Choices Blog

Oral Histories: Students in the Civil Rights Movement

Andy Blackadar

On August 28, 1963, before a crowd of over 200,000 people in Washington D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the most famous speech of the U.S. civil rights movement. “I have a dream,” he declared, “that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the […]

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The New School Year: Processing the Summer’s Events in the Classroom

Lindsay Turchan

A lot can happen in a summer. With the new school year already off to a start for some and soon to begin for others, all of us at Choices want to take a moment to recognize the many tragic events that have taken place in the past few months throughout the world. International terror […]

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Continual Reconstruction: The Confederate Flag Controversy in the Classroom

Mackenzie Abernethy

The Confederate flag stands—or sits in a museum display case—as a symbol of very different sentiments depending upon perspective. For some, the flag flies in pride of past Civil War fighters and American heritage, but to others, it is an archaic symbol of racism, segregation and slavery in the United States. Following the fatal shooting […]

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Black History Month Series #2: Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Danielle Johnstone

  “You had these women who were just amazingly strong… that didn’t mean there wasn’t sexism,” recalled Judy Richardson in an interview with the Choices Program about her experiences in the Civil Rights Movement. Richardson was explaining the involvement of women in SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), one of the most important Civil Rights organizations […]

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Free Speech: From Skokie to Paris

Susannah Bechtel

On January 7, 2015, two gunmen attacked the Paris headquarters of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and killed twelve people. The attacks are presumed to be in response to several controversial cartoons that the magazine published depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The events have ignited a global debate on the topic of freedom of speech, explored […]

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Too Many Funerals

Andy Blackadar

One of the interesting things about the protests of the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York is how they are understood and interpreted.  TV news or the headlines tend to focus and report on them as responses to the grand jury decisions themselves, which they certainly are. But a long history is also at play here that can get missed […]

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The March (1963)

Tanya Waldburger

The National Archives recently released a digitally restored version of the 1963 documentary The March directed by James Blue. The 30-minute film chronicles the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28th, 1963. While (regrettably) the most iconic moment of that event, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech has […]

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50 Years after the March on Washington: Student Activist Stories

lmelliot@brown.edu

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. This day gives us an exceptional reason to reflect on that event, the civil rights struggle, and the challenges that remain. It is important that students not only focus on the philosophy and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also on the experiences of […]

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Jean Shepherd and the March on Washington

Andy Blackadar

Jean Shepherd (1921-1999) was a fantastic story-teller who spun finely woven tales on the radio from the late 1940s into the 1990s. The stories were seemingly off-the-cuff improvisations about life as a kid in a steel town in Indiana, his time in the army, etc. The stories were often funny, but they were also filled […]

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Virtual Exhibits

ml56@brown.edu

Teachers from all disciplines should check out the Google Cultural Institute. The institute partners with museums across the world to create virtual exhibits on topics including the Holocaust, Apartheid in South Africa, the Cold War, and the civil rights movement. Each exhibit paints a visually compelling story with the use of primary sources: photographs, posters, pamphlets, […]

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Martin Luther King Day Speaker Tells of Current Human Rights Violations in Darfur

Jo Fisher

By Derek Reichenbecher Choices Teaching Fellow and High School Teacher, Farmingdale, NJ Last summer I attended the Choices Leadership Institute on Human Rights. One of our guest speakers was, El Fadel Arbab , a refuge from Darfur who now lives in Maine.  (Read about his incredible story here). I was so touched by El-Fadel’s story this summer that I […]

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Is this America?

Andy Blackadar

On August 22, 1964, Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer of Ruleville, Mississippi spoke to the Democratic National Convention and to a national television audience. As millions watched her speech on television, President Lyndon Johnson, who did not want political controversy to interrupt his march to his party’s nomination for the presidency, called a press conference to cut […]

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