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Courtesy Library of Congress

Courtesy Library of Congress

Student Activity Sheets and Teacher’s Lesson Plans—Grades 5-12

Cover, middle: This 1874 print commemorates the struggle to pass the 1875 Civil Rights Act, and shows the promise of equality it represented. Seen here are: black Congressman Robert B. Elliott speaking on behalf of the bill (center), black troops in the Civil War (top), statue of Abraham Lincoln (left), statue of civil rights advocate Charles Sumner (right), free blacks working on a black-owned farm (bottom), and black soldiers (bottom left) and sailors (bottom right). Unfortunately, much of the equality legalized by the Civil Rights Act was nullified during the Jim Crow era. Not until the modern Civil Rights Movement did African Americans again make civil rights gains. Cover, bottom: Photo of 1963 civil rights march. Direct action by courageous citizens made many civil rights gains by calling the nation’s attention to legal, social, and economic injustice.

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This 1881 print features center portraits of Blanche Bruce, Frederick Douglass, and Hiram Revels. Douglass had escaped slavery, written a powerful autobiography, and become a prominent abolitionist and spokesperson for African Americans. Bruce and Revels were the first African Americans elected to the U.S. Senate. The three portraits are surrounded by depictions of black life and pictures of other men who had contributed to black freedom and citizenship rights.

Introduction This selection of student activities and lesson plans is part of the exhibit project America I AM: The African American Imprint. The exhibit responds to a question asked by W. E. B. Du Bois in 1903: “Would America have been America without her Negro people?” Visitors will see a wide-ranging collection of rare objects, maps, documents, prints, and other historical items illustrating the ways in which African Americans had a profound impact on the nation. These educational materials have been designed to prepare your students for a visit to the exhibit, but can also stand alone as a history unit with links to other curricula such

as social studies, economics, math, art, and literature. Included here are a series of six activity sheets for students in each of three age groups: middle school (grades 5-8), junior high (grades 7-9), and high school (grades 9-12). Accompanying lesson plans include historical background, supplemental activities, and alignment with national standards. For each activity, there is also a special section about the related imprint made by African Americans. A substantial bibliography concludes this teacher’s guide. The entire package is available in print form or online from exhibit venues.


5-8 Activity 1

The Slave Ship

Read the definitions below. Then use the words in bold type to label the parts of the slave ship. The main-mast is the tallest mast of the ship. The mainmast holds the main-sail.

Hatches are entrances to lower areas, such as the hold and captain’s cabin.

The bowsprit is a pole that stretches out over the sea from the prow of the ship.

Cannons are big guns aimed at the sea, for fighting pirates, and ships from anti-slavery nations.

The fore-mast is the second tallest mast of the ship. It stands between the main-mast and the bowsprit.

The barricado is the thick wall between the captain’s cabin and deck. If they fought from behind this wall, the crew might hold off a slave mutiny.

The mizzen-mast is the third tallest mast of the ship, near the captain’s cabin.

Swivel guns are aimed through holes in the barricado.

The deck is the open-air working area for seamen.

The cargo area is between the men’s prison and the women’s prison. It held trade goods as well as food for captive Africans.

Coppering protected the hull from destructive worms. The area under the deck is the hold, for storing cargo. It was also a prison area for African captives.

Netting is a woven mesh placed around the deck, above the rail, to keep the Africans from leaping into the sea.

The captain’s cabin is the ship’s most comfortable living space. It often had large windows looking out to sea.

In West Africa, the ship had to rest in deep waters, but the rowboat took men to shore and brought captives back.

The African men’s quarters are in the hold, between the main-mast and the fore-mast.

Sharks are flesh-eating fish that followed the ship across the Atlantic. They fed on the bodies thrown into the sea.

The African women’s quarters are in the hold between the main-mast and the mizzen-mast. 1


7-9 Activity 1

Who Profits from Slavery?

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People in America earned money from many different kinds of products. Among these were lumber, rice, ships, banking, raw cotton, cotton cloth, rum, iron, sugar, clothing, indigo, and tobacco. Make your own pictographs for these items. Then read the paragraphs below. Use what you learn to label a map of the United States with your pictographs.

Enslaved people used the cotton gin to remove seeds from cotton bolls.

Across the South, slaves tended their owners’ crops. Along the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia, vast fields of rice grew. Tobacco was a major crop in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Indigo, a plant that yielded a rich blue dye, grew in Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia. In Louisiana, fields of sugar cane soaked up the sun.

to businessmen to buy the ships and outfit them. Factories in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts made rum, iron bars, and trinkets to be traded for captives on the west coast of Africa. After 1808, it became illegal to sell African captives in the United States. But the shipyards continued to build and launch slave ships. Captains still sailed to Africa and bought captives, but sold them in the Caribbean. This trade was against U.S. law, but on the high seas the law was rarely enforced.

After the cotton gin was invented in 1793, cotton became the most important southern crop. It quickly spread across Georgia and South Carolina. Frontier areas like Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama were dotted with new cotton plantations. Some southerners grew rich from the soft, fluffy material.

Cotton mills in Pennsylvania and New England used countless bales of southern cotton. By the 1830s, mill owners were making good money by selling cotton cloth. In Massachusetts, men started companies to make the cloth into clothing. Some of it was even sold to slave owners for their workers.

Northern states made money from slavery, too. In Rhode Island and other areas of New England, shipyards built slave ships. Workers used lumber from nearby forests, including those of New Jersey. New York bankers lent money

Without slavery, none of this would have been possible.



7-9 Activity 1

An 1830 Map of the United States



9-12 Activity 1

Slavery’s Influence on American Government 6. Of the first five U.S. presidents, a. Four owned slaves. b. Three owned slaves. c. Only one owned slaves. d. None owned slaves.

1. One prominent rice planter was Henry Laurens. He a. Owned several plantations and thousands of slaves. b. Served as president of the Second Continental Congress. c. Was a slave trader. d. a, b, and c.

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Answer the following questions to see how much you know about slave owners’ influence on the structure and laws of the United States. In each question, circle the letter of one correct answer.

Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence.

8. During the American Revolution, some colonies wanted to recruit slaves into the Continental Army, but a. Massachusetts vetoed the idea. b. Southerners were opposed to the idea. c. Free black men objected. d. a and b. 9. Spanish Florida gave freedom to escaping slaves who reached its borders. As a result a. South Carolina slaves staged the Stono Rebellion partly because they wanted to get to Florida. b. Andrew Jackson had a Negro Fort in Florida seized and destroyed. c. Many slave owners wanted the federal government to take control of Florida and return their runaway slaves. d. a, b, and c.

2. As American leaders wrote the Constitution, they were a. Abolishing slavery in the northern states. b. Setting up a system of income taxes. c. Changing America from a place where states had all the power to a nation where there was a balance of power between the states and central government. d. a and c.

10. Roger Taney, the Supreme Court justice who decided the Dred Scott case, a. Had owned slaves. b. Said that neither free nor enslaved black people were U.S. citizens. c. Said that slave owners could legally take their slaves into any U.S. territory. d. a, b, and c.

3. At the Constitutional Convention, northern states had to compromise with southern states. Southern states would not join the union unless a. The Constitution protected slavery. b. There were no taxes on slaves. c. The slave trade could continue until 1850. d. a and b. 4. At the time the Declaration of Independence was written, a. Only one colony did not have slavery. b. Only Georgia did not have slavery. c. All American colonies had slavery. d. Only southern colonies had slavery. 5. Throughout the colonial and early nation periods, many slave owners a. Were elected to local and national office. b. Helped make local and national laws. c. Often had more education, money, and power than other men in their regions. d. a, b, and c.

7. Of the first eighteen presidents (Washington through Grant), a. Twelve owned slaves at some time. b. Only four owned slaves while they were president. c. Nine owned slaves at some time. d. Sixteen owned slaves while they were president.

11. When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he a. Was a slave owner. b. Wanted to allow slavery into U.S. territories. c. Said if he could save the Union without freeing slaves, he would. d. None of the above.


12. Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner, a. Freed all the slaves in Tennessee. b. Wanted to befriend the southern states, and allowed them to revoke the civil rights of African Americans. c. Vetoed civil rights bills. d. a, b, and c.


5-8 Activity 2

Enslaved People Knew How to Grow Rice Fill in the blanks below with words from the list below. At the time of the slave trade, many West African farmers knew how to grow rice. They brought this knowledge with them to ___________________. Along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas, there were hot, humid areas perfect for growing rice. Africans did the hard, dangerous work of clearing land for rice fields. First, they cut down bushes and trees in wet, swampy, _________________ areas. Men, women, and oxen worked in deep, oozing mud. They stepped carefully to avoid ___________________________. The Africans dug a long

ditch to each field, about five feet deep and five feet wide. Then they used the mud they had dug out to build a high embankment around each field. They made a gate in the embankment, a gate that could be _____________________. When the tide came in, the workers could _______________ the fields by opening the gates. When the workers wanted to drain the fields, they waited for low tide and opened the gates. The ditches carried away the water. Enslaved people took 150,000 acres of swampland and made them into well-tended rice fields.

Word List flood North America snakes and alligators opened and closed tidal

African American workers in a flooded rice field.

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Number the tasks below to show how enslaved people grew and harvested rice. _____ The gates were opened to cover the planted seeds with water.

_____ In April, seed was sown into the furrows. _____ Workers poured the grain into a mortar and pounded it to crack open the hulls.

_____ In the early autumn, workers cut down the rice stalks and brought them into the barn.

_____ On the barn floor, the rice stalks dried. Then the grain could be separated from the stalks.

_____ Workers drained the fields over and over to hoe away the weeds, and then flooded the young plants again.

_____ In early spring, workers used plows to create furrows for the seed.

_____ Finally, slaves used flat, shallow baskets to toss the rice into the air. The light husks blew away in the breeze, and the heavier rice fell back into the basket. 5


7-9 Activity 2

Graphing Economic Trends Early landowners in the southern colonies needed workers. Tidal areas along the eastern coast could be shaped into rice plantations, but would require a huge labor force. Furthermore, people would have to work in standing water or deep mud under the hot sun. They would face snakes, alligators, and insects carrying malaria. Whites would not work in such terrible conditions. Indians were sometimes forced into slavery, but they knew the country and often escaped. Most planters solved their labor problems by going to Charleston and buying Africans off the slave ships. These Africans labored and died in the rice fields, making the planters rich.

