The end of the Civil War marked the beginning of black Americans ongoing struggle for equality and empowerment. From 1954 to 1972, the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) aimed to sound the final death knell for Jim Crow racial segregation, the legally sanctioned system of black second-class citizenship. The movement focused, in large part, on securing unabridged enforcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments’ protections for African Americans. No one could turn on a television, open a newspaper, or listen to the radio without hearing new reports about sit-ins, riots, massive demonstrations, Supreme Court decisions, or the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. These events had an enormous impact on American life. Looking back more than sixty years later, what has changed? What has not? What has become part of the popular narrative of the movement and what has been left out? And, how are these events connected to the Black Lives Matter Movement and protests of today? This course seeks to answer these questions through an examination of the rise of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. Students will explore the origins of the movement, well-known and lesser-known protests, and the activists of the period. Students will also examine how the movement intersected with past and present feminist, gay rights, Latinx, and anti-war movements.
- Teacher: Joshua Wright