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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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"Folksy Joe Harrison playing guitar"

Freedom Summer featured not only voter registration drives and "Freedom Schools" for students, but also many performances by folksingers and theater groups. Traveling theater troupes and nationally acclaimed folksinger Pete Singer came to [...]

"Freedom School Discussion; 1964"

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, "The Mecca of the Freedom School World," was home to at least seven Freedom Schools (mostly held in church basements) and more than 650 students. Since local segregated black schools did not teach topics like civics or [...]

"People waiting for a bus at the Greyhound bus terminal"

Photographers working for the Farm Security Administration Historical Section (later transferred to the Office of War Information) were encouraged to document continuity and change in many aspects of life in America during the years the unit was in [...]

"Lodgers in a crowded Bayard Street tenement"

Lodgers in a boarding room on New York's Bayard Street charging "five cents a spot" exemplify the overcrowded, frequently squalid living conditions that immigrants in New York City faced at the turn of the twentieth century. As documented in Jacob [...]

A Police "Mug Shot" Reflects the New "Science"

This New York City Police Department arrest record from 1903 reflects the widely-held faith in "scientific" techniques for identifying and keeping track of criminals at the dawn of the new century. Advocates claimed that methods like those developed [...]

A Group of "Boat People" Arrive by Plane

This photograph from the Detroit News, December 16, 1978, shows a Vietnamese family arriving in the United States. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, thousands of refugees fled Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in search of new lives in the United [...]

"Washington, D.C. Government charwoman who provides for a family of six on her salary of one thousand and eighty dollars per year"

While working as an apprentice with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photography project, renowned photographer Gordon Parks (1912-2006) documented the African-American experience in Washington D.C. In 1942, he completed an eighty-five image [...]

"Mrs. Ella Watson"

While working as an apprentice with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photography project, renowned photographer Gordon Parks (1912-2006) documented the African-American experience in Washington D.C. In 1942, he completed an eighty-five image [...]

"Mrs. Ella Watson, Government Charwoman"

While working as an apprentice with the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photography project, renowned photographer Gordon Parks (1912-2006) documented the African-American experience in Washington D.C. In 1942, he completed an eighty-five image [...]

Customers Shop in a Chinatown General Store

The Sam Hop Company, a general store on Clay Street in San Francisco, sold a wide assortment of Chinese imported goods. Merchants were the economic and political leaders of Chinatown. They worked with American contractors to bring workers from China [...]

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