The sale price of rice tended to rise from decade to decade. On another sheet of paper, show this visually by making a line graph of the information below.


Price in cents per pound

1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s

1.64 1.18 1.56 1.58 1.87

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Cost of South Carolina Rice*

Ex-slave Johanna Lesley hulls rice with an African-style mortar and pestle.

Show how quickly South Carolina’s rice harvests grew. Use the information below to make a bar graph on another sheet of paper.

South Carolina Rice Exports*

1730 Amount 10,000 Year

1740 25,000

1763 35,000

1764 40,000

1770 42,000

Exported in tons *Figures from Jean M. West, “Rice and Slavery: A Fatal Gold Seede,” Slavery in America at



9-12 Activity 2

South Carolina’s Black Population Courtesy Library of Congress

Rice plantations thrived in coastal areas where fresh water streams and rivers fed into the ocean. With swampy land, the rise and fall of tides, and mix of fresh and salt water near the fields, rice grew well and was very profitable. It also required large numbers of workers who could labor in terrible conditions. Landowners usually got these workers by buying slaves. As a result, South Carolina’s population soon included more enslaved Africans than whites.

African American workers digging a ditch to flood a rice field.

Use the South Carolina population statistics below to make a double bar graph on another sheet of paper. Show black and white population in different colored vertical bars over seventy years.

Population Growth in South Carolina*

1790 Black Population White 140,178 108,895 Census

1820 White Black 237,440 265,301

1840 White Black 259,084 335,314

1860 White Black 291,300 412,320

Mark the following statements with T for true or F for false. 1. ______ Because of the state’s black majority, South Carolina whites lived in fear of slave revolts.

7. _____ By 1850, South Carolina had more manufacturing workers than any other state.

2. ______ By 1820, South Carolina had more than a thousand black college graduates.

8. _____ Rice growing led to a task system, in which enslaved workers had less supervision than workers on other kinds of plantations.

3. ______ As a colony and later a state, South Carolina had very harsh slave laws.

9. _____ By the 1830s, South Carolina was selling thousands of slaves south and west to new frontier areas.

4. ______ Enslaved people from certain parts of West Africa knew how to grow rice. Because of this valuable skill, some landowners asked slave ship captains to bring them rice farmers.

10. _____ African Americans in South Carolina and Georgia rice areas were able to keep alive more of their African culture than black people in other parts of the country.

5. ______ Africans were more resistant to malaria than whites. 6. ______ After 1820 in South Carolina, a slave owner could free a slave only with special permission of the state legislature.

*Figures are from Michael Trinkley, “Growth of South Carolina’s Slave Population,” South Carolina Information Highway at



5-8 Activity 3

American Democracy in the Making In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. He wrote that “all men are created equal,” but he did not mean slaves. The Bill of Rights said the government could not take away a person’s life, liberty, or property without due process of law. But this protected slave owners, not slaves. Slaves were not seen as persons, but as property. Why? Slave owners helped shape the laws of the period. In fact, four of the nation’s first five presidents were slave owners. Clearly, American democracy at the time was different from what it is today.

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One of Americans’ most important rights is the right to vote. Find out who had voting rights when the nation was formed and who didn’t. Find out who has voting rights today. Search books and the Internet to discover what happened to cause the change. Then fill in the chart below. African American man voting in 1867. Because most people could not read or write, many voted by dropping marbles into holes beside pictures of candidates.


Voted in 1789?

Can vote today?

What changed?

White women




White men with land




Native Americans




Free black women




Free black men




People with disabilities




White men without land




People who have been in prison




Young people aged 18-20




When did Mexican Americans and Asian Americans begin to vote? _____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 8


7-9 Activity 3

Black Men Help Fight the American Revolution Write a news story for the anniversary of a major battle in the American Revolution. You are stepping in to finish the assignment of another reporter (see notes below). You will need to expand some of her notes and ignore others as you narrow your topic. Work on style and form, too. Look at stories in newspapers and magazines to see how they are written. Decide what kind of story you will write. Will you create an exposé, a feature story, a breaking story, a profile, or something else? Can you find quotes from the period?

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Choose a main idea. Your teacher will give you a deadline. The editor says the story must be between 250 and 500 words.

Crispus Attucks died in the Boston Massacre in 1770.

Reporter’s Notes For black people, the goal was freedom. Did black and white men fight side by side?

In New Jersey, some white men did not want to fight. They sent their slaves instead.

Lemuel Haynes fought on Patriot side—wrote poem about Battle of Lexington.

Who was Agrippa Hull? Get info on Crispus Attucks.

New Hampshire allowed slaves to enlist. Connecticut formed a black regiment—48 men under a white officer. Rhode Island black regiment had 250 men. Massachusetts had a black unit—the Bucks of America. Had its own flag. Some states bought slaves and promised freedom if they would serve. But many never got freedom. New York recruited slaves, too.

Slave owners did not want black men to carry weapons. Why?

Wealthy Virginia men sent their slaves as soldiers rather than go themselves.

People lived in fear of slave revolts.

A German officer at White Plains said American army there was one-fourth black.

Black sailors in the Revolution—must get info. Lots of enslaved people ran away from cruel masters & joined Continental Army.

Virginia Legislature would not allow the officers to enlist black men without proof they were free men.

James Armistead was a double agent, spying on the English & pretending to spy on the Americans. Or was it the other way around?

In 1778, an army report said there were 755 black men in army. Many more came later. 9


9-12 Activity 3

Is Lord Dunmore a War Criminal?

Dunmore had opened the floodgates. Before the end of the war, tens of thousands of black people tried to reach British lines to find freedom. Some became British soldiers and The Flight of Lord Dunmore died from combat or disease. Some went to Nova Scotia after the treaty was signed, to find that British You will put Lord Dunmore on trial for the suffering promises of free, fertile land were false. Some people were he caused. Members of your class will become his prosesold into slavery. Some were taken to England but faced cution team, his defense team, and his jury. One student starvation there. Later, many found their way to Africa. will serve as judge, and one will portray the defendant. Some were abandoned to their cruel American masters Others may portray witnesses, such as Boston King, when the British ships sailed. Colonel Tye, slaveholders, or British or American officers.

The Judge You must know court procedure and rule on objections to make sure the trial is fair. If you fail, the defendant will have a good chance to overturn any guilty verdict. Learn the history, and make sure no witness or officer of the court misstates it.

The Prosecution You must decide what charges to bring. What can you prove against Lord Dunmore? Fraud, reckless disregard of human life, or war crimes? You’ll need to find the definitions of these crimes and examine the evidence. Above all, you’ll need to know the history in detail. Whom will you call as witnesses?

Witnesses You must know the history to be able to speak as a historical person. Prepare yourself by reading as much as you can about Lord Dunmore, the Black Loyalists, and your character’s role. Any error will discredit you on the stand, and may allow the guilty to go free or cause an innocent man to be found guilty.

The Defense You must set up a defense strategy and be ready for whatever charges the prosecution team brings against Lord Dunmore. Be sure you know the all the facts and can show your sources. Whom will you call as witnesses? The Jury You must review the evidence carefully and decide if the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. What evidence will be most important to you? 10

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Lord Dunmore was the last Royal Governor of Virginia. In 1775, he was in a desperate situation. American rebels had taken control of his capital city, Williamsburg. He was in danger of being captured. Angry, he struck back at the colonists’ weakness—slavery. He wrote a Proclamation offering freedom to all enslaved people who could escape their masters and join him on the British side. Within a few months, he had 800 soldiers whose masters were terrified of black men with weapons.


9-12 Activity 3

Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation


ALL Grades

Activity 4

Visiting an Exhibit: America I AM: The African American Imprint In the exhibit, you will learn more. There may be a label about your subject. If so, take notes. Perhaps more important, you will need to investigate the time and place in which he or she lived. How did race problems affect black people during the period? How did conditions change during the period? What did your subject achieve?

In your visit to the exhibit America I AM: The African American Imprint, you will be a researcher, looking for information. By the time you arrive, you will already have chosen your subject from the list below on the right. You should also already have learned a great deal about your subject.

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Courtesy Library of Congress

Choose a subject from the list below.

Dorie Miller

Phillis Wheatley

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Courtesy Library of Congress

Booker T. Washington

Fannie Lou Hamer

Create a written report or a documentary about your subject. Find information from multiple written sources. Look for pictures, drawings, and charts to include. If you are making a multi-media documentary, you may want to use music and footage as well. Don’t be afraid to use a poem, song, interview, or artwork you have created, if it adds to your finished product. Be sure to have a clear main idea and support it with facts, quotes, and other evidence. Write correct footnotes to give credit to the sources you use. 12

John Parker

Denmark Vesey

Phillis Wheatley

Oliver Hill

Charles Young

Katherine Dunham

W. E. B. Du Bois

Charity Adams Earley

Booker T. Washington

Barbara Jordan

Ida B. Wells

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Marcus Garvey

Malcolm X

Bert Williams

Elizabeth Eckford

Noble Sissle

Medgar Evers

William Still

Shirley Chisholm

Jackie Robinson

Colin Powell

Richard Allen

Jesse Owens

Elizabeth Keckley

Dorie Miller

A. Philip Randolph

Ralph Abernathy

Fannie Lou Hamer

Joe Louis

Thomas Dorsey

Marian Anderson

Harriet Powers

John Lewis

Dred Scott

Fred Shuttlesworth

Duke Ellington

Carter G. Woodson

Henry Flipper

Charles Hamilton Houston

Boston King

Mary McLeod Bethune


5-8 Activity 5

African Americans Begin to Leave the Rural South

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Courtesy Library of Congress

In the 1890s, many black families began to leave the rural South. They were moving to big cities in the South, North, and West. Look carefully at the pictures below. Compare and contrast the pictures on the left with the pictures on the right to explain the families’ decisions.

How is this city apartment different from the rural home shown to the left ?

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Courtesy Library of Congress

Do the children in this picture have electricity in their home? How is their home heated? Where are their meals cooked? Can you find an alphabet written on cloth in the picture? Who do you think teaches the girl in the rocking chair to read? Can you guess why there are scraps of paper pasted on the walls?

