Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Mosaic America Through Literary Art: The Civil Rights Movement via African Americans, Chicanos and Native Americans

by
Ida Hickerson


Contents of Curriculum Unit 93.04.05:

To Guide Entry


“Mosaic America Through Literary Art: The Civil Rights Movement” develops a multicultural view of African Americans, Chicano Americans and Native Americans. The unit points out the similarities and contrasts of the activities that these three cultures have contributed to ensuring equality and justice for all citizens of the United States. At the end of this unit of study, the students will be able to identify leaders and methods used by each group in its own history of protest and hope from the Civil Rights Movement during the twentieth century.

This curriculum unit will begin with the premise that works of literary art are created by artists who live, experience and interpret various cultures. This approach to teaching assumes that the students belong to a culture or cultures and that they simultaneously share and/or rebel against the beliefs and prejudices that are part of their own culture.

Students will be asked not only to develop their own interpretations of what they read and see, but also to ask and answer the four W’s (why, when, where, whom). Students will be encouraged to develop and use research, critical thinking, geography, vocabulary and organizational skills as they complete various individual and cooperative group activities.

All of these skills will be targeted at expanding the students’ ability to recognize and respect the beliefs and practices of other cultural groups and their roles in the development of the history of the United States during the Civil Rights Movement.

At the completion of this unit, the students, working cooperatively, will publish a newsletter, compile a group portfolio, paint a collage, construct a time line and graph display, and write and produce a skit. These activities will demonstrate what the students have learned.

The students will be a heterogeneous group of seventh graders in four classes reading at or below grade level. The planned activities will allow all to invest their special abilities as well as learn from peers.

It is my hope that the students will become more aware and appreciative of literature outside of the Western European tradition. This will be accomplished by challenging the students to include intellectual and philosophical achievements of African Americans, Chicano Americans and Native Americans. The unique aspects of these groups will be stressed, along with their commonalties, via lectures, videos, readings, oral discussions, role-playing, simulation games, dramatization, guest artists and field trips to museums.

to top


African Americans Push for Equality

Most citizens of the United States learn during their school days that their country was at one time “a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Abraham Lincoln reminded us of this in the Gettysburg Address (1863).

The new nation of which Lincoln spoke has been kept alive over many years by brave and dedicated men and women. These idealistic, courageous individuals can be proud of the many accomplishments they have made in this country.

The truths that the delegates of the thirteen colonies proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 were not new. These truths were “to be self-evident that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . .” for the people in the colonies. Even so, there were Americans who were denied these rights for many years after the colonies became the United States.

The United States is a nation of many different minority groups. Groups of people who were enslaved or chose to immigrate to this country. These minorities include Asian Americans, Jews, African Americans, Spanish-speaking Americans (Hispanics), European immigrants and American Indians (Native Americans). Members of these groups often have not had an equal chance for the “truths” in economic, political or social systems in the United States. Members of some minorities have been denied the right to vote. Many have been discriminated against in housing, education, employment and equal access to restaurants, hotels and other public accommodations and facilities. A main goal for many idealistic Americans has been to end such discrimination and guarantee equal rights and opportunities to all citizens of the United States.

African Americans, who make up the largest minority group in the United States, have been denied their rights as citizens (civil rights) more than any other minority group.

African Americans made significant gains in their struggle for equal rights during the Reconstruction, the twelve-year period after the Civil War. The 13th Amendment, adopted in 1865, abolished slavery in the United States. In 1868, the 14th Amendment made former slaves citizens. It also provided that the states must grant all people within their jurisdiction “equal protection of the laws.” The 15th Amendment, which became law in 1870, prohibited the states from denying people the right to vote because of their race (minority grouping). Congress, the national lawmaking body, passed several other laws to protect African Americans’ civil rights within the Reconstruction period.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, most African American leaders in the United States believed that for African Americans to achieve a better way of life something had to be done. All did not agree as to what the best methods should be in order to eliminate mistreatment of African Americans.

A famous African American educator, Booker T. Washington, believed that the only way African American people could succeed was to learn vocational skills and to work hard for their employers. It was his opinion that if African Americans work hard and earn their money, White Americans would recognize African Americans and willingly allow them to integrate. With this as his philosophy, he earlier founded the Tuskee Institute of Alabama in 1881.

