“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise.” -Maya Angelou
During the month of February we have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of African Americans who overcame prejudices to impact the world in historic ways. The United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom all devote a month to celebrate this history. In 1926, when Carter G. Woodson first established Negro History Week, he thought it would be important to have a theme to focus the public’s attention. With 2014 being the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this year’s theme has been set as “Civil Rights in America.” In February, schools around the nation will focus on the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement. We will learn about giants like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and Thurgood Marshall. We will study events like the Montgomery Bus Boycott, The Little Rock Nine, and the Harlem Renaissance. Students will follow a timeline that will educate and inspire them.
African American History Timeline (available in stores)
For the classroom or at home:
- The History Channel has an interesting Interactive Civil Rights Timeline and links to many audio clips, videos, and articles on the Civil Rights Movement.
- The John F. Kennedy Library has links to multiple documents of Civil Rights Leaders.
“To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled…”
– Civil Rights Act of 1964