Black History Month

Join us in Subtext to celebrate Black History Month with a collection of texts and annotations around the theme of Protest during the Civil Rights Movement. We hope you find something to add to your lesson here, or that you use this content to learn more about how Subtext’s tools work. Explore our selections and guiding questions, and be sure to tell us what you think.

Overall Guiding Questions

We hope your classrooms will engage with us on these questions and help celebrate great historical figures, speeches, and texts.

– How did the Civil Rights Movement change the United States?
– How did the different forms of protest that were used in the Civil Rights Movement bring about change?
– What role did non-violent protest play in the Civil Rights Movement?  Do you think violent protest would have been more or less effective?  Why?
– Based on your research, what would it take to say that the Civil Rights Movement was successful?  Identify one necessary area of success and research how it to determine if in fact we have made progress in this area.

Join ‘Black History Month’ Group

Accessing this collection of content is easy. If you already have Subtext, tap ‘Join Group’ and use code KSWHEMBH. All of these articles and annotations can be shared with a class – you decide what you want to use and how to use it.

If you don’t have our free iPad app, you can get it here. If you’re using Edmodo, first install our free Edmodo app, then log into our iPad app with your Edmodo username.  Here’s a list of the texts with annotations available:

Text 1: Images from the Civil Rights Movement

This document takes 19 famous images from the Library of Congress and asks students to think more deeply about what can be observed directly (and inferred/concluded). If a picture tells 1,000 words, than this set of Civil Rights photographs tells 19,000.  Encourage students to spend time with each photograph, and encourage them to explain which photograph stands out the most to them.  They are also encouraged to evaluate one specific photograph in regards to the challenges and opposition that non-violent resistance often faced.

– How do these images represent the Civil Rights Movement?

– How do photographs make you think differently about protest in the Civil Rights Movement?

Text 2: Civil Rights: Songs & Poems

There are myriad moving and memorable songs and poems of the Civil Right’s Era.  This compilation introduces students to several songs (We Shall Overcome, Blowin’ in the Wind) and poems (from Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou), and gives them an opportunity to engage with the cultural substance that drove the Civil Rights Movement.  Students are encouraged to not only consider the powerful potential of songs and poems, but to analyze how the theme of protest and equal rights is carefully woven into the speech of great Civil Rights authors and songwriters. Concepts such as theme, main idea and metaphor are used.

– What role did songs and poetry play in the Civil Rights Movement?

– What did music and poetry achieve in the Civil Rights Movement that no other influence could have achieved?

Text 3: 1968 Olympics Silent Protest

This document could be used by either an ELA or Social Studies teacher to bring this historic event to life, while diving more deeply into the Black Power movement.  Videos and articles enrich the event.

– How does this event represent non-violent resistance during the Civil Rights Movement?

– What do you think these Olympic athletes were protesting?

Text 4: “I Have a Dream” Speech

We examined the oratory devices of King to encourage critical thinking about the text. Students are encouraged to state in their own words what they feel was the impact Dr. King wanted his speech to have.  This prompt supports students analysis of the text, including the many rhetorical devices he uses to achieve his impact.  Students are also encouraged to identify the theme of non-violent protest throughout his speech.  Additional questions are also provided in order to student to conduct independent research to evaluate and justify a claim using both Dr. King’s speech as well as other sources.

– What is the relationship between Dr. King’s speech and protest during the Civil Rights Movement?

Text 5: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This one document includes 3 texts: ‘I Have a Dream’, an informational text, and a student-created video on protest.  Annotations focus on ELA Common Core standards from Reading Literature (RL) and Reading Informational Texts (RI) and concepts such as defining a point of view, evaluating figurative language, and comparing genres.

From the annotation team: These three texts have been chosen to help teachers think about how to use Subtext tools across a variety of text types (informational, speech, and video) and in conjunction with literacy standards. The purpose is to inspire teachers with possible methods for using Subtext to scaffold instruction with timely texts.

Learn more how Subtext supports the Common Core.

Text 6: “The Ballot or the Bullet” Speech

This famous speech by Malcolm X is enriched with video and focuses on the comparative nature of Malcolm X vs. Dr. King’s style of protest.

– What is the relationship between Malcolm X’s speech and protest during the Civil Rights Movement?

Text 7: Six Facts about Non-Violent Protest

This informational text explores the core tenets of Dr. King and protest, setting the stage for a number of other texts in this collection.

– What role did non-violent resistance play in the Civil Rights Movement?

Text 8: Gettysburg Address

Due to the resurgence of popularity of Lincoln (and President’s Day right around the corner), we included this speech as a method for comparing it to the famous speeches of Dr. King and Malcolm X. (Coming Soon)