W.E.B. DuBois, an African American historian, argued a different belief. He believed that African Americans would never achieve a better way of life as long as they were victims of discrimination. DuBois thought that African Americans should strive to obtain more skills and education to prepare for intellectual positions beyond Washington’s belief in being a work force that White Americans could not do without. He also promoted the theory that African Americans would have to work together to gain political power, to make laws and to win all rights enjoyed by White Americans.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909 by African Americans who agreed with DuBois. This organization, as well as the National Urban League (1911), worked to eliminate lynching and end various forms of discrimination against African Americans. Many times, their lawyers went to court to argue that laws that supported segregation were in opposition to the United States Constitution.

After World War II ended (1945), more African Americans became impatient with the slow rate of progress in achieving equal rights. African Americans had fought gallantly during the war for their homeland, but still faced discrimination when they returned. To them, and many White Americans, this was wrong.

On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in the public schools was unconstitutional. This ruling was made in a case known as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The case was brought before the Supreme Court by NAACP lawyers. By a vote of 9-0, the Supreme Court reversed its earlier decision in “Plessy v. Ferguson” (1896). It now declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” and that African Americans were therefore being denied the rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

The Supreme Court’s decision was greeted with mixed feelings in different regions of the United States. Many Whites in the North and nearly all African Americans were delighted at the news. But most White Southerners were shocked and angry. Some of these people sincerely believed that segregation was best for people of both races. It seemed that the federal government (U.S. Supreme Court) was interfering with the rights of the individual states. Many people vowed that they would never allow their children to attend integrated schools.

In some communities, violence broke out when school officials tried to carry out the court’s ruling. One of the most serious of these disturbances took place in Little Rock, Arkansas in the fall of 1957. When nine African American students tried to enroll in high school, they were threatened by angry mobs of Whites. The governor ordered the African American students out of the school. Finally, President Dwight Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to Little Rock to make sure that integration was carried out. Meanwhile, in many other southern communities, schools were integrated without any disturbances.

Although some progress was being made toward ending school segregation, African Americans still suffered from other kinds of discrimination. This realization indicated that progress towards equality continued to be painfully slow. Many African Americans decided they would need to use stronger measures in order to gain all of their civil rights.

One such measure had been used in Montgomery Alabama following an incident that occurred on December 1, 1955. That day, Rosa Parks, tired after a long, hard day at work, refused to give up her city bus seat to a White man. She chose to defy the Jim Crow tradition. Her decision inspired 17,000 African Americans and Martin Luther King, Jr. to boycott the city buses. This ignited the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.

For a year, nearly all African Americans in Montgomery walked to work or shared rides in cars. They refused to ride the city buses until they could sit where they pleased. The bus company suffered a huge loss of business. Then, in the fall of 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that segregation in buses was unconstitutional. At last, African Americans who rode buses in Montgomery and other southern cities were free to sit anywhere they pleased.

The success of the bus boycott convinced many African Americans that direct action methods could help them achieve their civil rights goal—to overturn practices that denied African Americans and other minorities equal rights as citizens. In the early 1960’s “sit-ins” became popular in the South. Groups of African American college and high school students—sometimes joined by sympathetic Whites—would go to segregated lunch counters and restaurants. They would sit down and refuse to leave until they had been served. Often the demonstrators were insulted, shoved or spat upon, and sometimes they were arrested. But the sit-ins continued until lunch counters in most southern cities had been integrated. Similar demonstrations were held to protest the segregation of playgrounds, beaches, libraries and churches.

Other kinds of protest demonstrations helped focus worldwide attention on the problems of African Americans. Busloads of African American and White civil rights workers made “freedom rides” through the South to protest segregation in bus terminals. This strategy, called nonviolent or passive resistance, drew attention to unjust laws by refusing to obey them. They also accepted the risk of being arrested for breaking the law.

As a result of the Civil Rights Movement, the federal government passed the first civil rights law since Reconstruction. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 set up the Commission on Civil Rights to investigate charges of denial of civil rights. It also created the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice to enforce federal civil rights laws and regulations.

The Commission is an independent agency of the U.S. Government. It works to guarantee the civil rights of women and of American Indians, African Americans and members of other minority groups. Also, it investigates charges of denial of civil rights, studies how federal, state and local policies affect equal opportunities in education, employment, housing and other areas.

During the 1960’s, African American voting rights received increased protection. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 provided for the appointment of referees to help African Americans register to vote. The 24th Amendment, adopted in 1964, barred poll taxes in federal elections. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed literacy tests in many southern states. A 1970 federal law made literacy tests illegal in all states. The Supreme Court prohibited poll taxes in state and local elections in 1966.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the strongest civil rights bill in U.S. history. It ordered restaurants, hotels and other businesses that serve the general public to serve all people without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. It also barred discrimination by employers and unions and established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce fair employment practices.

In the mid-1960’s the problems of bettering the lot of the disadvantaged outran the progress achieved and underlying frustrations began to surface. Some angry young African American activists turned away from the nonviolent methods of the NAACP and the Urban League to join various militant separatist groups. Black nationalism was encouraged by the Black Muslims, a religious group organized in Detroit in the 1930’s, which had grown to impressive strength under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad. Marcus Garvey’s “Back to Africa” campaign of the early 1920’s had stressed the dignity and beauty of being Black. The Muslims seized on this rallying cry and exhorted their supporters to strive for self-sufficiency and more influence in the businesses and institutions in the areas where they lived. Malcolm X, a Black Muslim who broke with Muhammad in 1963 and formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity, was eloquent in articulating the anger of his contemporaries. His following was on the increase, when in 1965, he was assassinated by Black dissidents.

In the long, hot summer of 1965, rioting broke out in the Watts section of Los Angeles. Buildings were burned, stores looted and blacks and whites alike were killed in a tragic manifestation of the explosive forces bred by the oppressive conditions of life in the slums.

Stokley Carmichael, who became leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1966, was among the first publicly to advocate “Black Power” as a means of tipping the balance against White establishment which he believed was denying African Americans their constitutional and economical rights. The power was to be expressed by political and economic pressure.

Perhaps the most aggressive of the new militants were the Black Panthers. Starting in Alabama, they came to national prominence in Oakland, California in 1966. The movement spread and attracted many restless, young urban African Americans. Objectives and methods varied with local leadership, and in some places there was violence.

In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated (for motives never satisfactorily explained) as he stood on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray, a White Southerner, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to a 99-year prison term. The immediate effect of his death was a continuation of hostile measures.

Major changes in the Civil Rights Movement occurred during the 1970’s. Earlier civil rights efforts had involved lawsuits and other attempts to protect individual rights. The emphasis shifted from individual rights to group rights in the 1970’s. The federal government began to enact laws designed to assure rights for groups that formerly had suffered discrimination. For example, the government began a program of affirmative action. Affirmative action consists of efforts to counteract past discrimination by giving special help to disadvantaged groups. Typical measures included recruiting drives among women and minority groups and special training programs for minority workers. The government required affirmative action plans to be set up by businesses that had government contracts, by many other employers and by all schools receiving federal funds.

to top


Chicanos Struggle for Justice

African Americans was not the only group working toward equality and justice. Spanish-speaking Americans wanted many of the same things—good jobs, decent housing and education for their children. The civil rights legislation of the 1960’s benefited Spanish-speaking people (Chicanos, Mexican American or Hispanic Americans) as well as other minority groups. Many understood that this was a beginning, but much work had to be done before they would overcome discrimination and poverty in the American society.

The Chicanos have a history of resistance to oppression. It began long before the 1960’s. The Puerto Ricans, the Cubans, the Mexicans—all fought for freedom and justice. For years after the United States annexed a huge part of their territory in the 1840’s, Chicanos, following the leadership of men like Juan Cortina, carried on guerrilla warfare against those who occupied their land. They became “bandidos.” Juan Flores, Joaquin Murieta and Vasquez fought the tyranny of the American Anglos. They were treated as criminals and protected by the poor Chicanos who wished they could do the same.

A more organized form of resistance came into being when Chicano workers began to form labor unions. As early as 1883, Mexican Americans were striking in the Texas Panhandle. La Alianza Hispanoamericana organized workers in the copper mines and on the railroads in the late nineteenth century. There were strikes of the sugar beet field workers of Colorado, of the streetcar line workers of Los Angeles and the cigar makers in Florida in 1903. Their militant resistance was spurred on by the revolutionary movements in Cuba and Mexico.

Since World War II, Spanish-speaking people have turned to politics as a way of bringing about change. On some issues, such as housing and the use of Spanish in schools, various groups have worked together. But for the most part, different groups organized around certain goals.

A number of groups were organized to fight unfair treatment. For example, when a Texas funeral home refused to bury a Mexican soldier of World War II, veterans organized the G.I. Forum. This group was determined to end discrimination. Members believed that the voting booth was where their struggle should begin. They organized voter-registration drives in communities throughout the Southwest.

Other groups also worked to elect candidates who would help Spanish-speaking people. In 1949, Mexican Americans in Los Angeles formed the Community Service Organization (CSO) to elect a Mexican American to the city council. After victory, the CSO went on to challenge discrimination in housing, employment, schools and courts of law.

Cesar Chavez was an early leader of the CSO and a worker for civil rights. He became a strong leader in a nonviolent movement to raise the standard of living for farm workers, most of whom were Mexican Americans. Chavez helped organize the National Farm Worker’s Association in 1962. Its members joined a strike begun by Filipinos of the Agricultural Workers’ Organizing Committee (AWOC). These two groups joined the AFL-CIO as the United Farm Workers’ Organizing Committee (UFWOC). The UFWOC organized strikes and boycotts against large companies that grew grapes and lettuce.

It was “La Huelga,” the militant struggle for farm workers in California led by Cesar Chavez in 1965 that awakened the whole nation to the oppression of Chicanos. Chavez was a master of modern communications. He was able to bring together Anglo and college students with uneducated farm workers. He helped to break down the wall between middle-class Mexican Americans and poor Chicanos.

La Huelga became more than a struggle for better working conditions and higher salaries. It was a movement of the poor for ending racism and inequality. It was the first successful national boycott in the history of American labor. Even so, after five years of bitter striking, the success of the workers led by Chavez must be considered minimal. The migrant workers remain the worst housed, the worst paid and the most exploited labor force in the United States. The victory helped call attention to the problems of Mexican Americans.

Mexican Americans formed other groups to fight for different needs. The Alianza, founded by Reies Lopez Tijerina in New Mexico, works to regain families’ deeds to lands lost to the federal government through treaties such as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Rodolfo Gonzales formed the Crusade for Justice in Colorado mainly to gain civil rights. La Raza Unida of Texas set up a new political party under the leadership of Jose Angel Gutierrez. These groups have grown and spread to other areas. They have used different ways at different times to reach their goals. Sometimes they have used force. At most other times, they have followed the nonviolent example of Chavez.

Today, Chicanos still do not always agree on ways to bring about change. Some believe marches are not a good means of bringing change. But many now openly speak out and demand rights as citizens.

to top


Native American Power

Many people have had to overcome obstacles in order to take advantage of the opportunities in America. For years, immigrants, Chicanos, African Americans, Native Americans (Indians) and other minorities have experienced discrimination in schooling and in the kinds of jobs open to them. “Black Power,” “Power to the People,” “Women’s Lib,” “Generation Gap,” are slogans used to reflect the strength and unity of certain groups seeking equality and justice in the American society. Therefore, to hear “Red Power” is inevitable in describing the movement for change of Native Americans.

For almost five hundred years, Native Americans have been struggling for their land, their means of livelihood, their organizations, their beliefs, their way of life, their personal security, their freedom, their right to exist. Those who are here today after generations have been oppressed are seeking ways to reform the American society.

Americans have become more aware of the status and needs of all minorities due in part to the struggle of African Americans. Native Americans for the most part do not like to be associated with the Civil Rights Movement, but are using the language and methods promoted by African Americans to gain equality and justice. This has resulted in a new interest in Native Americans.

Native Americans are learning how to communicate with non-Indians so that they will listen and understand. Native American organizations are becoming stronger and more practiced in the use of media. With the help of individual tribes and their leaders, they are pushing forth their goals of change. They are demanding and receiving the attention of non-Indians.

In 1964, some patronizing whites took a group of Native Americans to New York. The purpose was for the Native Americans to tell the press of the problems on the reservations. The Native Americans were young and college educated. Also, they were tired of the treatment they were receiving. They were part of a new organization, the National Indian Youth Council. They criticized their elders and those who patronized them. They demanded that Native Americans should have power over all of their affairs.

Clyde Warrior, a Ponca; Melvin Thom, a Navada Paiute; Herbert Blatchford, a Navajo; Bruce Wilkie, a Makah from Washington State; and others started a revolution. They threw away dependence on their conquerors and oppressors who gave them citizenship to their own land in 1924. They were loud and articulate in asking all Native Americans to look inward at the values and strengths of their own people on their own terms.

Red Power symbolizes the determination and the patriotic struggle for freedom from injustice and oppression. Its numbers are increasing. Its goals are much the same as decades before, except it now demands. It insists on the right of Native Americans to set up programs and policies for themselves, to govern themselves and to control their land and resources.

At a time when activists were demanding massive reforms in American society, Native Americans turned more to militant action. They organized demonstrations, marches, sit-ins, fish-ins and confrontations with government officials to meet their demands.

In November of 1969, Native Americans of many tribes took over the abandoned government prison on the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. They declared themselves as political “exiles” and demanded the establishment of an educational and cultural center that would serve as a focal point for all Native Americans. Despite two winters, Alcatraz was occupied. The federal government negotiated with the Native Americans and charged them with illegal action; the government made no attempt to meet their demands. In 1971, federal agents evicted the demonstrators from Alcatraz. “War of Attrition” ended.

There were other battlegrounds. In Washington, an organization led by Hank Adams, known as Survival of Americans Indians, invited a fish-in. The group was protesting the State of Washington’s restriction of the right of Native Americans to fish with nets on non-reservation land.

The Washington State fish-ins reached a climax when Hank Adams was severely wounded from behind by a White man during a demonstration in 1970. Demonstrators brought the Native American demands to the attention of the public, but did not bring about huge changes that leaders thought were desperately needed.

In February of 1973, Native American activists took control of the historic village on the Pine Ridge Reservation—Wounded Knee, South Dakota. They proclaimed their secession of the village from the United States. Reactions to the occupation were mixed. Some called the militants a “bunch of renegades” and “headline-hunters.” Some complained that the occupation resulted in destruction of property, loss of income and work-stoppage on federally funded home construction. Many supported the militants and traveled from all parts of the United States to help voice the need for change.

The siege of Wounded Knee continued throughout the spring of 1973. Hundreds of federal law enforcement officers were sent into the area. An FBI agent was wounded and two Native Americans were killed during gunfire. The government prevented food and medicine from reaching the occupants. Finally, on May 8, 1973, the militants agreed to a settlement.

Even though indicted for their part in the occupation of Wounded Knee, Russel Means and Dennis Banks continued to fight for the recognition of Native American treaty rights and the reorganization of tribal governments. In September of 1974, all federal charges were dropped against Means and Banks. The Justice Department was accused of concealing evidence, mishandling witnesses and illegal use of military force to end the 1973 occupation. This was regarded as a victory for the Native Americans.

No single person or organization speaks for Native Americans. A number of Native American organizations have wide support. Among them are the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Youth Council, the National Tribal Chairman’s Association, and Americans for Indian Opportunity, to name a few. All of these are working to strengthen tribal governments and to win legal reform, education and financial support needed to rebuild Native American communities. Their goals are much the same; their methods of achieving those goals differ.

Today, almost 500 years since the White man enslaved the natives of the New World, Native American resistance is a force. In the words of Vine Deloria (author “Custer Died for Your Sins, An Indian Manifesto”), “Night is giving way to day . . . We will survive because we are a people unified by our humanity.”

Lesson one is an introduction to the three main cultures that help to make up the population of the United States. Emphasis will be placed on how the United States became a diverse population.

The lesson opens with a discussion of what is a citizen and who are the citizens of the United States.

I. Ask students to brainstorm and list words and or phrases associated with citizen. List these on chalkboard.

II. Divide class into groups with five or more members. Instruct students to use words and/or phrases to write a definition of citizen. Definitions should be written on newsprint with magic marker provided by teacher. Each group is to choose a person to orally read group’s definition.

III. Allow class to select the best definition. Teacher reads dictionary definition, textbook definition and encyclopedia definition of citizen.

IV. Almanacs are distributed to class, teacher demonstrates how to use reference book. Students are given task of locating population distribution of the United States and record data.

V. Using fictitious numbers, teacher demonstrates how to use a graph (vertical bar) to show data. Students are individually asked to construct a graph showing the population distribution of the United States.

VI. Using pull down world map, teacher lectures on how/from where the people of the United States originated. Students take notes.

VII. Closing Activities . . .

A. Students give teacher population distributions graphs. As teacher examines graphs, students individually write a response to following—
Three things I learned today . . .
B. Distribute excerpt from “Freedom is the Right to Choose” by Archibald MacLeish. Teacher reads it orally—dismisses class with instructions to reread and prepare to discuss meaning tomorrow.
Because our forefathers were able to conceive a freeman’s government, they were able to create it. Because those who lived before us in this nation were able to imagine a new thing, a thing unheard of in the world before, they erected on this continent the first free nation—the first society in which mankind was to be free at last.

What are we trying to become, to bring about? What is our dream of ourselves as a great people? What would we be if we could: what would our lives be? And how will we use this skill, this wealth, this power to create those lives?

What is demanded of us in this time of change, what our whole history and our present need demand of us, is that we find the answers to these questions—that we consider what we wish this new America to be. For what we wish to be we can become.

And if we cannot wish—we shall become that also.

From FREEDOM IS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE, by Archibald MacLeish Lesson two is a continuation of lesson one.

I. Class begins with an inquiry of excerpt from “Freedom is the Right to Choose.”

Teacher defines irony and asks students to identify the irony in the excerpt. Using input from students, teacher ties in the irony.

II. Teacher introduces Civil Rights Movement using background information (Part I). Students take notes.

III. Teacher distributes book list taken from Student Bibliography. Books related to African Americans are identified. Students are told to choose one and acquire from school library or public library before “reading day” (each week, thirty minutes is set aside for quiet reading).

IV. Using chalkboard, teacher demonstrates how to construct a time line. Students are asked to complete individual time lines of important events of their life getting input from parents for homework.

V. Closing Activities . . .

A. Students, with teacher, read Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.
B. In Cooperative Groups, students are to discuss the ideals of freedom and equality proclaimed in both. These are to be recorded in “Group Portfolio.”
C. Population Distribution Graphs are returned with written comments. Students are to review and, as a group, discuss how to construct a “Group Portfolio” Population Distribution Graph. (Students are to put individual graphs in individual portfolios.)
D. Students respond individually in Blue Books to question . . .
“How did African Americans become part of the American population?” Teacher collects individual time lines.
*Note: Each time students write in Blue Books, teacher reads and makes comments using grading scale that class helped to create.

Lesson three concludes examining Part I of background information.

I. Teacher concludes giving lecture on the African Americans’ role in the Civil Rights Movement.

II. Students are given teacher-made handout—Facts About the Civil Rights Movement. Students complete handout by creatively constructing a time line.

III. Class is divided into Cooperative Groups and asked to read “I See the Promised Land” by Martin Luther King, Jr. from “Tapestry” on pages 226-230.

After reading, groups are to divide into expert teams (previously assigned). Each team is assigned one of Critical Thinking (page 231) questions or one of Author’s Craft (page 231).

IV. Teacher monitors expert teams, making sure they have correct responses. Expert teams break up and return to Cooperative Groups and teach to group members the responses. This is in preparation for individual test (Multiple Choice Test using Critical Thinking and Author’s Craft questions).

V. Students individually take test. Tests are graded using inquiry and explanations as to which is best answer for each item. Individual scores are recorded and group average computed.

VI. Closing Activities . . .

A. Groups orally debrief how peer teaching was positive or negative.
B. Homework assignment—Students are to write an idea, image or issue in King’s speech that is especially meaningful to them. Why is it memorable? How does it relate to an experience in your life or to the life of someone you know?
Lesson four places emphasis on the Chicanos and their struggle for equality and justice in the United States.

I. Teacher introduces Part II of background information. Students take notes.

II. Students divide into Cooperative Groups. Within each group, students read each others response to “I See the Promised Land,” writing a positive and a negative statement about each.

III. Teacher reviews requirements for short essay writing. Students take responses home and revise for homework.

IV. Closing Activities . . .

A. Write a definition of discrimination in Blue Book.
B. Remind students to bring “reading day” book to class tomorrow.
Lesson five is a continuation of lesson four.

I. Teacher distributes copies of “Chicanos Struggle for Justice” divided into five parts. Each person is responsible for reading and summarizing information for Cooperative Group.