Many black families worked picking cotton in the South. Can you explain why some of the people in the picture are carrying long cloth bags?

The man in the picture above is working in a factory that makes parts for airplanes. Why do you think people preferred factory work to farm work? 13


5-8 Activity 5

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Courtesy Library of Congress

African Americans Begin to Leave the Rural South continued

What do you notice about this rural black school in Georgia? What do you see underneath the school on the right? How do you think the school is heated in the winter?

How is this school in Washington, DC different from the rural school to the left?

List below some of the reasons African Americans may have had for leaving the rural South.



7-9 Activity 5

African Americans Move into Cities

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In the 1890s, black families began leaving the rural South. They moved to urban areas in the South, North, and West. This movement from the country to the city was called the Great Migration. It continued until at least the 1950s. As families settled into new neighborhoods, they began changing them, especially in the North and West. People built new churches, founded newspapers, formed sports teams, and created new music. As a result, American cities were changed forever.

Match sentence parts to make true statements. Write the number of a sentence part from the left into a blank on the right.

Jazz musicians and singers in a city nightclub take a break.

1. Black men and women got jobs in

_____ Joe Louis helped increase black pride.

2. Harlem, a black neighborhood in New York, was a center for musicians,

_____ factories and offices, but they were often paid less than whites.

3. African Americans were segregated into black neighborhoods, where they paid very high

_____ for places to worship.

4. Major league baseball teams barred black players in the

_____ began to print more positive, realistic images of African Americans.

5. Black newspapers brought readers

_____ it to cities like Chicago, New York, and Kansas City.

6. New storefront churches sprang up, as arriving African Americans looked

_____ and the Lindy Hop. Whites learned the dances, which were becoming wildly popular.

7. During World War II, black newspapers began the Double V Campaign. Black people wanted to fight for victory overseas

_____ rent for small, crowded apartments.

8. Black Broadway shows included black dances like the Charleston

_____ artists, dancers, and writers. Many whites visited Harlem to hear the music and watch dance in the clubs.

9. Black churches helped new migrants

_____ AND victory at home against racism.

_____ news stories about the black community.

10. In the mid 1930s, Hitler said whites were superior

_____ to other races. But at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals.

11. President Roosevelt agreed to make

_____ 1890s, but the Negro Leagues played exciting games.

12. Great athletes like the boxer 13. Gospel music was

_____ sure African Americans were not excluded from defense jobs.

14. Musicians like Louis Armstrong helped create jazz and carry

_____ created in black churches. _____ find apartments, get food, and look for jobs.

15. Stereotypical images of blacks were crude and negative. But Life magazine 15


9-12 Activity 5

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun Read Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Answer the study questions below before you discuss the play in class. 1. African American families who moved into cities during the Great Migration found a new life. Their neighborhoods, however, were crowded, run down, and very expensive. Many black families wanted to move to the suburbs. Why couldn’t they?

2. The Hansberry family’s housing problems bear some similarity to those of the Younger family. Look up the court case Hansberry v. Lee. What can you find out about the similarities?

3. Can you guess why Hansberry chose to name the family Younger?

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4. How does the play expose the racism in American society?

5. How does Walter grow? How does his attitude toward money change?

Ruby Dee played Ruth in the Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun.

6. What values are important in the play?

7. Mama says to Walter, “So now it’s life. Money is life. Once upon a time freedom used to be life—now it’s money. I guess the world really do change.” What point is she making?



5-8 Activity 6

African Americans Lose Civil Rights

Then southern states began to make laws to take away these rights. Black people had to pass impossibly difficult tests or pay high taxes to vote. Laws kept black and white people separate. There were separate waiting rooms, separate seats on buses and trains, and separate entrances to theatres. Most hotels would not allow black people to have rooms. Black children went to poor schools. Black adults could only get low paying jobs. Worst of all, African Americans lived in fear. White mobs could beat or murder people whenever they wanted. Police officers would not protect black people. No one stopped a lynch mob.

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After the Civil War, the federal government gave new rights to former slaves. The 13th amendment to the Constitution ended slavery. The 14th and 15th made former slaves citizens and gave them the right to vote. Within ten years, black men had elected two black senators, as well as black state lawmakers.

Ku Klux Klan members beat, murdered, and terrorized African Americans.

Make a 1930s civil rights poster: First, find out more about this time in history, called the Jim Crow Era. Then assume you live in the 1930s and you have permission to hang a poster in the rotunda of the Capitol. Use words and pictures to persuade members of the House and Senate to end unfair Jim Crow laws and stop racial violence.

On the lines below, explain your ideas for the poster. What will your poster will look like? How will it convince lawmakers to take action?



7-9 Activity 6

Court Cases Challenge Laws Learn more about the cases named below. Find the year of each court decision and write it in. Write a sentence explaining what the court decided. On another sheet of paper, place the names of the cases along a timeline, showing how American courts defined civil rights over a century. Where did the cases begin? Were they all in the South?

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Below are the names of twelve court cases. In each case, a court made a decision about a person’s civil rights. The effect was to limit or expand citizenship for other people across the United States.

George Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James Nabrit after the Supreme Court decision declaring segregation unconstitutional

Plessy v. Ferguson

Sweatt v. Painter

Year _____________ Decision ________________________

Year _____________ Decision ________________________





Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

Dred Scott v. Sanford

Year _____________ Decision ________________________

Year _____________ Decision ________________________





Berea College v. Kentucky

Williams v. Mississippi

Year _____________ Decision ________________________

Year _____________ Decision ________________________





Murray v. Maryland

Chambers v. Florida

Year _____________ Decision ________________________

Year _____________ Decision ________________________





Smith v. Allwright

Cumming v. Board of Education of Richmond County

Year _____________ Decision ________________________

Year _____________ Decision ________________________





Shelley v. Kraemer

Muir v. Louisville, Park Theatrical Association

Year _____________ Decision ________________________

Year _____________ Decision ________________________







9-12 Activity 6

The Three Most Important Events for African Americans

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During the past century, there have been a number of crucially important events for African Americans. Some of these have been court decisions that struck down old, unjust laws. New laws have broadened opportunities, helping African Americans gain more citizenship rights. There have also been dramatic black achievements that broke barriers and opened doors for others.

List below your picks for the three most important events for African Americans since 1900. Use the lines to explain why your choices are correct. Be ready to defend them in class. Integrated schools were an important issue for African Americans.

Most important event since 1900 Reason for this choice

Second most important event since 1900 Reason for this choice

Third most important event since 1900 Reason for this choice


Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

The Slave Ship

Who Profits from Slavery?

(Grades 5-8) Time: 30-60 minutes

(Grades 7-9)

Materials: Student activity sheets; historical prints of slave ships (many of these are available on the Internet).

Time: 30-60 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets; copies of 1830 map of United States included in this package; and art supplies and glue to allow students to create and place pictographs on the map.

Procedure: Find and display pictures of slave ships. Then open the lesson by asking students to explain what the slave trade was. Explain that, beginning in the 1400s, European trade with African nations, which formerly included gold, ivory, pepper, and other goods, now began to include a number of human beings. Over time, trade in people became far more important than trade in goods. Challenge students to explain why European nations wanted to enslave Africans. Elicit that there was a need for labor to clear wilderness areas and grow marketable crops in European countries’ new colonies in the Western Hemisphere. Enslaved Africans were sold in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America. About three to five percent of African captives came to British North America. Africans worked side by side with, and eventually replaced, white indentured servants and enslaved Indians. Neither whites nor Native Americans were available in large enough numbers to clear land and grow crops on large plantations. Indentured whites came to North America in relatively small numbers, and Indian populations were greatly reduced by war and disease. Also, thousands of Indians were sold as slaves to Caribbean plantations. Distribute worksheets and guide students to complete them. Reinforce content by asking students how the captives were stowed and why. Captives were packed tightly in the crowded hold of the ship to maximize profits for the ship’s owner, but at great cost of life. Ask students to explain why netting was necessary. Why did captives try to leap into the sea? Prisoners sometimes found ways to break their chains, take up weapons such as pieces of wood or iron, and attack their captors. During slave mutinies, seamen took refuge behind the barricado and fired swivel guns at the Africans. Officers retrieved small arms from

Courtesy Library of Congress

Objectives: Students will • Review the history of the slave trade • Read vocabulary words and definitions related to the slave ship • Use vocabulary words to label the parts of the ship • Discuss the spatial organization of the ship

Captive Africans on the slave ship Wildfire in 1860 the captain’s quarters and used these to shoot at the Africans as well. The barricado was a thick wall that usually extended past the ship’s railing to overhang the sea. The overhang prevented Africans from climbing around the side to attack the seamen from behind. Some students may know about the Amistad, the ship where captives staged a successful slave rebellion, and there may have been others not recorded in history. Imprint: Perhaps the most important fact about the slave ship is what students cannot see in the diagram. Despite suffering and loss, Africans succeeded in bringing with them a treasury of culture. Together, Africans (and later African Americans), Europeans, and Native Americans created a new culture that would become American culture. African culture would powerfully influence the development of American culture over the coming centuries. Music, dance, foodways, story telling, worship practices, artistic vision, agricultural methods, work skills, and other African customs and knowledge shaped American life. Additional Activities: Encourage students to read slave narratives, such as Olaudah Equiano’s, that provide details about how Africans were captured, forced onto slave ships, and brought to the Americas. Students may also be interested in seeing a video of the 1997 feature film Amistad, in which the legality of slavery is weighed against the American ideal of individual rights. National Standards: History, Era 2: Why the Americas attracted Europeans, why they brought enslaved Africans to their colonies, and how Europeans struggled for control of North America and the Caribbean.


