the Video Unit 5
and Discussion (30 minutes)
Before viewing the video, discuss the following questions:
- What did DuBois mean when he wrote about the "double consciousness"?
- Should the Fourteenth Amendment be read to guarantee equal opportunity
or equal outcomes?
- Can effective equal protection rights be guaranteed to individuals
or must these guarantees be based on group membership?
- How has the entrance of large numbers of women in the workforce
changed our understanding of the equal protection clause of the
Watch the Video
(30 minutes) and Discuss (30 minutes) [Top]
The video includes three segments:
1. Ending School Segregation: The Case of Farmville, Virginia
No aspect of segregation was more harmful than the separation of
black and white children in the public schools, especially in the
South. This story is about how black students in 1951 staged a strike
in Farmville, Virginia, to protest school segregation. How that
strike played a major role in ending school segregation is not widely
known. Like many towns in the South, Farmville maintained separate
school systems for black and white children. For the black students,
it was immediately clear that their school facilities were inferior
to those of whites. The story of Farmville is a story of victory,
but one long delayed, even long after the Supreme Court's ruling.
- Until the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the relevant
legal standard was "separate but equal." What does Farmville
tell you about the enforcement of even that standard? What would
have happened if that standard had been strictly enforced?
- Farmville is a classic example of de jure discrimination, but
most discrimination is de facto. How do we address de facto discrimination?
- At the time of the Brown decision, racial discrimination was
overt in almost all areas of life. Why do you think that the NAACP
selected discrimination in education as its prime target?
2. Title IX and Girl's Sports
At America's birth, the Constitution's framers granted women almost
no civil rights. In fact, it took until 1920 for women to win the
right to vote, and until the 1970s to gain overall legal equality.
The modern women's movement adopted several lessons from the Civil
Rights Movement. For example, to show they were being discriminated
against women had to prove they were treated unfavorably simply because
they were women. The story of one fight over equality in youth sports
illustrates this ongoing struggle.
- Is the scheduling of athletic seasons by the state an example
- Does it matter that the different season (different from the
boys') was combined with unequal facilities?
- Should it matter that most people think that different seasons
for the same or comparable sports is acceptable? Does it matter
if most girls find it acceptable?
3. Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Americans
Fighting discrimination often takes years of mass organization,
protest, political lobbying, and legal challenges to win new laws
and the power to enforce them. The 1973 Rehabilitation Act was considered
an early victory for supporters of rights for the disabled. It included
a provision stipulating that federally funded programs and facilities
must be accessible to disabled individuals. The broader Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 expanded the protections first articulated
in 1973. But the fight for equality often continues beyond the passage
of laws recognizing the rights of those who are experiencing discrimination.
No one knows this better than those who seek the end of discrimination
against people with disabilities.
- What steps are necessary to eliminate discrimination against
those with disabilities?
- What disabilities should be covered by ADA?
- Is discrimination against those with disabilities comparable
to discrimination against racial minorities and women?
and Discussion (30 minutes) [Top]
Try the Critical
Thinking activity for Unit 5. This is a good activity to
use with your students, too.
1. Americans Have Come a Long Way, But There's Still Work To
Be Done (20 minutes)
Discuss what remains to be done in the struggle for equal rights
for all citizens. Are there groups of citizens who still don't enjoy
their full rights? Who are they? Where might new claims for guarantees
of equality come from in the future? For instance, should the Fourteenth
Amendment be read to prohibit discrimination against the poor?
2. What Is To Be Done? (10 minutes)
What efforts must society make to redress discrimination? Discuss
the options and costs of redressing past practices of discrimination.
Read the following Readings from Unit 6 to prepare for next week's
- Introduction-Legislatures: Laying Down the Law
- Tocqueville, Democracy in America: "Legislative Powers
of the Federal Government"
- Locke, Legislatures
- Federalist Papers: "Federalist No. 26"
- Beveridge, "Remarks Before the Senate Concerning the U.S.
Occupation of the Philippines"
Read next week's Topic Overview.
You may want to have your students do the post-viewing activities:
Americans Have Come a Long Way, But There's Still Work To Be Done
and What Is To Be Done? They are provided for you as blackline masters
in the Appendix of the print guide.