Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement
Freedom's Bittersweet Song
Routledge – 2003 – 280 pages
The past fifteen years have seen renewed interest in the civil rights movement. Television documentaries, films and books have brought the struggles into our homes and classrooms once again. New evidence in older criminal cases demands that the judicial system reconsider the accuracy of investigations and legal decisions. Racial profiling, affirmative action, voting districting, and school voucher programs keep civil rights on the front burner in the political arena. In light of this, there are very few resources for teaching the civil rights at the university level. This timely and invaluable book fills this gap. This book offers perspectives on presenting the movement in different classroom contexts; strategies to make the movement come alive for students; and issues highlighting topics that students will find appealing. Including sample syllabi and detailed descriptions from courses that prove effective, this work will be useful for all instructors, both college and upper level high school, for courses in history, education, race, sociology, literature and political science.
"At last a collection that broadens and deepens conventional understandings of the Civil Rights Movement, that goes far beyond Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her seat, Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, and the repeated scenes of dramatic interracial face-offs before the camera crews. It will be an essential text not just for scholars and teachers, but also for anyone seeking a less reverential, more multifaceted approach to the Civil Rights Movement." -- Deborah McDowell, University of Virginia
"This valuable collection complicates and enriches the teaching of the civil rights movement. Employing the most recent scholarship, these essays challenge traditional approaches and provide excellent examples of innovative and compelling ways to teach this movement, and African American history more generally." -- Barbara Dianne Savage, UPenn
"This book belongs in the library of every teaching historian…It will appeal not merely to those who focus on the history of the American civil rights movement but to all who seek new approaches to history pedagogy." -- History of Education Quarterly
Julie Buckner Armstrong is Assistant Professor of English at Valdosta State in Georgia. Houston B. Roberston is Assistant Professor of U.S. History at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Rhonda Y. Williams is Assistant Professor of History at Case Western.