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"Civil Rights in America" course - what to include?


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This is for 16 yo DD.   She's thinking about going to public school next fall (sigh) and I know that CRT is woven into coursework in her high school.  I want her to be well-prepared and have her own understanding of race and civil rights before (if) she goes, so she can better evaluate what she hears.  Ideally part will be a reading list that addresses historical issues, not just of black people but of other religious and ethnic groups who have experienced marginalization and discrimination in the U.S.  

Easier books written in modern English (middle school, maybe early high school reading level) are probably best. She has ADHD so this affects her reading speed and comprehension.  

So far, my list is short: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas and Warriors Don't Cry. 

I could really use some inspiration for books, activities, research projects and videos that might be useful.  Also, a teen-friendly summary of what critical race theory is, so she can examine it and form her own opinions. Also, is anyone aware of politically neutral resources about current issues?  Seems like everything I find shows a clear, sharp bias in one direction or another.  

I recognize this can be an emotional subject for many of us. Please keep your replies polite and non-political. I don't want this thread deleted or closed.  Thanks for understanding 🙂

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi is written on a middle grades level. There is an adult version of this book, too. 

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11 minutes ago, Caroline said:

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi is written on a middle grades level. There is an adult version of this book, too. 

I'm reading the sample at amazon and that looks like a good one to go through slowly and debate/discuss.  Thank you for suggesting it.

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Eyes on the Prize - 14 part PBS series on the history of the Civil Rights Movement
   plus: study guide - free online pdf

Civil Rights Movement
   (Facing History and Ourselves website)
   collection of short videos, articles, blogs, and teaching activities/ideas

Lessons on the Civil Rights Movement 
   (Teaching for Change website)
    8 lessons, plus 2 resource lists
 

3 hours ago, shinyhappypeople said:

... Ideally part will be a reading list that addresses historical issues, not just of black people but of other religious and ethnic groups who have experienced marginalization and discrimination in the U.S...  

- Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Brown)
Crimes against Native Americans during the 19th century; from Native perspective.

- A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America (Takaki)
Abridged/adapted middle school level version of the longer adult version. The American experience through a variety of non-white American eyes.

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On 4/25/2021 at 10:38 AM, Lori D. said:

- A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America (Takaki)
Abridged/adapted middle school level version of the longer adult version. The American experience through a variety of non-white American eyes.

I am really, really excited to read this book.  Thanks so much for suggesting it 🙂 

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The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

This is a longer book about 250 pages on the black panther movement, what they did, why they were supported and who was a part of it. I found it to be a great read and learned a lot about the interaction between the police and others during the moment. Lots of talking points about the moment, the behavior of police in the 1960's and today as well as rights and how they can be applied in daily life.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

You might find this radio interview about intersectionality interesting

https://www.npr.org/2021/03/29/982357959/what-does-intersectionality-mean

 

Also the TV program Many Rivers to Cross by Henry Louis Gates could be useful to know about

https://www.pbs.org/show/african-americans-many-rivers-cross/

 

And you might want to include some relevant films, for example Do the Right Thing, Boyz in the Hood, or The Hate U Give; or historical dramas like Mississippi Burning; or documentaries like Ava DuVernay’s 13th.

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I think one aspect that is often overlooked, and a 16yo should study, is the "what then?"  What happens AFTER the end of the story?  What happened during and after the Chinese Exclusion Act?  What happened during and after school integration?  What happened the to specific people in the narrative? 

I think it is easy to forget that these are/were living humans, and taking it one step further really connects more of the dots for a student.

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On that note, you may also want to look at the Korematsu Institute.  Ruby Bridges wrote a book about her experience.

I think PBS’s American Experience is a great resource as well.

If you have any museums you can visit (in person or virtually), that would also be beneficial. 

This website looks pretty neat but is out of date.

https://www.ourdocuments.gov/

 

You could also look up the actual court documents for some of the cases.

https://law.justia.com

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On 4/26/2021 at 12:40 PM, shinyhappypeople said:

I am really, really excited to read this book.  Thanks so much for suggesting it 🙂 

Something to be aware of—I was very excited to see this book as well (the adult version) but while it incorporates some less commonly taught history of various ethnic groups, it did not incorporate women’s history appreciably.  I found that quite annoying.

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“Amos Fortune, Free Man” is a YA novel about slavery in New England, which tends to be brushed over.

”Hawaii” by Michener is quite a tome, but the history it reflects is thorough and accurate.  Perspectives include New England sailors and missionaries, Native Hawaiians and Polynesians, and immigrant families from Japan and China.  All of these stories intertwine through the generations.  It IS a novel.

For women’s history, I think you more or less have to piece it together from biographies.  And I think it’s important to do so.  Kids often think that there are things women can’t do, and I can tell you for sure that the only reason I knew anything different is that I read so many biographies of women while I was a kid.  Basically you go to the 920 section of the nonfiction part of the library and start taking out books that look promising, in quantity.

For your own enjoyment I recommend ‘Common Ground’, which is set in Boston during the bussing crisis.  It covers various issues in modern education, racism, urban street danger, gentrification, religion, and politics.  You will be amazed at how many familiar names pop up ‘before they were well known’.  It’s one of the best written history books I have ever read, and it won the Pulitzer Prize.  Another good one that is more recent is ‘In Search of Other Suns’, which covers the Great Migration and its background and results at a more modern level.

 

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