Classroom Applications
Digital primary sources provide K-12 students with an opportunity to investigate historical events through a range of learning skills, such as inference, cause and effect, and drawing conclusions. Digital video footage can be integrated into a lesson on the Civil Rights Movement to give students experience in analyzing a source for both content and context. Students might be asked to hypothesize and interpret, to pose questions, and to become engaged in the historical question or event. Instead of teacher-centered direct instruction of facts and findings, students gain mastery of knowledge through the facilitation of inquiry and exploration.

"Top Five" Suggested Classroom Films

  1. Vivian Carter Mason Interview--1959

    Mason offers an incredible statement of the "road to first class citizenship" after helping to desegregate Granby High School in Norfolk. While many teachers emphasize King and other leaders of the movement, here is the powerful perspective of a local black woman leader.

  2. Robert Crawford and Oliver W. Hill Statements--1956

    Crawford defends the segregationist position as he starts a movement to create private segregated schools. NAACP civil rights attorney Oliver Hill clearly and passionately states the cause of desegregation is a moral one. The contrasting views over desegregation and its meaning clashed in the aftermath of the Brown v. Board decision.

  3. Prince Edward Student--1963

    This young man has been denied schooling for over four years, and he's about to get on the bus for his first day back in school. The school closings were part of massive resistance across the South and this film helps reveal the consequences. Prince Edward County closed its schools for five years rather than integrate them.

  4. Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth Speech--1963

    The opening lines refer to the Cold War and the closing lines to the discrimination and forces arrayed against black demonstrators. Local organizers, such as Campbell, tied their struggle for black freedom to the larger context of the Cold War. In Danville, Virginia, as in Birmingham, Alabama, desegregation protests resulted in violence and deep divisions over what happened and why.

  5. James J. Kilpatrick on the Voting Rights Act
    Roy Wilkins on the Voting Rights Act--1966

    This pair of films shows the cagy editor James Kilpatrick protesting the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional and Roy Wilkins defending it as necessary given the Southern states dismal record of discrimination in voting. Southern white leaders opposed federal intervention in voting rights and civil rights throughout the sixties and beyond.

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