Welcome back from vacation! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break. As our first order of business this semester, we would like to take a look at civil rights. Teaching the civil rights movement has long been a part of our curriculum, but with a strong emphasis on the pursuit of human rights as it occurred for black Americans during the 1950s and 1960s and a notably absent discussion about how other marginalized groups fought their own, simultaneous struggles. Thus, this week, as we approach the topic, we would like to do something a little different. After extensive research, we have prepared information and identified several websites that you might utilize to redevelop and expand a classroom discussion on civil rights.
Undoubtedly, people such as Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., contributed profoundly to the civil rights movement; however, only discussing those who have received considerable recognition in popular memory encourages us to leave out key pieces of information regarding other stories embedded within the civil rights movement. For example, the civil rights movement is also known for progressing the rights of other minority groups such as women and Hispanics, who also fought for equal rights. Sometimes, our discussion forgets these other groups and in the process we do them a disservice.
Today, groups such as the LGBTQ community, as well as Hispanics, are still embroiled in ongoing civil rights struggles. Granted, the objectives of these groups are much different today than they were in the 1960s. Specifically, today, Latino civil rights groups tend to focus on issues surrounding work place discrimination, social discrimination, and immigration. The issues continue to become more complex as time progresses. Think of the astounding, sheer number of discussions taking place every day on the topic of immigration between the U.S. and Latin America. These are issues that affect many of our students, yet we rarely discuss them as rooted in historical precedent. We further marginalize the efforts of these groups when we exclude them from our conversations about historical civil rights movements. Furthermore, we may miss an opportunity to have our students see themselves in the history passages that we ask them to read and, in the process, we therefore deny them agency within this context.
Below we have listed some websites that you can check out at your leisure. These sites describe the implications of civil rights movements in 2014, and emphasize that civil rights includes more than the African-American community. These sites remind us that the notion of equality is one which impacts all of us. I hope you will take some time to check out these resources so that perhaps this year we can discuss the concept of civil rights historically as well as in modern-day terms.
Until Next Time,