Objectives: Students will • Review what a pictograph is • Construct a series of pictographs • Read about major products of the American colonies and states • Place pictographs on a period map to reflect local and regional economies • Discuss regional profits from slavery Procedure: Begin by asking students what a pictograph is. Elicit that it is a small, symbolic picture of something that can be placed on a map or used in a chart. Distribute worksheets, maps, and art supplies to students. Have them make pictographs of the products listed in the introduction to Activity 1. Next, ask students which regions of the United States profited from slavery. Some students may assert that the South profited, but others may argue that the North profited as well. To learn specifics, students will read the text on the worksheet. Based on the information in the text, students will begin placing and pasting down their pictographs. Because of the small size of New England states, students should feel free to treat them as a single region, rather trying to paste a number of pictographs into the tiny individual northeastern states. Initiate a discussion to reinforce content. Guide students to consider how and why the North’s economy benefited from slavery. Much cotton, for example, went to New England mills where it was made into cloth. During the antebellum period, cotton became the nation’s largest export by far. In fact, more than threefourths of the cotton consumed by British mills came from the American South. New York businessmen marketed and shipped the cotton overseas. New York banking interests also continued to support the slave trade. Slave ships built and outfitted in the U.S. continued sailing to Africa right up to the Civil War. But because it was illegal to import Africans into the U.S. after

1808, the ships often sold their human cargoes in South America or the Caribbean—often Rio de Janeiro or Havana. U.S. law prohibited this as piracy, with a penalty of death, but the law was virtually never enforced—until the government made an example of Captain Nathaniel Gordon, who was hanged in 1862. You can read the story in Soodalter’s Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader. Imprint: Guide students to see a central effect: African Americans, as the major labor force of the South, had a powerful shaping influence on the economy of the entire nation. Slavery generated enormous wealth, and the entire nation benefited from it. For this reason, there were strong supporters of slavery, and anti-abolitionists, across the North as well as the South. Additional Activity: Divide students into small groups to investigate how the South changed as it expanded westward. Have individual groups research: how the major slave-grown crops shifted over time; how the slave population changed; how slaves got to new frontier areas like Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas; and what sorts of work enslaved people did in cities, where there were no plantations. National Standards: History, Era 2: How the values and institutions of European economic life took root in the colonies, and how slavery reshaped European and African life in the Americas. Social Studies III, People, Places, & Environments: Create, interpret, use, and distinguish various representations of the earth, such as maps, globes, and photographs.

Lesson Plan 1

Slavery’s Influence on American Government (Grades 9-12) Time: 30-60 minutes, plus homework time or library time for research Materials: Student activity sheets; copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States for reference. Objectives: Students will • Complete research to answer multiplechoice questions • Discuss the historical facts they discover • Articulate statements about how the founding fathers envisioned a democracy that included slavery Procedure: Distribute worksheets. You may wish to give them out in advance, allowing students to research answers as homework.

Alternatively, divide questions into chunks, assigning them to teams of students. Send the teams to the school library to find the answers. Review correct answers with students. Ask students if any of the answers surprised them. Some students may have been unaware that so many leaders of, first, the colonies and, second, the United States were slave owners. Challenge students to analyze what this meant for the structure and laws of the new nation. As the discussion unfolds, you may want to encourage students to examine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to see how slavery is reflected in their wording. The Declaration of Independence says, for example, “all men are created equal,” but clearly this did not apply to enslaved people. The Constitution does not mention slavery, but it spells out the compromise between the North and South to allow three-fifths of slaves to be counted for both taxation and representation in Congress. The Bill of Rights says no person can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Yet again this did not protect enslaved people. Rather, it protects the slave owner, because slaves were seen in law as property rather than people. As students discuss the Constitution, you may want to remind them that the three-fifths clause applied to both the North and South, but was tremendously more important to the South. Slavery was dwindling in the North, while the South had a large and profitable slave population. Ask students to theorize how the founding fathers reconciled their vision of a democracy with slavery. Write students’ statements on the chalkboard, and work with students to reduce and revise so as to end with one sentence about how the creators of the new republic accommodated the deep contradiction of slavery. Imprint: Slavery contorted the founding fathers’ vision of democracy, and this contortion is evident in the early documents and policies of the new nation. But enslaved Africans rebelled against slavery from the beginning. From uprisings on slave ships to the early slave revolts in the colonies to the civil rights struggle of the twentieth century, African Americans would push America to realize the ideal of liberty in an authentic way. Additional Activity: Assign small groups of students to research and report on the ways in which African Americans forced the nation to confront the incompatibility of slavery with the ideals of liberty: the slave revolt on the


Amistad and subsequent court case; slave uprisings in the colonies; early petitions for the abolition of slavery; individual slaves’ attempts to escape slavery. National Standards: History, Era 2: How the values and institutions of European economic life took root in the colonies, and how slavery reshaped European and African life in the Americas.

Lesson Plan 2

Enslaved People Knew How to Grow Rice (Grades 5-8) Time: 30-60 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets; early prints of rice agriculture Objectives: Students will • Choose words from a list to complete sentences in a reading passage about preparing rice fields • Place sentences in order to show how enslaved people grew rice in America • Discuss how black labor made landowners rich and helped build the foundation of the nation Procedure: Distribute activity sheets and give students time to complete them. Provide pictures of rice cultivation, so the class will be able to interpret the worksheet visually. You may want, in particular, to print out two free Library of Congress images. Go to www.loc. gov, then to library catalogs, then to the Prints and Photographs division. Insert titles of prints into the search box: ● Rice Culture on the Ogeechee ● Rice Culture on Cape Fear River. Click on the images to enlarge them, and choose a high-resolution version for printing. Reinforce the worksheet by asking a volunteer to explain in his or her own words the process of growing rice. Point out pictures that illustrate or add information. Extend the discussion by asking students how salt and fresh water might have met and mixed as the tides rose and fell. Salt water was harmful to plants, but enslaved people from the ricegrowing areas of Africa knew how to handle the danger. Fresh water tends to float on top of salt water, so workers flooded the fields as the tide came in, by lowering gates just enough to allow fresh water in and keep salt water out. When the fields needed to be drained, the workers opened the gates at low tide, to allow water to run out via deep, wide ditches.

slavery. In a horrific irony, the fruits of enslaved people’s labor kept them enslaved. Additional Activities: Ask students to find pictures of African mortars and pestles as well as fanner baskets—the tools Africans made to separate the husks from the rice. Find a fanner basket or use another flat, shallow container to allow students to practice winnowing rice. National Standards: History, Era 2: How the values and institutions of European economic life took root in the colonies, and how slavery reshaped European and African life in the Americas.

Lesson Plan 2

Graphing Economic Trends (Grades 7-9) Time: 30-60 minutes

Courtesy Library of Congress

Materials: Student activity sheets; art supplies for making graphs; maps of West Africa and coastal South Carolina and Georgia

Ex-slave Johanna Lesley hulls rice with an African-style mortar and pestle. Some rice planters, like Henry Laurens of South Carolina, owned several large plantations and literally thousands of enslaved people. Laurens amassed enormous wealth by exporting the rice that came to be called Carolina Gold. At the same time, his workers labored long hours in intolerable conditions. The mortality rate was high, yet enough workers survived to maintain profits. Slavery gave Laurens enough wealth and leisure time to become involved in politics. He served as one of the presidents of the Continental Congresses. Imprint: Rice exports were one of the pillars of the young American economy. Enslaved Africans not only carved plantations out of the wilderness, but also helped build the wealth of a new nation. Because of African workers, George Washington, Henry Laurens, Thomas Jefferson, and others had the education, wealth, and leisure to work out the details of founding a new nation. They also ensured that its Constitution and laws would protect

Objectives: Students will • Interpret two sets of data about rice exports and prices • Visually represent the data in a bar graph and a line graph • Explain the meaning of the graphs in terms of economic wealth Procedure: Begin by asking if any students know how rice is grown. Broaden student understanding by explaining rice culture in the colonies. Show students the Senegambia, the area of West Africa lying between the Senegal and Gambia Rivers. Africans from this area, as well as coastal areas, had long and deep experience in growing rice. Because of the value of this skill, American landowners from coastal South Carolina and Georgia asked slave ship captains to bring African rice farmers to the Charleston harbor. About 40% of enslaved Africans brought to rice growing areas of the U.S. in the 1700s came from rice areas of Africa. Challenge students to theorize about the similarity of the areas in Africa where workers came from and the areas in North America where they grew rice. The low, swampy land where fresh and salt water met and the tides caused streams to rise and fall was a prime rice growing area. But American planters needed vast numbers of workers to complete a major engineering


feat—converting raw land into rice fields complete with canals and embankments so that the planted areas could be alternately flooded and drained. The work would impose horrific conditions, and whites would not do such dangerous work. Enslaved workers converted 150,000 acres of swampland into valuable agricultural land. In this massive effort, many workers died, but the landowners got rich. Moreover, on these large plantations, black culture broadly influenced whites. White families were isolated, surrounded by hundreds of enslaved people. Black nurses raised white children, and white and black children played together. Only when whites were old enough to leave for boarding school did this childhood influence lessen. Black music and singing provided entertainment for the white family and its guests. A black cook provided the food they ate. Often, whites learned black dances and participated in African-style dance competitions. Black culture was pervasive and influential. Take a look at the charts on the worksheet. Challenge students to see how the exports rose over time, along with the per-pound sales price of the product. Then have students represent this information visually by creating a bar graph of rice exports and a line graph of rising prices. Imprint: Help students gain insight into the outcome, not only for planters, but also for the regional and national economy. Enslaved people built the agricultural foundation of the region and made their owners wealthy. Rice planters like Henry Laurens and Elias Ball had several plantations and thousands of slaves. They lived lives of leisure, purchased education for themselves and their family, and became involved in politics. This allowed them to shape the laws of their region and nation, assuring that slavery would be protected. Additional Activity: Students may be interested in reading selections from Edward Ball’s Slaves in the Family. Ball descended from wealthy rice planters in South Carolina, and in the book he researches his ancestors’ lives. He also locates African American relatives descended from the Ball family. The book is illustrated with photos of Ball’s ancestors, both white and black. National Standards: History, Era 2: Assess the contribution of enslaved and free Africans to economic development in different regions of the American colonies. Mathematics 10: Construct, read, and interpret tables, charts, and graphs.

for example, a worship tradition including a circle dance and singing, called the Ring Shout. They retained their own speech, called Gullah. They also influenced foodways and architecture.

Lesson Plan 2

South Carolina’s Black Population (Grades 9-12)

Additional Activity: Divide students into groups to learn more about the African skills and customs that enslaved people brought to America. Your students may be interested in the Ring Shout, methods of rice growing, foodways, Gullah speech, yard and grave decoration, and storytelling.

Time: 30-60 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets; art supplies to construct bar graph

Procedure: After students read the text at the top of the activity sheet, challenge them to create a double bar graph to visually represent the growth of black and white population in South Carolina from 1790 through 1860. In comparing the two sets of bars, what can students conclude? Guide volunteers to state that both black and white population grew significantly, but black population grew more rapidly than white. Ask students to theorize about the potential outcomes of a population in which enslaved people outnumbered free people. Students may say that the free people would fear slave rebellions, and would make harsh laws to control the enslaved people. This is what happened in South Carolina. In some cases, slave owners’ fears were realized. The violent Stono revolt (1739) and the aborted Vesey revolt (1822) both occurred in South Carolina. At least 64 people died in the Stono rebellion. Plans for the Vesey revolt were discovered, and 35 people were hanged for conspiracy. Over time, slaves were so oppressed that some plotted rebellion, and this led to even harsher measures to control slaves. Slave owners felt that free blacks were a dangerous influence on enslaved people, so the state passed a law that a slave could only be freed by an owner’s successful petition of both houses of the South Carolina state legislature. The black majority also meant strong influence from black culture. Remind students that whites on large plantations were isolated amidst large numbers of enslaved people. Black nurses cared for white children, and black and white children played together. Black singing and music entertained the white family and their guests. Often, whites watched black dances and even joined in the dancing as black fiddlers played. Black cooks prepared the dishes whites ate. Black culture permeated the lives of whites in South Carolina.

Courtesy Library of Congress

Objectives: Students will • Construct a double bar graph of black and white population growth in South Carolina • Theorize about the effects of a black majority • Identify statements about South Carolina’s black majority as true or false

This print shows the separation of a family in a sale of enslaved people. In addition to lowcountry rice planters, South Carolina had a later elite class—upcountry cotton planters. Cotton wore out the soil quickly, however, and beginning in the 1830s thousands of planters were leaving the state for new land in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. Some took their slaves with them. Many slaves, especially women and children, were sold to traders who marched them to the new territories in long coffles. Have students finish the worksheet by completing the true and false exercise. All the statements are true except #2 and #7. Ask students to explain why these statements cannot be true (South Carolina prohibited education for enslaved people, and therefore did not have a large population of highly educated African Americans. The state was also primarily agricultural and so did not have large numbers of manufacturing workers.) Imprint: Through building rice plantations, African Americans established the economic foundation of the region. There was also a substantial cultural imprint. Rice culture was different from other agricultural work in that rice planters used the task system. Every worker had an assignment and was left alone to complete it. Although the work was long and demanding, and the widespread absenteeism of owners was generally negative, the isolation had one good outcome—black people in South Carolina were able to keep more of their African heritage alive than enslaved people in other regions. People maintained, 23

National Standards: History, Era 2: Trace the arrival of Africans in the European colonies in the 17th century and the rapid increase of slave importation in the 18th century. Assess the contribution of enslaved and free Africans to economic development in different regions of the American colonies. Mathematics 10: Construct and draw inferences from charts, tables, and graphs that summarize data from real-world situations.

Lesson Plan 3

American Democracy in the Making (Grades 5-8) Time: Homework or library time to complete activity sheet; 30-60 minutes in class Materials: Student activity sheets; a copy of the U.S. Constitution with its amendments Objectives: Students will • Research voting rights in the United States • Complete a chart about voting • Compare and contrast voting rights in 1789 with today’s voting rights Procedure: As homework or library work, have students research voting rights in 1789 and in the present. Have students refer to the Amendments to the Constitution to determine which ones expanded voting rights for particular groups. In class, ask students how important voting rights are in a democracy. Elicit that voting is crucial to fair treatment for all, because only through voting can groups and individuals sway the law and policy making of the nation. Allow students to volunteer their research findings, as recorded on Activity 3. In 1789, few people actually voted. Two states had not yet ratified the Constitution and so did not submit votes. New York had not decided who would serve as electors, and so did not submit votes, either. In several other states, the legislature and/or governor voted on behalf of their populations, so no individuals voted.

People voted in only four states, but most voters were white men who owned land. Some free black men voted, but many of these lost the right to vote in later years. Take a moment to remind students that free black people were here from early times. Free black people came to North America with the Spanish explorers, and some of the first enslaved people to arrive (in the 1600s and early 1700s) gained their freedom over time. Most women could not vote (a few who owned property voted for a time in New Jersey), because national women’s suffrage did not come until 1920 with the 19th amendment to the Constitution. Young people under 21 did not get the right to vote until 1971 with the 26th amendment. White men without land generally got the right to vote as states granted universal white male suffrage in the first quarter of the 19th century. African Americans got the right to vote with the 15th amendment to the Constitution. Many black men were able to vote until the turn of the century. By the 1910s, however, southern blacks were losing the vote because of literacy tests, poll taxes, and fear of retaliation from whites. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured that black people across the South would have the right to vote. Many Native Americans did not receive citizenship—with the right to vote—until 1924, and others were not able to vote in their states until the 1950s or even 1960s. Mexican Americans were granted citizenship in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican War. However, only people who owned property and could read and speak English could vote. White supremacy groups instilled fear to keep people from voting. Not until 1975 were all Mexican Americans able to vote. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese Americans could not vote until the 1940s. Many Japanese Americans could not vote until the 1950s. Today, there are still citizens who are barred from voting. Wherever polling places do not have proper ramps, disabled parking, or Braille ballots, people with disabilities cannot vote. In all but two states, people who have had felony convictions are permanently or temporarily prohibited from voting. Guide students to see that democracy in 1789 was very limited, for extraordinarily few people had voting rights. Some limitations still exist today, but matters are much improved.

Imprint: Throughout African American history, black people have pushed hard for citizenship rights, especially voting rights. People who used protest methods to call attention to their lack of rights were sometimes the victims of violence, like Fannie Lou Hamer. When African Americans won a victory with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, they brought fuller citizenship to all ethnic groups across the country. Additional Activity: Ask students to find out what resulted from enhanced voting rights in 1965. Did Congress change? Did state legislatures change? How did the nation’s laws change? Have students share their findings in class. National Standards: History, Era 4: The extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800. Social Studies X, Civic Ideals and Practices: Evaluate the degree to which public policies and citizen behaviors reflect or foster the stated ideals of a democratic republican form of government.

Lesson Plan 3

Black Men Help Fight the American Revolution (Grades 7-9) Time: Research time at home or in library; two class periods Materials: Student activity sheets; examples of various types of news stories Objectives: Each student will • Review notes about African American military service in the American Revolution • Identify examples of various types of news stories • Write an article in a news genre Procedure: After reviewing the worksheet in class, explain to students that their interests are likely to lead them toward four kinds of stories: the exposé, which uses careful investigation and compiled evidence to expose corruption; the feature story, which uses human interest content, story telling, and point of view, to add depth to a news story; the profile, which tells a story and gives background information about an individual; the breaking story, which provides news as it happens. List these story types on the chalkboard, distribute examples, and help students compare and contrast the stories’ characteristics. If students have not already learned how to write a basic news story, they can find guidance at index.htm. Emphasize that getting the facts is the first priority for any news writer. A good 24

writer must then report the facts without bias. Discuss bias with students. How can a reader spot bias, and how can a reporter avoid it? Class members should begin researching their topics in the library or on the Internet right away. They will need to evaluate their sources and take good notes. As they write, they should remember that news stories are written very concisely, with active verbs, interesting quotes, and short paragraphs. They should avoid long-winded sentences with abstract words. The first paragraph is very important— it must capture the reader’s interest and begin providing information. Find out what students learned from the reporter’s notes on the worksheet. Guide the class to see the complexity of black military service in the American Revolution. Across the American South, about 100,000 enslaved people ran away from their masters in the chaos created by the war. Some sought freedom without enlisting in either army. Some were found and taken back to their owners. Others served on the British or American side in hopes of earning their freedom. Free blacks served as well, perhaps in hopes that the new republic, if it survived, would offer freedom and equal treatment to all its people, including enslaved Africans. Some black soldiers died in combat or of one of the diseases that ravaged army camps. At the end of the war, about 3,000 black Loyalists were taken to Nova Scotia with their families by the departing British army. The soldiers had been promised their freedom and a piece of good land. The land, however, was thin and rocky, and many families never received it. Starvation set in, and eventually a number of people moved to Sierra Leone in hopes of a better life. Many black soldiers on the American side suffered greatly as well. They sickened, starved, and froze in camps like Valley Forge. They died in combat. Few enslaved men received the freedom they had been promised. Both the British and the Patriot sides defrauded black soldiers. Some black soldiers had exciting as well as dangerous experiences. James Armistead spied on the British, who thought they had enlisted him to spy on the Americans. Colonel Tye, who fought for the British, commanded a group of men, led guerilla raids, took prisoners, and freed slaves. He died from tetanus after he was wounded in the wrist. After your students have begun their research and chosen a news genre in which to write, allow them to share preliminary findings in class, get input from classmates, and proceed to final copy.

Imprint: African Americans helped fight for American independence, and helped make possible a new nation with ideals of democracy. When black soldiers fought for the British and liberated slaves through combat, they exposed the dark side of the Patriots’ vision of freedom.

National Standards: History, Era 3: Demonstrate the fundamental contradictions between the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the realities of chattel slavery. Compare and explain the different roles and perspectives in the war [American Revolution] of men and women, including white settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans. Language Arts 7: Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

Lesson Plan 3

Is Lord Dunmore a War Criminal? (Grades 9-12) Time: 2-4 class periods Materials: Student activity sheets; copies of Lord’s Dunmore’s Proclamation; furniture for a courtroom—a judge’s desk, witness and jury chairs, and prosecution and defense tables. Objectives: Students will • Read Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation • Identify a crime he may have committed • Conduct a trial to determine guilt Procedure: Both the Continental Army and the British Army took advantage of black soldiers, breaking promises and defrauding many men. This activity will take a look at the specifics of Lord Dunmore’s promises and the outcomes for black men and their families. Begin the lesson by asking students what Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation actually says. List the most important statements on the chalkboard. Which statement affects African Americans and their owners? What did the statement mean for each group, and why were people so passionate in their reactions?

Courtesy Library of Congress

Additional Activity: Appoint an editorial staff, and allow students to put their articles together in a newspaper issue. Encourage the class to name the newspaper and create or find pictures, maps, and other visuals to illustrate it.

