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Suggested teaching time

10 hours

Topic

5. The methods, aims and effectiveness of civil rights organisations and how these have changed over time

Topic outline

Suggested teaching and homework activities

Suggested resources

Points to note

The methods, aims and effectiveness of civil rights organisations and how these have changed over time

Introduction



  • Teachers explain and define what a civil rights organisation is, using examples from the period.

  • The discussion could be developed by looking at Britain and the world today - students brainstorm what are civil rights issues now and where and what organisations are civil rights organisations in Britain and around the world. Will lead to useful discussion as groups will be named that are not civil rights.

  • Students use a textbook summary to compile a simple list of the main groups active in the period. The list could include key individuals already discussed and may show some awareness of methods and aims (although these will be covered in detail later). This list is likely to be split into ‘early’ and ‘later’ periods and include:

  • Pre-Civil rights era, groups loosely centred around key individuals such as Booker T Washington, WEB Du Bois and Marcus Garvey

  • National Urban League

  • NAACP

  • UNIA

  • A Philip Randolph’s Sleeping Car Porters Brotherhood

  • Congress for Racial Equality

  • MIA

  • SCLC

  • SNCC

  • Nation of Islam

  • Black Power/Black Panthers

  • Students may also include civil rights organisations related to other racial minorities in America. This list may include:

  • NCAI (Native American Indians)

  • AIM (radical Native American Indians)

  • CUCOM (Hispanic)

  • To complete this activity, students could choose which sources to use and develop. The Spartacus website is particularly useful for American history - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk and the relevant chapters in basic texts such as Paterson and Murphy will also provide students with a sound overview.

  • www.archives.gov







Methods and aims of civil rights organisations

Introduction and aims



  • Teachers could introduce this topic by outlining and defining what is meant by ‘methods’ and ‘aims’ when applied to organisations. Students may be asked to contribute ideas to a whiteboard diagram on the general aims and methods of civil rights organisations in the USA.

  • Students could then be given a list of general aims of civil rights organisations. They must then ‘link’ the aims with specific organisations. Aims on the list would include:

  • Black self-help and self-reliance

  • Challenged self-help and reliance – demanded full civil and political rights Socialist in nature

  • National and peaceful campaign for full civil and political rights

  • To reclaim Africa from the white man – black nationalism. Nationalist and separatist

  • To improve the working conditions of African Americans – trade unionism

  • To coordinate various civil rights activities and organisations in the South

  • Black revolution

  • Students could then be asked to respond to the question: ‘How far and in what ways did the aims of civil rights organisations change in the period 1865 – 1970?’

  • Consolidation of these activities could be achieved by a class plenary and shared summary note making session

  • To complete this activity, students could choose which sources to use and develop. The Spartacus website is particularly useful for American history: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk and the relevant chapters in basic texts such as Paterson and Murphy will also provide students with a sound overview.

  • www.archives.gov




  • The issue of whether the general aims of civil rights organisations have changed in relative importance over time also needs to be raised.




Methods and aims of civil rights organisations

Methods


  • Students work in pairs to produce wall displays showing a particular aspect of the methods of civil rights organisations between 1865 and 1970 (to include Native Americans and Hispanics). Methods to study would include:

  • Self improvement (‘cast down your buckets’), and compromise

  • Peaceful campaigning by educating the public

  • Challenging prejudice and discrimination in the courts

  • Economic separatism

  • Campaigns to encourage black voter registration

  • Direct, peaceful action – bus boycotts, school enrolments/segregation, lunch counter protests, freedom rides, mass marches (it may be possible to split this theme into several wall displays)

  • Development of separate and distinct black identity – call for reparations, revolutionary demands and attitudes

  • Displays could show links to groups, organisations and key individuals. Displays must have a three dimensional element and show some use of IT.



  • Students could talk to the rest of the class through the key points of their wall display. Students could be provided with a structured hand out to note the key points relating to methods.

  • As a consolidation activity, students could be required to produce a piece of writing (or other format that best suits their learning style) showing how the methods of civil rights organisations changed in the period 1865 – 1970s

  • To complete this activity, students could choose which sources to use and develop. The Spartacus website is particularly useful for American history - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk and the relevant chapters in basic texts such as Paterson and Murphy will also provide students with a sound overview.

  • www.archives.gov

  • Wall display card and other materials

  • Structured hand out for note taking







Methods and aims of civil rights organisations

Effectiveness




  • Students could be asked to consider the statement: ‘African Americans used a variety of methods to advance their case for civil rights. These methods had varying degrees of success’. Responses to the statement could be developed in a number of ways:

  • Students could compile lists of changes and reforms brought about by pressure from civil rights organisations. The list could also include campaigns that were less successful.

  • Students could produce comparative tables showing the most and least effective methods used by civil rights organisations.

  • Students could provide an essay plan type response using 10 source extracts in the form of an exam paper.

  • Source sheet/exam style paper

  • Teachers may take the opportunity to continue to develop student skills of using historical evidence.

  • Students could be asked to consider the 10 source extracts they have been given to complete the consolidation exercise on the effectiveness of civil rights organisations. Students could be asked to consider how the sources might be used to construct a particular interpretation of the past.

  • Teachers could explain how and why different interpretations of the past are created.

  • Students should also be given practice here to amend the interpretation. Source will need to be carefully selected to allow room for amendments to be made.



GCE HISTORY B: H108. F984 NON-BRITISH HISTORY: RACE AND AMERICAN SOCIETY 1865-1970s




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