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The leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Civil-Rights Movement
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Southern Whites
March on Washington

Relevant texts:
"Letter from Birmingham Jail"

Democracy: Limitations and Possibilities
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
During the 1960s, a series of widely disparate protest movements emerged in the United States. While the antiwar movement directed against U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War appeared to be the most salient, many others as well expressed discontent with American government and society. In this question, students are asked to look at a variety of groups—including women, African Americans, and ethnic minorities—many of whose members felt marginalized or underrepresented, became politically active, and helped to establish social movements dedicated to the advancement of their communities. Students can use these documents to determine the degree to which different groups sought to redefine American democracy and make it more inclusive.

America Since 1945—E-Seminar 6, The Civil-Rights Movement
Resource Type: E-Seminar
In The Civil-Rights Movement, the sixth of ten e-seminars in the series America Since 1945, historian Alan Brinkley discusses one of the most important social movements in twentieth-century American history. He analyzes the events that propelled and shaped the civil-rights movement, the growing national awareness of racial inequalities in America, and the social policies that were created in response to those inequalities.

The Civil-Rights Movement
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The civil-rights movement shifted from nonviolent civil disobedience to "black power." The rich selection of primary sources will help students explore the philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, the differences between the African American experience in the North and in the South, the role of government and political institutions, as well as global movements against imperialism.

From Protest to Politics
Resource Type: Primary Source
Bayard Rustin (1910–87), one of Martin Luther King's closest advisors, was a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.

Beyond Vietnam
Resource Type: Primary Source
This speech was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.

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Historical thinking 

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Narrating history (4) 

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