Selling a freedman to pay a fine, Monticello, Florida Divide students into teams to research the immediate results of the document, as well as the long-term outcomes for black men who flocked to Lord Dunmore’s regiment, often bringing their families. Take part of another class period to summarize findings. Discuss black families’ experiences in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. What happened to soldiers and families who were not taken on board ships departing for Nova Scotia? Where did they go? After the students have discussed the facts of the story, move onto the trial experience. Appoint students to positions on the defense team, prosecution team, or jury. Name one student to portray Lord Dunmore, and another to serve as judge. Reserve other class members until the prosecution and defense teams determine whom they wish to call as witnesses. The remaining students will portray those historical characters, and if need be, may each portray more than one. Remind students how critically important it is for them to know the history. They must investigate in detail not only Dunmore’s role in the war, but also many of the events and people he affected. Warn students that, no matter what role they play, they may not ask or answer questions without strict adherence to historical truth. They may be called upon to show their sources at any time.


Reorganize the furniture in the room to simulate a courtroom. Allow students to conduct the trial over several class periods. Demand historical truth throughout the questioning and testimony. When the jury brings in the verdict, ask them to explain what led them to their decision. Give students latitude for creativity, but make this a graded exercise with a written commentary on each student’s contribution to the class experience. Imprint: In responding to Lord Dunmore, enslaved Africans sent a message about the meaning of freedom. Patriots said they were fighting for freedom, but their concept of freedom included slavery for black men and women. Dunmore and British military commanders, on the other hand, used what was essentially a bait and switch tactic to gain enslaved Africans as soldiers for the Loyalist side. Amid the chaos and injustice, some black families gained freedom, but all called attention through their action to the contradictions of democracy with slavery. Additional Activity: If there are enough class members, appoint one or two to be reporters, writing news stories about the trial. If you have a student who can draw well, ask him/her to be a sketch artist for the duration of the trial.

Lesson Plan 4

Visiting an Exhibit: America I AM: The African American Imprint (All Grade Levels) Time: 3-6 hours of the school day Materials: Student activity sheets; note taking materials Objectives: Each student will • Select a historical figure as a subject • Conduct historical research to learn more about the subject • Find further information, especially contextual information, in the exhibit space • Present information in a well structured essay Procedure: Have each student select a subject from the list on the activity sheet. You may wish to allow students library time for research. They should continue the fact-finding during homework time away from school. Set age-appropriate paper length and content for your students. Younger students may benefit from submitting a short essay, while many older students will be capable of producing a multi-media documentary with music, footage, and original creative material like poems or drawings. Review students’ note cards midway through the project and give each writer suggestions for improvement. In class, show students how to create footnotes. Provide examples, and then send students to the chalkboard to create their own footnotes for one or two sources. This research assignment will benefit students even if your class cannot visit the exhibit. If you do take students to see the exhibit, make sure they have completed substantial research in advance. Encourage them to carry note-taking supplies and focus on contextual information. Back in class, ask students to share what they learned.

When students submit final projects, allow a few to read their papers or show their multi-media pieces to the class. Imprint: Ask students to respond to imprint in their projects. How did the subject make a lasting impact? Additional Activity: Give students a few minutes of class time to talk about their projects. What did they do that they were especially proud of? What would they change, if they could do their projects over again? National Standards: Social Studies VI: Power, Authority, & Governance: how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance, so the learner can examine the rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to the general welfare. Language Arts 8: Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

Lesson Plan 5

African Americans Begin to Leave the Rural South (Grades 5-8) Time: 30-60 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets Objectives: Students will • Examine historical photos of rural and city life • Compare and contrast settings in the photos • Make observations about why black families moved from farms to urban areas

Some landlords abused the system by paying the farmer in scrip, substitute money that could be spent only at the landlord’s store, where prices were high. Scrip kept farming families poor and kept them from moving off the land. After a series of bad farming years, with drought, flood, the boll weevil, and falling prices of cotton, African American sharecropping families moved away from the rural South in large numbers. Many had worked hard and lived near starvation for years. Often, however, landowners and local government tried to keep black workers from leaving. Ticket agents at train stations tried to talk travelers out of their decisions. Sheriffs pulled black families off northbound trains and arrested labor agents who were recruiting blacks for jobs in the North. Towns banned black newspapers that urged sharecroppers to move to the cities. Families had to plan their departures carefully. Photos on the activity sheet tell a visual story about why the families left and what awaited them in the cities. Ask students what they observe about living conditions for the families and individuals shown. Elicit that, in the first picture, the children’s home has no electricity (see kerosene lamp, iron without a cord). The fireplace seems to be both the furnace and the place of cooking. The oilcloth tacked to the wall contains an alphabet and suggests the parents are teaching the children to read— perhaps because there is no school available. The walls were once covered with paper, probably newspaper, to keep out the wind, but this is now mostly worn away. In another picture, a family is seen in a city apartment. There is a modern range, running

Procedure: Distribute activity sheets and ask students to examine the photos carefully. Point out that three of the pictures depict the life of the sharecropper. Encourage volunteers to describe what sharecropping is. Elicit that sharecroppers lived on a landlord’s land and raised crops. At harvest time, the sharecropper paid rent out of the money earned from the crops. In many southern areas, the crop was cotton. Sharecropping was a harsh system in which the landlord was able to depend upon a fixed amount of rent every year, while the sharecropper did the work and took all the risk. Sometimes, when the weather was bad, or insects like the boll weevil attacked the plants, the farmer and his family had no wages at the end of the year, or actually owed money to the landlord. 26

Tintype of African American Civil War soldier. African Americans have fought in every American war.

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National Standards: History, Era 3: Compare and explain the different roles and perspectives in the war of men and women, including white settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans. Compare the reasons why many white men and women and most African American and Native Americans remained loyal to the British. Theatre 2: Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining characters in improvisations and informal or formal productions.

water, smooth wall covering, a radiator for heat, and an expensive doll carriage for the little girl. However, the space is very crowded. There is a bed in the kitchen, possessions are stored in boxes and bins under the range, and at least three people (see elbow at far left) are using this tiny room as living space.

The school photos show the contrasts between rural and city schools for black children. In rural areas, black students often attended run down schools with older, dilapidated books and inadequate supplies. In cities, children had a better chance at a good school, in a substantial building, with adequate supplies and books. The children here are well dressed, too, suggesting that their families have good incomes. Sharecropper families moved from the rural South to cities—especially cities in the North and West—to find better jobs with better pay, better homes, and better schools for their children. They also wanted the chance to vote, and safety from racial violence. Imprint: As they moved to cities, especially cities in the North and West, black families took black culture with them, changing the cities significantly. African Americans created newspapers, formed sports teams, brought a rich tradition of music such as blues and jazz, founded new churches, and slowly found a political voice. By 1960, most American cities had large black populations. African Americans, once mainly a rural people, had become largely urban. Additional Activity: Allow students computer time to find more images of African Americans in the rural South and the urban North. Guide class members to begin with the vast archives of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs website, but also to use the search engine to find other sources. Have students share findings in class and make observations about picture content. National Standards: History, Era 6: Trace the migration of people from farm to city and their adjustment to urban life. Account for employment in different regions of the country as affected by gender, race, ethnicity, and skill. Analyze the role of new laws and the

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The photo of cotton picking shows children as well as adults in the field. Many children, in fact, had to stay home from school at various times in the year, to help with farm tasks. What is not shown is even more important —farm families earned very little and had no medical insurance or other benefits. In the companion picture, a worker is putting together airplane parts. He is earning a definite wage he can count on, and this security is what sharecropping could not give farm families.

Morris Brown College baseball team, ca. 1899. federal judiciary in instituting racial inequality and in disfranchising various racial groups. Economics 14: Entrepreneurs and other sellers incur losses when buyers do not purchase the products they sell at prices high enough to cover the costs of production.

Lesson Plan 5

African Americans Move Into Cities (Grades 7-9) Time: 30-50 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets Objectives: Students will • Consider potentially correct ways of connecting sentence parts • Test answers through research and discussion • Finalize answers Procedure: Distribute activity sheets and allow students to guess correct ways of connecting sentence parts. Break students into small groups and challenge them to test their guesses by consulting books and websites, in either the classroom or the school library.


Broaden student understanding through discussion. When African Americans began moving off the land in the South, they were responding to a series of devastating events— flood, drought, the boll weevil’s destruction of crops, and falling cotton prices. Many families moved to cities in the South, where they felt less cultural shock and still gained many advantages. Rising manufacturing offered jobs, and during World War I, there were additional job opportunities. African Americans, once excluded from good jobs, were now more welcome. Similar opportunities beckoned in northern cities, especially Chicago and New York. Black families were segregated into neighborhoods like Bronzeville and Harlem, but made them into centers of artistic production as well as havens of shared culture. Black neighborhoods also grew in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. As they moved into these cities, African Americans reshaped them. They played black music like blues and jazz in new clubs, founded new churches including Muslim and Pentecostal denominations, published black newspapers like the Chicago Defender and the Pittsburgh Courier, and expanded black pride through sports teams and great athletes. The Negro Leagues, for example, played games for

Group image of participants at the 1929 NAACP convention. large audiences throughout the time period (1890s-1950s) when Major League Baseball excluded black players. Harlem and other black neighborhoods became artistic centers, where nightclubs featured superb black musicians, and black dances like the Shimmy, Black Bottom, Charleston, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, and Tap. Writers like Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lorraine Hansberry wrote new poetry, novels, and drama. Concert singers and dancers, actors, and visual artists produced new art. Among these were Marian Anderson, Katherine Dunham, Paul Robeson, Aaron Douglass, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and a host of others. Share period dance and music with your students through film. Two good examples are The Spirit Moves: A History of Black Social Dance on Film, 1900-1986 (2008) and the documentary The Story of Jazz (Masters of American Music) (2002). African Americans also began to find a strong political voice through gaining the right to vote and speaking through editorials in black newspapers. Black people were often excluded from defense jobs, until leader A. Philip Randolph threatened to lead a massive protest against job discrimination in Washington DC. Fearing for the U.S. image in other nations, the federal government agreed to end discriminatory hiring.

