Female Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement

During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans who made impactful contributions to American history. One of the most important developments of the twentieth century was the civil rights movement. Many Americans, both black and white, fought for equality in access to voting, education, housing, and public spaces for African Americans. Most of the best-known civil rights leaders of this period were male, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and John Lewis. However, many women also made significant contributions, including Fannie Lou Hamer, Pauli Murray, and Dorothy Height. Because of their efforts, black Americans, especially in the South, gained new legal rights and freedoms.

Read more…

The ACLU’s role in Brown v. Board of Education

During Black History Month, we remember monumental events that have profoundly changed the United States and impacted the lives of many Americans. One key event in American history is the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. In this Supreme Court case, public schools were ordered desegregated in a unanimous verdict. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) played an important role in Brown v. Board of Education, ensuring that “separate but equal” would no longer apply to educational facilities. Though public education was not fully desegregated by the decision, it began a series of legal victories for the burgeoning civil rights movement and defined constitutional support for racial equality.

Read more…

Robert Smalls: From Slave to Senator

During Black History Month, we honor African Americans who made significant contributions to American society and impacted the course of American history. One such figure is Robert Smalls, who was born a slave in South Carolina, made a dramatic escape from slavery, and was later elected to Congress. With primary sources, Smalls’ remarkable life, achievements, and impact can be considered and understood through contemporary accounts.

Read more…

Get Started Gathering Ideas for Black History Month Lesson Plans

Posted on January 8, 2015

There’s an abundance of historical riches out there, but sometimes you have to know where to look to find the pot of educational gold.  During Black History Month, get high school and undergraduate students to delve a bit deeper and uncover these influential and amazing people who changed lives and generations.  Get the facts from Gale’s In Context database products, relate them to curriculum topics, then follow up with the other multimedia suggested to engage students further.

Civil Rights Movement, US Government, Graphic Novels = John R. Lewis.  This Georgia congressman, serving for 29 years, leads a fascinating life.  Son of a sharecropper, Lewis became one of the six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, served as SNCC chairman, and was one of the original Freedom Riders — all before he was thirty years old. There’s SO much more to discover about this icon, including his publication of two student-friendly graphic novels covering the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March, entitled March: Book One and Book Two.

Read more…

Take a Deeper Dive into Langston Hughes’ Impact with LRC and LCO

Literature Resource Center (LRC) is a massive resource that includes reviews, news, topic and work overviews, biographies, multimedia, and literature criticism. While it’s a great addition to any library, and many libraries already enjoy the treasures in its content, it only contains approximately 30 percent of the most popular content in the Literature Criticism series. That means, while you’re getting a ton of great content, you’re missing the other 70 percent of Literature Criticism content.

Read more…

Archives Unbound and African-American History and Life

The past few years have seen many anniversaries related to African American history and the Civil Rights Movement – 2013, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” stamped the Civil Rights Movement firmly in the minds of Americans and the worldwide community; 2014, the anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction; and, this year is the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which provided additional safeguards for African Americans to exercise their right to the ballot box.

Read more…

The Search Shouldn’t End with Twelve Years a Slave

By Robert Lisiecki

As February comes to an end and March nears, the Academy Awards loom on the horizon. It is appropriate, then, that we discuss Twelve Years a Slave. Not only is this movie nominated for numerous Oscars—including “Best Picture”—but the story is an important piece of our overall history.

Confession: I haven’t seen the movie.  I’m not much of a moviegoer, but I do intend to see it soon since I heard it was well done.   I did read the book, and if the movie is anywhere near as gut-wrenching and eye-opening, then I have no doubt it should take home many awards.

Read more…

'