The release of the film Selma in this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has helped generate great interest in these pivotal stories from the Civil Rights Movement.
Schools across the country are taking students to see the film. Commemorative events will be held all year.
Today, racial equity and voting rights are front and center in the lives of young people. There is much they can learn from stepping into the history of the Selma voting rights campaign and the larger Civil Rights Movement. We owe it to students on this anniversary to engage them in the history in a way that allows them to look critically at the world today and equips them to carry on the struggle for justice.
All too often, students think that two people (Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks) were responsible for all the gains made by the Civil Rights Movement. Given this “master narrative,” their response to injustices is often to hope for the next savior to come along.
Check out these interactive lessons and recommended resources that invite students to step into the history and think critically and creatively about the continued fight for justice today.