During World War II, the Pittsburgh Courier began the Double V Campaign for victory overseas against America’s enemies and victory at home against segregation and discrimination. Other black papers joined the campaign. Women wore the Double V symbol in their clothing and hairstyles. Celebrities sympathized, and their statements were featured in print. Cities had brought people together in enough numbers to gain the tools to strengthen their voice. After students have discussed enough of this history to verify answers, have the class finalize the worksheets and turn them in. Imprint: Moving to cities in the South, North, and West, African Americans changed the culture of those cities through dramatic new contributions. Black men and women also consolidated a political voice and began to make economic changes. Additional Activity: Encourage students to find pictures of black art and artists during the period. Have a small group report on the Negro Renaissance. National Standards: History, Era 6: Trace the migration of people from farm to city and their adjustment to urban life. Trace patterns of immigrant settlement in different regions of the country and how new immigrants helped produce a composite American culture that transcended group boundaries. 28

Lesson Plan 5

Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (Grades 9-12) Time: 30-60 minutes; homework time for students to read A Raisin in the Sun. Materials: Student activity sheets; copies of the play Objectives: Students will • Read Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun • Answer study questions on Activity 5 • Discuss answers in class Procedure: After students read the play, ask them about the context of the story. African Americans faced rigid housing discrimination in most cities until the 1960s. Black families could not move to other urban neighborhoods or the suburbs because of neighborhood covenants and the threat of violence. Guide students to look up the meaning of covenants—restrictions on whom owners may sell property to.

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Students may also be interested in finding out how Lorraine Hansberry’s family experienced housing discrimination. Hansberry grew up in Woodlawn on the south side of Chicago until the family moved into a white neighborhood and her father, a real estate broker, filed a lawsuit against a racial covenant that restricted him from purchasing a home there. He won his case, Hansberry v. Lee, in the Supreme Court, but his family faced a racist mob and experienced what Lorraine Hansberry called a “hellishly hostile white neighborhood.” In their discussion of this situation, students should distinguish between the challenges of court battles and the reality of mob violence. Legal victories did not always translate to good living conditions. Hansberry was a successful writer who was able to make her voice heard. A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959, running for 530 performances, and Hansberry became the first black playwright to win the New York Drama Critics award.

Shift the discussion to literary themes. What is Hansberry’s central theme? How do her characters help her state the theme? Do any of the characters’ names catch students’ attention? Why, for example, might Hansberry have chosen the names Younger and Beneatha? What values are central to the play? How does Mama keep the focus on the most important value, and how does Walter grow? Imprint: African American writers and artists used their art to illuminate black experiences with discrimination and racial violence. Their work helped broaden American art in many genres, and also called attention to social and economic injustice. Additional Activity: Students may enjoy watching the 1961 film version of the play, with Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee, Claudia McNeil as Lena, Ruby Dee as Ruth, and Diana Sands as Beneatha. National Standards: Language Arts 2: Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.


Lesson Plan 6

African Americans Lose Civil Rights (Grades 5-8) Time: Two class periods, or one class period plus homework time Materials: Student activity sheets; art supplies Objectives: Students will • Discuss citizenship gains at the end of Reconstruction • List major injustices experienced by black people during the Jim Crow era • Create a 1930s civil rights poster to stir members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to take action Procedure: Ask students to review black gains during Reconstruction and black losses after President Hayes withdrew federal troops from the South in 1877. Hayes, a Republican, lost the popular vote when he ran for the presidency in 1876, but gained a one-vote edge in the Electoral College. The race was too close for comfort, and the parties squared off to fight for control of the office. Hayes, however, won the support of southern Democrats in a backroom deal in which he promised to end Reconstruction and withdraw

federal troops in exchange for their votes. The deal was sealed, and so was the fate of black people across the South. White supremacy groups resurged, and large numbers of black people—who had voted, run for office, and exercised democratic rights for a decade—were beaten and lynched in large numbers. New and unconstitutional laws imposed poll taxes and literacy tests as gateways to voting, as well as a system of segregation. Courts supported these laws, and law enforcement looked the other way as mob violence forced black people into subservience. The system of segregation and discrimination took the name Jim Crow, after a stereotypical black character of the minstrel stage. Send a student to the chalkboard to list what class members say they want Congress to do. They might consider voting rights legislation, an anti-lynching law, more federal troops sent to the South to oversee voting and stop racial violence, and other measures. Students might also request anti-segregation laws, an end to the discriminatory hiring that kept African Americans in menial jobs at extremely low pay, and more accessible education. Once the list is complete, ask students each to choose one or two outcomes to focus on and create a slogan to gain attention for their requests. They should then plan drawings or find existing images they can use. When this preparation is completed, give students class or homework time to execute their designs in finished posters. Imprint: During this nadir in race relations, African Americans endured ugly and sometimes fatal experiences. Yet they responded in positive ways. Leaders founded new organizations to fight against discrimination, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League, and the National Council of Negro Women. These organizations made a strong impact, gradually chipping away at the foundations of Jim Crow. Educator and spokesperson Booker T. Washington, often at odds with writer and leader W.E.B. Du Bois, tried to work within the system, supporting education and negotiation. Black families began to leave the rural South. Black arts protested the suffering of African Americans. All these efforts made a longterm impact on the culture and policies of the nation. Additional Activity: Allow students class time to talk about the artistic and content decisions they made with their posters. How might these influence the lawmakers?

National Standards: History, Era 6: Analyze the arguments and methods by which various minority groups sought to acquire equal rights and opportunities guaranteed in the nation’s charter documents. Social Studies X, Civil Ideals and Practices: Explain actions citizens can take to influence public policy decisions. Visual Arts: Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

Lesson Plan 6

Court Cases Challenge Laws (Grades 7-9) Time: 30-60 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets Objectives: Students will • List dates of court decisions • Summarize outcomes of court decisions • Create a timeline of court decisions Procedure: Guide students to discuss court cases. Through early court cases, many black citizenship rights were taken away, and through later court decisions unjust laws were struck down. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chose to fight unconstitutional laws over several decades. NAACP leaders made a decision to attack segregation systematically, first at the higher education level and then in public schools. To read more about this, see John Fleming’s The Lengthening Shadow of Slavery. The legal assault, along with direct protest during the modern Civil Rights Movement, finally spelled the beginning of the end for segregation and racial discrimination in the United States. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) was brought by Homer Plessy, a racially mixed Creole living in New Orleans. He wanted to challenge the racial segregation on trains, and was arrested for sitting in a white car. The Supreme Court decided the case against Plessy and allowed states to segregate public accommodations by claiming that they were “separate but equal.” Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) was a consolidation of several cases brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to fight school segregation. The cases led to the Supreme Court’s declaration that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional because in reality separate was hardly ever equal. The court required that schools be desegregated.


Berea College v. Kentucky (1908) led to a ruling against Berea College, a racially integrated school. Kentucky was able to enforce its law prohibiting schools from teaching both black and white students. Murray v. Maryland (1935) was a case argued by Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall, who were NAACP litigators. University of Maryland School of Law had refused to admit Donald Gaines Murray because he was African American. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled against the law school, requiring it to admit Murray. Smith v. Allwright (1944) was a case brought by Lonnie E. Smith, a Texan. He had been prevented from voting in a Democratic primary in Texas. The Democratic Party of Texas required that all voters in its primaries be white, and Texas law allowed the party rule to stand. The Supreme Court ruled in Smith’s favor, saying his rights had been violated, and the all-white primaries were ended. Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) concerned housing discrimination. A black family named Shelley purchased a house in St. Louis, but the house had a restrictive covenant that prohibited its sale to African Americans. A lower court ruled against the family, but the Supreme Court said the covenant violated the Shelley family’s rights. Thurgood Marshall and Loren Miller argued the case. Sweatt v. Painter (1950) was brought by Herman Marion Sweatt and the NAACP when he was refused admission to University of Texas School of Law because of his race. When he filed the lawsuit, the university set up a separate law school for him, with a small number of teachers and a small library. The Texas state constitution prohibited integrated education. Sweatt pursued the case, and the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, saying the new law school could not be equal to the main law school and Sweatt’s chances at a good career in law were jeopardized. Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) was brought by an enslaved man in St. Louis. Scott had been taken by his owner to both a free state and a free territory for extended periods, and Scott sued for his freedom. The Supreme Court ruled against Scott, saying that he was not a U.S. citizen and could not sue in court. The court added that black men and women were not and could never be citizens, whether or not they were enslaved. This ruling later

necessitated the 14th amendment to the Constitution. The court also electrified the nation by saying that slaveholders could take their slave property with them to any U.S. territory without losing ownership. Williams v. Mississippi (1898) challenged the state’s right to set up literacy tests and poll taxes that kept black people from voting. The Supreme Court upheld the state’s right to impose these barriers to voting. Chambers v. Florida (1940) was argued by Thurgood Marshall on behalf of four men convicted of murder. The Supreme Court ruled that the men’s confessions had been coerced and their rights violated. Evidence showed that the men had been forced to confess. Cumming v. Board of Education of Richmond County (1899) was a class action lawsuit brought by black taxpayers in Georgia, who were paying school taxes but whose children were prohibited from using the all-white high schools of their county. The Supreme Court said the Board of Education did not have the funds to educate everyone and had the right to give preference to white children. Muir v. Louisville, Park Theatrical Association (1954) was filed when James Muir, a black citizen in Louisville, tried to purchase a ticket for a theatrical production in a city-owned park and was refused. The Supreme Court ruled in Muir’s favor, saying that his rights were violated. This ruling effectively ended segregation in public accommodations.

When students have completed their worksheets, have each class member arrange the court cases along a timeline. Ask students what the timelines show, and elicit that a cluster of early court cases ruled against citizenship rights for African Americans, but later cases reaffirmed those citizenship rights. Over a century, the struggle for legal acknowledgement of black citizenship had come full circle.

Lesson Plan 6

The Three Most Important Events for African Americans (Grades 9-12) Time: 30-60 minutes Materials: Student activity sheets

Imprint: Despite the failure of Reconstruction and the power of Jim Crow, African American-initiated court cases slowly gained legal acknowledgement of black citizenship. With funding from the NAACP, lawyers like Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall were winning cases against unjust laws.

