education in Mississippi Through the Lens of Race

Using textbook excerpts, data, quotes, legislation, and images, the gallery walk begins in pre-Mississippi in the ancient city of Timbuktu, moves through Reconstruction and Jim Crow, and carries on to present day issues.


Additional Resources

Recommended readings, books, films, and more for further learning about desegregation.


Teaching Activity

Acting for Justice. Warriors Don't Cry: Connecting History, Literature, and Our Lives
By Linda Christensen

A unit designed to help students practice behaving as allies. Students read Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Senior High, then create and act out scenes from their own experiences where people act as allies, victims, perpetrators, and witnesses.


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Teaching Activity

Teaching About Brown v. Board

Lessons (three from Rethinking Schools), books, films, and articles that can be used to teach about Brown v. Board in grades 4-12. 


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Reading

Clyde Kennard Imprisoned for Attempting to Attend College in Mississippi
By Deborah Menkart

Korean War veteran Clyde Kennard put his life on the line in the 1950s when he attempted to become the first African American to attend Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg.