Friday, March 26, 2010

Legacy of King's "I Have a Dream"

PBS Lesson:

World Studies

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little Rock Nine 50 Years Later: Notes

Observations from the documentary:

Central is still segregated. How so?

What is life like for the majority of African American students who attend Central?

What is life like for the majority of White students who attend Central?

How far have we come?

Problems discussed in film:

Black on Black crime



High Dropout Rate

Reminders of how far we have to go....look at the poverty surrounding Central High School.

Discuss the symbolism of the statues on the state capital grounds.

Roots of the problem are...?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Resources for 8th Period World Studies

The Slums of Mumbai: Lessons, Discussion Questions, Viewers Guide (PBS):
Questions for students to consider aftr watching "Hotel Rwanda":

1.Why do you think people are willing to commit the barbaric acts seen in Rwanda and in other genocides?
2.Why do you think people who were fundamentally good and decent cross the line into behavior that was profoundly wrong?
3.In situations of conflict, people can be classified as perpetrators, rescuers, bystanders and victims. It is estimated that generally the category of bystanders contains far more than all the other categories combined. Why is the bystander category so large?
Reference the "Holocaust Triangle" attached to this lesson plan. It is estimated that during the Holocaust, some 85 percent of non-Jewish Europeans were bystanders, 10 percent perpetrators and a small percentage rescuers. The critical element of this analysis is that each of those in the non-victim categories made a personal choice or series of choices about what role they would play.
4.Does it matter what one person does in such situations?
Comparison Chart (Hotel Rwanda and Schindler's List):

Watch CBS News Videos Online
Newsweek article:
Child Soldiers:,9171,1584807,00.html

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Favorite King Quotes

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." Martin Luther King Jr.

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The time is always right to do what is right. " Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

March 8-12

U.S. History

Brown v. Board of Education
Segregation - our nation's caste system (keeping the races separate - denying access to African Americans)

The Brown decision would test the validity of the law - law that existed for decades (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896)

It was essential the Supreme Court decide the case unanimously, anything less would appear weak - considering the controversial nature of the issue, unanimity was key - the Court could not give the appearance of division

The reasoning: Segregation in public education was a violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause

Many people viewed schools as the ticket to advancement - segregated schools would have a detrimental effect on Black children - sense of inferiority has an effect on a child's ability to learn

"... to separate them from others of similar age and qualifications because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way very unlikely to ever be undone." From the majority, Chief Justice Earl Warren

-Controversy over footnote #11 (Clark's research)

"We conclude unanimously, that in the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

-Controversy over the language (some felt the language was weak and/or vague - for example, no specific timeline for desegregation)

Brown II: "...with all deliberate speed." Again, some felt the language too weak/vague - left open the door to Southern resistance. In fact, desegregation in much of the South moved along at a snail's pace. From the perspective of the Court, their choice in language was necessary - stronger language could have triggered greater Southern resistance.

The decision was met with harsh reaction - especially in the South (In Mississippi, there was a steady increase in violent crime against Blacks who exerted their rights following the decision.)

Violent backlash took the form of beatings, burnings, lynchings, etc.
Citizens' Council - urban, middle class hate group (goal was to make it extremely difficult for any Black to find and hold a job, get credit, vote, etc.)

Many Southern districts stalled implementation
Where desegregation occurred, what seemed to be the motivating factor(s)?

Psychology connection: What is "the psychology of inevitability"? Could that have played a role in "speeding" up the process of desegregation in some districts?

Brown was a success when all three branches of government took the decision seriously:
"The peak of the effort to desegregate the schools came in the late 1960's and early 1970s. The only period in which there was active, positive support by both the courts and the executive branch of the government was the four years following the enactment of the l964 Civil Rights Act. During this period federal education officials, the Department of Justice, and the high courts all maintained strong and reasonably consistent pressure for achieving actual desegregation. During this period desegregation policy was transformed from a very gradual anti-discrimination policy to one of rapid and full integration."
1988 was the peak year for integration - steady decline ever since

Legacy of Brown:
*Offered the possibility of long-awaited change (would have consequences extending beyond public education)
*Perception the Supreme Court was an ally in the struggle for Civil Rights
*Brown shaped policy in other areas such as the criminal justice system

Additional information:
Information about the Brown decision and lesson plans/activities:
Oyez Project:
Teaching Tolerance - Timeline of Integration
Brown's Legacy
Where are we now?
The Strange History of School Segregation - Rethinking Schools
Schools More Separate - Rethinking Schools
"When President Kennedy asked Congress in 1964 to prohibit discrimination in all programs receiving federal aid, 98% of Southern Blacks were still in totally segregated schools."
(I'm still looking for the statistic you asked for....there is a lot of good information including the quote above from the article linked above.)
The most segregated states for Black students include the leaders for the last quarter century: Illinois, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey. California, which has a small percentage of Black students, and Maryland have moved rapidly up this list. Outside the South we find the two states with the most dramatic declines in Black student contact with white students since l980: Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Additional notes:
Race sorting activity:
5 Ws and an H activity- due on Friday

World Studies- 8th period

Generation Islam
Books not Bombs
Greg Mortenson: Person of the Week:
NPR program:
U.S. News and World Report:
Three Cups of Tea Wiki (Book Summary):

Video clips
Read aloud Scholastic Magazine excerpt from The Kite Runner
Worksheet with partner

I read Listen to the Wind
Video clips
Read aloud CNN piece