Breaking Barriers: Grades 3-5

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Breaking Barriers show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they provide students with first-hand experience about how African-American individuals have broken barriers to racial integration in the United States, achieving equal rights and making lasting contributions to the country’s political, social and cultural development.

Breaking Barriers: Grades 6-8

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Breaking Barriers show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they provide students with first-hand experience about how African-American individuals have broken barriers to racial integration in the United States, achieving equal rights and making lasting contributions to the country’s political, social and cultural development.

Breaking Barriers: Grades 9-12

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Breaking Barriers show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they provide students with first-hand experience about how African-American individuals have broken barriers to racial integration in the United States, achieving equal rights and making lasting contributions to the country’s political, social and cultural development.

Arguing Arkansas: Analyzing the Impact of Eisenhower’s Little Rock Speech

This lesson, developed in collaboration with the National Archives, has students explore a number of primary sources, all connected to the events at Little Rock High School. It asks students to consider how the events at Little Rock may or may not have been impacted by the words and leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A Conversation on Brown v. Board of Education

Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy discuss with high school students this landmark case that ended racial segregation in schools. They explore the background of the case, the role of Thurgood Marshall, how Brown v. Board of Education was decided, and the events following the unanimous ruling that said that “separate education facilities are inherently unequal.” A PDF lesson plan accompanies this video.

Different Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement

Anthony Badger uses the career of President Jimmy Carter to frame the questions of change in the American South and the relative impact that economic modernization, nonviolent protest, and armed self-defense had on the end of segregation and the steps taken toward political and social equality.

Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II

Professor Clarence Taylor reminds us of the role African American soldiers played in the conflict—and the role their military service played in shaping the racial politics that followed in peacetime. This essay helps us appreciate the complexity of mobilization for modern warfare and drive home the impact of events on the world stage upon domestic affairs. Registration is required to view this resource.