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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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  • Theme > Race and Ethnicity (x)

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An Alabama Literacy Test Keeps Black Voters Off the Rolls

Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, many southern (and some western) states had devised "literacy tests" and other voting requirements whose primary purpose was to deny African Americans the vote. The tests consisted of written [...]

Tags: Voting
A Black Candidate Runs on Civil Rights in 1940s New York

The Japanese distributed leaflets over the South Pacific that asked, "If Americans are fighting for the freedom and equality of all people, why aren't Negro Americans allowed to play big league baseball?" Ben Davis, an African-American candidate for [...]

A Southern Activist Warns Black Chicagoans about the Daley Machine

The Democratic Party political machine notoriously ruled Chicago, distributing jobs and city services in exchange for political support. James Bevel, the director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's direct action campaigns, was a [...]

A Senator Calls for a More Democratic Immigration System

In the midst of debating the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which concerned the rights of all Americans, regardless of race, to become citizens and vote, Senator Charles Sumner often urged more liberal and democratic application of the law. In [...]

Rights in Early America

In this activity, students are assigned roles as different members of early American society and move to different areas of the classroom according to whether they could always/sometimes/never exercise different rights in the 1770s and 1780s. This [...]

Liberty for All: Voices from the Revolution

In this activity students read short excerpts of documents that show how the expectations of women, African Americans, and working white men were raised by the rhetoric of liberty during the American Revolution. Students write petitions to the [...]

Debate: How Should African Americans Achieve Equality?

In this activity students role play a debate among four African-American leaders at the turn of the century, about what strategy the black community should adopt to achieve full equality in the twentieth century. Students research their roles by [...]