The Impact of Racial Discrimination on Black American Lives in the Jim Crow Era (1944 – 1960)
Students analyze documents from the holdings of the National Archives to assess the impact of legalized racial segregation on the lives of Black Americans from 1944 – 1960.
Students analyze historical documents and discuss how Jim Crow, a system of laws and practices set in place to maintain white supremacy, limited the freedom of African Americans. These documents from 1944 – 1960 express the words and actions of people or institutions working to either remove or reinforce race-based barriers to equality.
How did Jim Crow laws and practices limit the freedom of Black Americans?
9 – 12
Two 45 minute class periods
U.S. History, Civics, Government
In-Person Learning Instructions for the Lesson
Preparing the Materials:
- Print 4 copies of Worksheet 1 for each student. Print 1 copy of Worksheet 2 for each student. Print 1 copy of the Background Information to make each relevant page available at the corresponding station.
- Establish 4 stations.
- Make 1 copy of the Primary Source Documents and place them at the appropriate stations.
- Divide the students into 4 groups.
- Carousel the groups through the 4 stations.
- Alternatively, each group can be assigned to study the documents at just one station and report back to the full class giving a summary of the documents and the group's collaborative analysis.
- Provide each group with enough time at each station for students to work as a group to analyze the documents and collaboratively develop responses to the items on Worksheet 1. Instruct each student to analyze one of the documents on their own copy of Worksheet 1, drawing on the findings of the group collaboration. Instruct each group to ensure that all the documents at each station have been analyzed by at least one member of their group.
- When the students have completed their work at all four stations, instruct the students to independently complete the reflection questions found on Worksheet 2 and prepare to share their responses with the full class.
- Have a whole group discussion of Worksheet 2.
Distance Learning Instructions for the Lesson
- Make the Worksheets and Primary Source Documents available to the students in digital form. Separate the documents into 4 station-specific groups to insure that the students know which documents go together. Clarify for the students that the learning activities and documents are organized as stations on the lesson materials and that work in the lesson will be completed one station at a time. Make the appropriate page of the Background Information available.
- Divide the class into 4 groups.
- Instruct each group to discuss and analyze the documents at all 4 stations, and to work collaboratively to respond in writing to the prompts on Worksheet 1. Instruct each student to analyze one of the documents on their own copy of Worksheet 1, drawing on the findings of the group collaboration. Instruct each group to ensure that all the documents at each station have been analyzed by at least one member of their group.
- When the students have completed their work at all 4 stations, instruct the students to independently complete Worksheet 2 and prepare to share their responses with the full class.
- When the students have completed Worksheet 2, convene a whole class discussion of the reflection questions.
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