II. Class goes to computer lab to use Compton’s writing program to make final copy of response to “I See the Promised Land.”

III. Class returns from computer lab giving copy of response to teacher. As teacher begins reading responses, students read from selected book off of list. Cooperative Group recorder gives lists of selected books and name of student choosing book to teacher.

IV. Closing Activities . . .

A. Cooperative Groups discuss how they can demonstrate discrimination in a skit.
B. Read from selected book; on notebook paper identify title, author, publisher, copyright date and main character or characters.

to top


Bibliography for Students

Armstrong, William H. “Sounder”. Harper and Row, New York, 1969. A young African American, angry and humiliated when his father is incarcerated for stealing food for his family, grows in courage and understanding by learning to read with the help of his devoted dog.

Baldwin, James. “If Beale Street Could Talk”. Dell, New York, 1974. Two young African Americans are sustained by their love in their struggle against injustice and racial oppression.

Brooks, Bruce. “The Moves Make the Man”. Harper and Row, New York, 1984. An African American boy and an emotionally troubled White boy in North Carolina form a precarious friendship.

Brown, Dee Alexander. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. H. Holt, New York, 1991. The heroic struggle of Native Americans to preserve their lands and culture.

Brown, Irene Bennett. “ Morning Glory Afternoon”. Atheneum, New York, 1981. A seventeen year-old girl faces prejudices after moving to a new community to rebuild her life after a personal tragedy.

Brown, Marion Marsh. “Homeward the Arrow’s Flight”. Abingdon, Tennessee, 1980. A biography of a young Omaha Indian woman who overcame sexual and cultural prejudices to become a physician.

Cheatham, K. Follis. “The Best Way Out”. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1982. Thirteen year-old Haywood has difficulty adjusting to the large junior high school that he is bused to from his inner-city home.

De Veaux, Alexis. “Don’t Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday”. Harper and Row, New York, 1980. A prose poem recounting the life of an African American jazz singer known as Lady Day.

Ericsson, Mary Kentra. “ Morrie Turner, Creator of “Wee Pals””. Children’s Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1986. Relates how a talented African American boy in California, encouraged by sympathetic teachers, turned his interest in drawing into a career as a successful and popular syndicated cartoonist.

Faulkner, William. “Intruder in the Dust”. Random House, New York, 1948. The attempts of a young White boy from Mississippi to rescue an elderly African American man accused of murder.

Felsen, Henry Gregor. “Street Rod”. Random House, New York, 1953. Rick Madison describes the joys and problems, the dreams and frustrations of a gang, the “Greasers.”

Haskins, James. “Barbara Jordon”. Dial Press, New York, 1977. A biography of the congresswoman from Texas, the first African American woman ever to be elected to that office from the South.

Highwater, Jamake. “Eye of Darkness”. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, New York, 1985. The struggle between Anglo and Indian cultures.

Kostich, Dragos. “George Morrison”. Dillon Press, Minnesota, 1976. A biography of a Native American whose artistic achievements were crowned in 1970 when he began teaching art and American Indian studies.

Meltzer, Milton. “Langston Hughes”. Crowell, New York, 1968. A biography of the African American poet and playwright whose themes were based on his diverse ethnic and social experiences.

French, Michael. “The Throwing Season”. Delacorte Press, New York, 1980. A story depicting the success of a young Native American in sports.

Friese, Kai. “Rosa Parks: The Movement Organizes”. Silver Burdett Press, New Jersey, 1990. The history of the Civil Rights Movement through biography of Alabama Black woman who refused to give up her seat.

George, Jean Craighead. “The Talking Earth”. Harper and Row, New York, 1983. A Seminole Native American discovers how to combine her education with the wisdom of her elders.

McKissack, Patricia. “Frederick Douglass: The Black Loin”. Children’s Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1987. Describes the life and work of the man who escaped slavery to become an orator, writer and leader in the antislavery movement of the nineteenth century.

McKissack, Patricia. “Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Man to Remember”. Children’s Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1984. A biography of the Baptist minister from Georgia who led a nonviolent crusade against racial segregation.

McKissack, Patricia. “Mary McLeod Bethune: A Great American Educator”. Children’s Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1985. Recounts the life of the African American educator from her childhood in the cotton fields of South Carolina to her success as a teacher, crusader and presidential adviser.

