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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Songwriter Recalls the Origins and Impact of an Antiwar Anthem

After serving in the Navy, Joe McDonald moved to Berkeley, California, as the anti-Vietnam War movement was beginning to pick up momentum. He recorded "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag" under the name "Country Joe and the Fish"; the song gradually [...]

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.

"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 [...]

"Am I Not a Man and a Brother?"

This medallion was created by Josiah Wedgwood, a British ceramics maker and abolitionist, around 1787. The image of the kneeling slave in chains asking "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" became an international symbol of the abolitionist movement. The [...]

A Reformer Deplores the Poverty Caused by Industrial Progress

Henry George was a reformer and utopian whose 1886 New York City mayoral campaign as the Workingman's Party candidate had the makings of a popular uprising. Although George finished second, behind Democrat Abram S. Hewitt and ahead of Republican [...]

Freedom's Daughters (Excerpt)

Lynne Olson's Freedom's Daughters shines light on the often-overlooked role that women played in the civil rights movement. In the preface to her book, Olson sketches some brief biographies of a few of the outstanding female civil rights leaders and [...]

"The Fight for Educational Reform": Chicano Youth Demand Change

In this chapter from Chicano!: The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement F. Arturo Rosales explains the environment from which this Chicano youth movement developed and the tactics used by this student movement to bring about [...]

A Young American Decides to Fight Fascism in Spain

Large numbers of American college students expressed increasing activism against war in the early 1930s, connecting international war with issues like labor, minority rights, and economic injustice at home. The rise of fascism in Europe, however, [...]

Ten Thousand Women March for the Right to Vote

Suffrage activists staged a huge parade up Fifth Avenue in New York City on May 10, 1913. Over 10,000 women and men marched, and a crowd of over half a million lined the streets to watch. New Yorkers were inspired by women who had marched in protest [...]