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Herb - social history for every classroom

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Background Essay on the 1968 Latino Student Walkouts

This short essay describes the social, political, and educational climate that resulted in the 1968 Los Angeles walkouts.

"Latino Student Walkouts: In 35 Years, What Has Changed?"

Professor and author Carlos Muñoz, Jr. describes his participation in the 1968 Los Angeles walkouts and the aftermath. He then explores the current inequalities in education and calls for a new wave of student activism and protest.

"Russian Jews as Desirable Immigrants" (Excerpt)

Ida Van Etten was a writer and the first Secretary of the Working Women's Society of New York. In this excerpt from an article published in Forum, Van Etten defends the character of the Russian Jewish immigrants that were then arriving in New York [...]

Background Essay on Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was a renowned photographer, filmmaker, writer and composer who used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell his own personal history. Gordon Parks was the first [...]

Background Essay on Late 19th and Early 20th Century Immigration

This summary of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century immigration describes the "new immigration" that originated from Southern and Eastern Europe. The essay also outlines American responses to the new wave of immigration, including some of [...]

"What Does the Negro Want?" African-American Demands for Citizenship

Professor John R. Hawkins wrote this short pamphlet on behalf of the NAACP. In it he outlines African Americans' demands for justice and equality at home following World War I. The NAACP makes 14 demands in response to Wilson's "14 Points," in [...]

Item Type: Article/Essay
"Our America" (Excerpt)

Nuestra America/Our America, one of Martí's most important writings, first appeared in La Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York on Janurary 1, 1891, and on January 30 of that same year in El Partido Liberal of Mexico. Written as the Cuban [...]

"Our Challenge is to Keep Willie's Memory Alive"

William (Willie) Velásquez founded the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) in 1974. The son of a butcher from San Antonio, Texas, he spent his adult life as a community organizer and political activist.  Inspired by the [...]

A Black New Yorker Describes Life in a CCC Camp

Luther C. Wandall, an African American from New York City, wrote the following account of life in a segregated Civilian Conservation Corps camp for Crisis, the magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Wandall tells [...]

Background Essay on Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine

This short essay describes Jacob Riis and Lewis Hines, two important documentary photographers of the turn of the twentieth century.

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