Nelson, Mary Carroll. “ Maria Martinez”. Dillon Press, Minnesota, 1972. A biography of the Pueblo Indian woman who became renowned for her skill in pottery.

Nelson, Mary Carroll. “Robert Bennett”. Dillon Press, Minnesota, 1976. A biography of the Oneida Indian who became head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Purves, Alan C. “Tapestry”. Globe Book Company, New Jersey, 1993. A multicultural anthology in textbook format.

White , F.M. “Cesar Chavez, Man of Courage”. Garrard Publishers, New York, 1973. A biography of the Mexican American farm workers’ rights leader who led the battle across the country and initiated reforms benefiting farm workers and their families.

Wilson, Beth P. “Giants for Justice: Bethune, Randolph and King”. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. Biographical sketches of three outstanding African American leaders who did much to pave the way toward dignity and freedom for their people in education, labor and civil rights.

to top


Bibliography for Teachers

Burns, Stewart. “Social Movements of the 1960’s”. Twayne Publishers, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990. An analysis of social developments that have altered American life using history to probe the life cycle of each movement.

Dennis, Henry C. “The American Indian”. Oceana Publications, Dobbs Ferry, New York, 1977. A chronological history of the North American Indians with a selection of illustrative documents, appendices and bibliography.

Haskins, James. “James Van Der Zee, The Picture-Takin’ Man”. Dodd, Mead, New York, 1979. A biography of the African American photographer who has received acclaim for his prints of Harlem.

Hancock, Sibyl. “Famous Firsts of Black Americans”. Pelican Publishing Company, New York, 1983. Biographies of twenty African American men and women who made notable contributions in the fields of science, politics, sports and the arts from the 1500’s to the present.

Hunt, Bernice Kohn. “The Spirit and the Letter: The Struggle for Rights in America.” Viking Press, New York, 1974. Discusses the first ten amendments, the concepts on which they were based, and the interpretations drawn from them through a series of test cases.

Jensen, Jeffry. “Hispanic Americans Struggle for Equality”. Rourke Corporation, Florida, 1992. Examination of the ongoing efforts of Hispanic Americans and their experiences with discrimination in a society based on liberty and justice for all.

Lawson, Don. “Landmark Supreme Court Cases”. Enslow, New Jersey, 1987. Discusses nine landmark Supreme Court cases, addressing such issues as desegregation of schools and the Miranda case, and considers the future of the Supreme Court.

Marx, Herbert L. “The American Indian: A Rising Ethnic Force”. Wilson Company, New York, 1973. Reflects the changing attitudes both of and toward Indians, stressing culture and aspirations.

McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick. “The Civil Rights Movement in America from 1865 to the Present”. Children’s Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1987. Traces the struggle of African Americans to gain their civil rights in America with a brief comparison of their problems to those of other minorities.

Meltzer, Milton. “The Black Americans: A History in Their Own Words 1619-1983”. Crowell Publishers, New York, 1984. A history of Black people in the United States, as told through letters, speeches, articles, eyewitness accounts and other documents.

Meltzer, Milton. “The Hispanic Americans”. Crowell Publishers, New York, 1982. Discusses the social and economic problems faced by twelve million Hispanic Americans who live and work in the United States today.

Natella, Arthur. “The Spanish in America, 1513-1974”. Oceana Publications, New York, 1975. A chronology and fact book about Hispanics in America.

Rollins, Charlemae Hill. “ They Showed the Way: Forty American Negro Leaders”. Crowell, New York, 1964. Tells of forty African Americans who were pioneers in their field, including Crispus Attucks, William C. Handy, Phillis Wheatley and Charles Young.

Rowan, Carl T. “Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall”. Little, Brown and Company, Massachusetts, 1993. A narrative that eloquently describes Thurgood Marshall as a civil rights advocate for all.

Wagner, Jean. “Black Poets of the United States: From Paul Laurence Dunbar to Langston Hughes”. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1973. A study of the major African American poets of the United States from early slavery times to Langston Hughes.

Whiteford, Andrew Hunter. “North American Indian Arts”. Golden Press, New York, 1970. Studies of the North American Indian arts, describing the distinguishing characteristics and different techniques of work done by various tribes from various regions.

to top

Contents of 1993 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

© 2014 by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Terms of Use Contact YNHTI