Teaching the Freedom Struggle
A collection of classroom resources created by the spring 2013 class of “All Power to the People!”
The following “teaching modules” are designed to promote specific learning outcomes while using topics related to 20th century movements for racial justice. Each is geared toward a high school classroom and comes complete with sources and suggested activities.
AIM’s Stand at Wounded Knee (by Claire Brickson)
This lesson will help students understand how the obstacles that American Indians faced in the 20th century led to the dramatic events at Wounded Knee. Through the statements of AIM and participants in the Wounded Knee occupation, students will interpret the goals of the occupation and its success as well as analyze the incident’s effect on Native Americans living on the Pine Ridge Reservation and elsewhere.
Opposition to the Vietnam War by Various Communities (by Hugo Valencia)
After this two day lesson plan students will be able to identify some of the causes that increased opposition to the Vietnam War and the roles that communities of color played. Students will analyze how different organizations influenced each other and eventually came to the same conclusion that the United States should withdraw from Vietnam.
Chican@s in Education: A Long View of the Segregation and Discrimination Leading Up to the Student Movement (by Cesar Meza)
Students will take an in depth look into the transformation of oppressive forces against Chican@s within the education system. This analysis will provide a substantial background and foundation for understanding the events leading up to the Chican@ student movement.
The Black Freedom Struggle: the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, & Martin Luther King Jr. (Leyth Swidan)
Students will examine what role black nationalism and supremacy played within the Nation of Islam through Malcolm X’s perspective. Students will also evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Malcolm X’s and Martin Luther King’s arguments on how to achieve black equality to critically determine which approach and method best secured freedom, civil rights and a better life for black Americans during the late twentieth century. Discuss and analyze the idea of black supremacy and nationalism within the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X’s influence on the organization, and what ideas were being constructed. By examining, evaluating, and comprehending the different viewpoints, perspectives and roles of the two civil rights advocates, as well their tactics and methods that dealt with the fight for black freedom in the United States through different primary sources, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge on how Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. worked towards the same goal although they held differing philosophies and values.
The Power of a Voice: “Hear Marian Anderson Sing!” (by Danica Harootian)
This lesson centers specifically on the famous African-American opera singer, Marian Anderson. Prejudice against her and events in her career are evidence to the institutionalized racism in America that continued into the greater ‘60s. Her reactionary concert at the Lincoln Memorial and the significance of her performance of the song, “America!” contribute to her legacy as an African-American female singer and figure. The examination of her struggle, her identity and those who supported her reveals greater notions of the power system that existed in America.
The Origins of the Black Panther Party and the Reasoning Behind Their Ideologies (by Phoebe Huth)
The goal of these materials and activities is to create an understanding of how the Black Panther Party came to be and the reasons behind their driving ideologies.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: Debunking the perceived ideologies that have historicized Dr. King and Malcolm X as binary icons within a movement (by Kevin Wang)
In this high school history lesson, students will learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, their philosophies and politics, how their experiences shaped these, and how their ideologies continue to evolve.
Women in the Asian American Movement: the Importance of Identity (by Sebastian Ojeda)
The purpose of this lesson plan is to have students learn about the importance of identity and background in relation to women in the Asian American movement. Hopefully, they will be able to learn that you cannot capture what it means to be an Asian American woman, and by extension any person, by focusing on a single aspect of her identity.
“Power in the Hands of the Indian People”: The Occupation of Wounded Knee (by Lily Spang)
The goal of this lesson is for students to increase their understanding of the Native American movement and especially the role played by women by critically analyzing and discussing the Wounded Knee protest.
Black and Asian Interaction in Movements for Social Change (by Art Li)
After the lesson, students should be aware of cross-racial interactions in social movement. Specifically, students should know more about how Black Power, its leaders and ideologies, affected the lives of Yuri Kochiyama and Richard Aoki
“¡Si Se Puede!”: Finding Power in the Farmworker Movement (by Sarai Santos)
The goal of this lesson is to introduce the beginnings of the 1960s farmworker movement and pinpoint several of its monumental events. Students will focus on the struggles that farmworkers have historically dealt with and learn of the direct action that allowed members of unions, like the UFW, to bring national attention to the movement.
Social Movements and Race (by ShaKayla Rouse)
After the lesson, students will have a better understanding of how other races contributed to different racial groups’ social movements. In addition, students will understand how each of the racial minorities in America fought together for equality.
Students’ Third World Power (by Yi Luo)
The following learning activities aim to help students understand the organization of the San Francisco State College Strike and evaluate its historical significance from perspectives of different groups of people across time nationally and internationally.
Jewish Activists in the Civil Rights Movement (by Morissa Zuckerman)
Through this lesson, students will learn about Jewish activists, particularly women, and the African-American community during the civil rights movement. Students will gain understanding about the social, political, religious, racial and gender dynamics that played into this relationship and its implications.
Fannie Lou Hamer’s Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement (by Jenna Archer)
In this two-part 9th grade lesson, students will learn about women leaders in the civil rights movement through an analysis of Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony at the Democratic National Convention of 1964.
Wounded Knee, 1973 – the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Impact of the Media (by Kelly Nguyen)
This lesson is designed to examine the Wounded Knee incident in 1973 in the context of the actions of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the role of the media during the event. Students will not only learn about the incident itself, but also the impact that mass media can have, even on relatively small social movements such as AIM.
Violence in the Founding Ideology of the Black Panthers (by Aaron Rosenthal)
Students should gain an understanding of the Black Panther’s use of violence as a response to the failures of the nonviolent civil rights movement. The Black Panthers use of violence should be analyzed and discussed as a political and social tool for empowerment with precedence in American history.
The Supreme Court and its Supreme Influence in the Human Movement (by Vicente Robles)
To widen students’ thoughts on the basis and valuable influence that the court system placed on the fundamentals of education and in return also influenced the many people rights movements. To help students question and challenge the incomplete history presented by textbooks.
Identity and Movement: Understanding the Development of the Chicano Identity During the Chicano Rights Movement (by Chris Walters)
This lesson, which involves one class period and two outside activities, will prompt students to explore the relationship between identity and movement in the Chicano Rights Movement. Through different activities, students will study the ways in which Corky Gonzales’ “I Am Joaquín” and other works helped to define the Chicano identity and impact the outcomes of the Chicano Rights Movement.
The Environmental Justice Movement and its Origins (by Marlene Salazar)
The overall goal for students is to gain historical knowledge on the environmental justice movement. While using the Principles of Environmental Justice, selected readings, and visuals students can get a better understanding of the movement.
The Fight for Educational Justice within the Chicano Communities (By Jordan Wilson-Dalzell)
Through a series of senior year Humanities seminars and discussions, students will discuss the role the East LA blowouts played in [young] Chicano identification and empowerment. They will apply primary sources to a creative interpretation of the forces that accumulated to catalyze the East LA Blowouts.