Teaching the Struggle for Civil Rights,


Edited by Whitney G. Blankenship, Rhode Island College

A Volume in the Series: Teaching Critical Themes in American History

Call for Manuscripts



Edited by Whitney G. Blankenship, Rhode Island College




Edited by Whitney G. Blankenship, Rhode Island College


As the United States continues to deal with the issue of civil rights for all, this volume aims to provide pre-service and in-service teachers a variety of resources for teaching the early Civil Rights Movement. Textbooks often tell a disjointed story (Loewen 2001) leaving students with gaps in their understanding of the development of the Civil Rights Movement over time. The traditional civil rights curriculum begins in earnest with the 1954 Brown decision and typically ends after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. Textbooks consistently describe the period from 1954-1965 as the "heroic period" of the the movement resulting in the Black Power Movement getting blamed for "the demise of the Civil Rights Movement" (Joseph 2006) and not insignificantly, textbooks also tend to shy away from controversial issues such as rights for the LGBTQ+ community, or they omit groups entirely. Native Americans, for example, disappear from the curriculum after 1924 (Shear, et. al 2013) leaving students with the impression that the "Indian problem" is solved after the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act. Although this initial volume covers 1948-1976, subsequent volumes in the series will provide a long view of the development of civil rights across the entirety of United States History [Call for Volume Editors: Teaching Critical Themes in American History].

The teaching of Civil Rights necessitates the teaching of often controversial issues. Diana Hess and Walter Parker (2001) argued that classroom discussion of controversial issues is necessary for the development skills needed for active citizenship in a democracy. Hess (2009) also noted that given the current political climate teachers may choose to omit controversial issues from classroom discussions. Furthermore, the difficult and time-consuming process of finding and modifying appropriate primary and secondary sources can be daunting and further dampen even the most dedicated teachers' desire to go beyond the master narrative of the textbook.

The goal of this peer-reviewed, edited volume is to provide pre-service teachers, methods instructors, and in-service teachers with historical content and resources that allow them to teach the modern Civil Rights Movement through an intersectional lens.

Chapter Topics

Each section of the volume will include a Historical Analysis essay and a Pedagogical Challenges essay highlighting teaching ideas or lesson plans. Authors are invited to submit original manuscripts on the full range of civil rights topics from traditional subjects such as school desegregation, busing, and the March on Washington, to the Stonewall Riots, the American Indian Movement, and the Chicano Movement. Manuscripts that address civil rights through an intersectional lens are especially encouraged. Chapters should be 10-12 pages in length.

Historical Analysis essays should:

· Provide disciplinary content on a major topic related to the Civil Rights Movement between 1948-1976.

· An analysis of the major secondary literature on the theme

· Include a description of the key primary source documents

· Suggested Topics: The topics listed below are not intended to be an exhaustive list

o Intersectionality of the 1950s era Peace Movement and the African- American Civil Rights Movement

o Intersectionality of Economic justice and the Civil Rights Movement:

§ Black Panthers' Peoples Clinics and Free Breakfast programs

§ MLK's Radicalism: "Jobs for All"

§ Cesar Chavez & Farm Workers Movement

§ Crystal Lee Sutton & Unionization of J.P. Stevens textile Mill

o Intersectionality of Student Movements: SDS & Anti-War Protest

o Citizenship Rights/Self Determination: Goals & Tactics:

§ American Indian Movement & the occupation of Alcatraz

§ Student Movements: Lunch Counter Sit-ins, Children's March, Selma

§ The Myth of Rosa Parks/Claudette Colvin

o Educating for Democracy

§ Mississippi Freedom Schools/Movement Schools

§ Building the Case of Brown v. Board

§ Teach-Ins

o Popular Culture and the Civil Rights Movement such as:

§ 1968 Olympic Protests

§ Archie Bunker (women's liberation & integration)

§ The Black Family in Prime Time: Good Times & The Jefferson's

o Connecting Past and Present

§ Black Lives Matter and the March on Selma

§ DAPL Protests and the Occupation of Wounded Knee

§ Women's March on Washington and ERA/Abortion Rights

Pedagogical Challenges essays should:

· Provide an overview of the challenges in teaching a specific topic (such as those listed above). Authors might consider how specific civil rights topics are influenced by common pedagogical challenges such as:

o The Limits of Textbooks/Supplementing the Textbook Narrative

o Using Compelling Questions to Challenge the Master Narrative of Civil Rights Movements

o The Problems of Connecting the Past & the Present

o Teaching Controversial Issues in a post 2016 Election World

· Provide ideas on how to teach the content while addressing Common Core Standards, NCSS Thematic Strands, and the C3 Framework; including CCSS/NCSS standards

· A discussion addressing the intersectionality of the topic with contemporaneous movements

Authors are also invited to include lesson plans connected to their essay or stand-alone lesson plans. Lesson plans should conform to the provided template

General Formatting*

Submitted manuscripts should conform to the guidelines listed below. Detailed guidelines are on the Author Guidelines page.

· MS Word .doc or .docx,

· 12 point

· New Times Roman font

· double-spaced

· 1" margins

· APA Style Citations

Complete Author Guidelines

Timeline for Submissions

Initial Manuscript Submission: June 30,2017

Peer Review & Acceptance: July 30, 2017

Final Manuscript edits: September 1, 2017

Completed Book to Peter Lang October 1, 2017

Prospective authors may contact Dr. Whitney G. Blankenship via email at wblankenship@ric.edu or by completing the form below.