Brown v. Board of Education 50 Year Legacy Celebrated With Online Curriculum for High School Students
New York, NY, April 29, 2004…In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) introduces "Looking Back…Reaching Forward: Exploring the Promise of Brown v. Board of Education 50 Years Later," an online curriculum for high school students that explores the history of school desegregation in the United States and examines current patterns of resegregation in public schools.
"As we mark the anniversary of the landmark civil rights decision, Brown v. Board of Education, it is important to examine the legacy and promise of a decision made 50 years ago," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "'Looking back…Reaching Forward' gives high school students the opportunity to explore the history and circumstances surrounding Brown v. Board of Education, as well as the chance to put the decision in a current context."
"Looking Back…Reaching Forward" is a series of six lesson plans that challenges students to investigate whether segregation is a problem that we once lived with, or still live with in U.S. schools. In addition to providing factual history, the program aims to connect past to present, challenge students to reflect on their own beliefs about diversity, and inspire social action in local schools and communities.
- Lesson 1: The Problem We Still Live With?
A Norman Rockwell painting and historical biography are used to introduce students to Brown v. Board of Education and the history of school desegregation. Students are asked to consider whether—50 years later—they think segregation is still a problem in U.S. schools.
- Lesson 2: The Road to Brown
Students research historical events that set the stage for Brown v. Board of Education and create a timeline that highlights their significance.
- Lesson 3: With All Deliberate Speed
Primary documents, historic records and photographs are used to explore the ways in which school desegregation was implemented in the decades following the Brown decision.
- Lesson 4: Fifty Years Later
Students examine statistical data and current events to learn about current levels of school integration and segregation. They participate in a role play that encourages them to explore their own ideas about integration and the value of diversity in school settings.
- Lesson 5: Bringing It Home
Students apply their learning about the issue of segregation to their own school community by researching local demographics, reflecting on their personal experiences with social boundaries, and exploring ways to create change in their school.
- Lesson 6: Building Alliances
Students explore what it means to be an ally and learn about allies from the Jewish community who worked to end racial segregation in schools. They apply these historical lessons to their own lives by identifying ways to build alliances across differences.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.