The Civil Rights Movement is celebrated in our national narrative as a people’s struggle for social justice. However, the powerful stories of everyday peopleorganizing and working together for social change are lost in the teaching of a few major heroes and dates. The effect is disempowering for our current and future generations that hope to make the world a better place. Students learn to believe the way that change happens is by following the next “big leader,” instead of an accurate history that emphasizes immense contributions from all people working together to make a difference.
Published by Teaching for Change and PRRAC for pre-K-12 educators, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching is a teaching resource book that emphasizes the power of people through a diversity of stories, perspectives, essays, photographs, graphics, interviews, and interactive and interdisciplinary lessons. The book includes sections on education, labor, citizenship, culture, and reflections on teaching about the Civil Rights Movement. The rationale and purpose of the book are outlined in the Introduction.
This website provides more information about Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching and handouts for many of the lessons in the book. The website also offers many new lessons, news, and resources for teaching about the role of everyday people in the Civil Rights Movement.
Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching has received many endorsements and awards of note. The book is being used in school districts and with community groups across the country. It has led to in-depth work in the state of Mississippi, particularly the McComb School District.