Objectives: Students will • Nominate events for a list of the three most important events for African Americans since 1900 • Discuss the importance of each nominated event • Vote to select three finalist events

Additional Activity: Have students make small flags with the names of the court cases and then place the flags on a map of the United States. What can students conclude about the geographic distribution of the cases? Why did NAACP and other attorneys focus mostly on cases in the South? (Segregation was law in the South, but customary in the North.)

Procedure: Give students time to complete the worksheet. After students have written their answers, begin consolidating the events students chose in a list on the chalkboard. Allow volunteers to present arguments in support of particular events. Can students identify critically important outcomes flowing from key events? Conclude the discussion by allowing students to vote. Use the votes to determine the three most important events. List them on the chalkboard along with the most important reasons for each choice.

National Standards: History, Era 6: Analyze the role of new laws and the federal judiciary in instituting racial inequality and in disfranchising various racial groups. Analyze the arguments and methods by which various minority groups sought to acquire equal rights and opportunities guaranteed in the nation’s charter documents. Explain the origins of the postwar Civil Rights Movement and the role of the NAACP in the legal assault on segregation.

Imprint and Additional Activity: Ask students to identify the imprint of each of the events— the way each event changed the nation. After the imprints of the three leading events have been debated, summarize each imprint in a sentence on the chalkboard.

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National Standards: History, Era 9: Explain the origins of the postwar Civil Rights Movement and the role of the NAACP in the legal assault on segregation. Evaluate the agendas, strategies, and effectiveness of various African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans, as well as the disabled, in the quest for civil rights and equal opportunities.

Participants in the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, DC.


For Further Reading Grades 5-8 Aretha, David. Selma and the Voting Rights Act. Morgan Reynolds, 2007. Bausum, Ann. Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. National Geographic, 2005.

McDonough, Yona Zeldis, John O’Brien, and Nancy Harrison. Who Was Louis Armstrong? Penguin, 2004.

Kasher, Steven, and Myrlie Evers-Williams. The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, 1954-1968. Abbeville, 2000.

Mendell, David, and Sarah L. Thomson. Obama: A Promise of Change. HarperCollins, 2008.

Kirchberger, Joe H. The Civil War and Reconstruction: an Eyewitness History. Facts on File, 1991.

Micklos, John. African Americans and American Indians Fighting in the Revolutionary War. Enslow, 2008.

Lester, Julius, and Tom Feelings. To Be a Slave. Penguin, 2005.

Bridges, Margo Lundell. Through My Eyes. Scholastic, 1999.

Myers, Walter Dean, and Jacob Lawrence. The Great Migration: An American Story. HarperCollins, 1995.

Levine, Ellen. Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories. Penguin, 2000.

Byers, Ann, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. African American History from Emancipation to Today: Rising Above the Ashes of Slavery. Enslow, 2004.

Somervill, Barbara A. Amistad Mutiny: Fighting for Freedom. Child’s World, 2005.

McKissack, Patricia C., and Fredrick L. McKissack. Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Scholastic, 1998.

Bial, Raymond. The Underground Railroad. Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Davis, Burke, and Edward W. Brooke. Black Heroes of the American Revolution. Harcourt, 1992. Fitzgerald, Stephanie, Katie Van Sluys, and Derek Shouba. The Little Rock Nine: Struggle for Integration. Coughlin, 2006. Fleming, Alice. Martin Luther King, Jr: The Voice of Civil Rights. Sterling, 2008. Freedman, Russell. The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Holiday House, 2006. Fremon, David. Jim Crow Laws and Racism in American History. Enslow, 2000. Glaser, Jason, Charles Barnett, and Tod Smith. The Buffalo Soldiers and the American West. Coughlin, 2006.

Stokes, John, Herman Viola, and Lois Wolfe. Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me. National Geographic, 2007. Sturm, James, Rich Tommaso, and Gerald Early. Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. Hyperion, 2007.

Myers, Walter Dean. Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary. Scholastic, 1994.

Yates, Elizabeth, and Nora S. Unwin. Amos Fortune: Free Man. Puffin, 1989.

Petry, Ann Lane. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad. HarperCollins, 1996. Rinaldi, Ann. Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons: The Story of Phillis Wheatley. Harcourt, 2005.

Grades 7-9 Archer, Jules. They Had a Dream: The Civil Rights Struggle from Frederick Douglass to Marcus Garvey to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Penguin, 1996. Banfield, Susan. Fifteenth Amendment: AfricanAmerican Men’s Right to Vote. Enslow, 1998.

Griffin, Judith Berry, and Margot Tomes. Phoebe the Spy. Penguin, 2002. Haskins, James. Black Eagles: African Americans in Aviation. Scholastic, 2007.

Clinton, Catherine. The Black Soldier: 1492 to the Present. Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Haskins, James. Separate, But Not Equal: The Dream and the Struggle. Scholastic, 2002.

Crowe, Chris. Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. Penguin, 2003.

Mayer, Robert H. When the Children Marched: The Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Enslow, 2008.

Morrison, Toni. Remember: the Journey to School Integration. Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

Tillage, Leon Walter, and Susan L. Roth. Leon’s Story. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000.

Bolden, Tonya. Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of African American Artists. Harry N. Abrams, 2003.

Hudson, Wade, Sean Qualls, and Marian Wright Edelman. Powerful Words: More than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans. Scholastic, 2003.

McKissack, Patricia C., and Fredrick L. McKissack. Rebels Against Slavery: American Slave Revolts. Scholastic, 1996.

Edwards, Judith, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Abolitionists and Slave Resistance: Breaking the Chains of Slavery. Enslow, 2004. Hill, Laban Carrick, Christopher Myers, and Nikki Giovanni. Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance. Little, Brown, 2004. Holliday, Laurel. Dreaming in Color Living in Black and White: Our Own Stories of Growing Up Black in America. Simon & Schuster, 2000.


Schlissel, Lillian. Black Frontiers: A History of African American Heroes in the Old West. Simon & Schuster, 2000. Schraff, Anne. Wilma Rudolph: The Greatest Woman Sprinter in History. Enslow, 2004. Somerlott, Robert. Little Rock School Desegregation Crisis in American History. Enslow, 2001. Sutcliffe, Andrea. Mighty Rough Times I Tell You: Personal Accounts of Slavery in Tennessee. Blair, 2000. Wagner, Heather. Barack Obama. Facts on File, 2008. Waldstreicher, David. The Struggle Against Slavery: A History in Documents. Oxford University Press, 2002. Worth, Richard. Harlem Renaissance: An Explosion of African-American Culture. Enslow, 2008. Ziff, Marsha. Reconstruction Following the Civil War in American History. Enslow, 1999.

For Further Reading continued Grades 9-12 Beals, Melba Pattillo. Warriors Don’t Cry. Simon & Schuster, 2007. Blue, Rose J., and Corrinne J. Naden. The History of Gospel Music. Chelsea House, 2001. Cox, Clinton. Undying Glory: The Story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment. iUniverse, 2007. Crowe, Chris. Up Close: Thurgood Marshall. Penguin, 2008.

Peltak, Jennifer. History of African American Colleges and Universities. Chelsea House, 2003.

Fields-Black, Edda L. Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora. Indiana University Press, 2008.

Rabateau, Albert J. Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans. Oxford University Press, 2001.

Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred A. Moss. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. Random House, 2000.

Starrobin, Robert S., and Ira Berlin. Blacks in Bondage: Letters of American Slaves. Markus Wiener, 1988.

Franklin, John Hope, and Loren Schweninger. In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in the Old South. Oxford University Press, 2006.

Giovanni, Nikki. On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History Through the Spirituals. Candlewick, 2007.

Washington, Booker T., and Louis R. Harlan. Up From Slavery: An Autobiography. Penguin, 1986.

Danakas, John. Choice of Colours: The Pioneering African-American Quarterbacks Who Changed the Face of Football. Orca, 2008.

Wexler, Sanford, and Julian Bond. The Civil Rights Movement. Facts on File, 1993.

Favreau, Marc, Ira Berlin, and Steven F. Miller. Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation. New Press, 1998.

Williams, Juan, and Julian Bond. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. Penguin, 1988.

Fleming, John. The Lengthening Shadow of Slavery: A Historical Justification for Affirmative Action for Blacks in Higher Education. Howard University Press, 1977. Halberstam, David. The Children. Random House, 1999. Halpern, Rick, and Roger Horowitz. Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality. Cengage Gale, 1996.

Wood, Peter. The Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion. Norton, 1996. Wood, Peter. Strange New Land: Africans in Colonial America. Oxford University Press, 2003.


Hardy, Sheila, and P. Steven Hardy. Extraordinary People of the Civil Rights Movement. Children’s Press, 2006. Hurmence, Belinda. Before Freedom When I Can Just Remember: Twenty-Seven Oral Histories of Former South Carolina Slaves. Blair, 1989.

Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Harvard University Press, 2000.

Katz, William Loren. Black Indians: A Hidden

Black, Timuel D., DuSable Museum, John Hope Franklin, and Studs Terkel. Bridges of Memory: Chicago’s First Wave of Black Migration. University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Kennedy, Robert F. Jr., and Patrick Faricy. Robert Smalls, the Boat Thief. Hyperion, 2008. Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a Slave. Dover, 2000. Parker, John P., and Stuart Seely Sprague. His Promised Land: The Autobiography of John P. Parker, Former Slave and Conductor on the Underground Railroad. Norton, 1998.

Hess, Karen. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection. University of South Carolina Press, 1998. Johnson, Walter. Soul by Soul: Life inside the AnteBellum Slave Market. Harvard University Press, 2001. Lemann, Nicholas. The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America. Knopf, 1992. Rediker, Marcus. The Slave Ship: A Human History. Penguin, 2008.

Bennett, Lerone. Before the Mayflower: A History of Black People. Independent Publishers, 2008.

Heritage. Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Hahn, Steven. A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration. Triliteral, 2005.

Blackmon, Douglas. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. Knopf, 2009. Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad: America’s First Civil Rights Movement. HarperCollins, 2006.


Soodalter, Ron. Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader. Simon & Schuster, 2007. Stauffer, John. Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Grand Central, 2008. Sugrue, Thomas. Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North. Random House, 2008. Williams, Juan, Marian Wright Edelman, and David Halberstam. My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience. Sterling, 2004.

In this 1864 print of the Emancipation Proclamation, there are vignettes of slavery and freedom, along with an image of rebuilding the South at the bottom.

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