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A History of Civil Rights in America

A History of Civil Rights in America offers a comprehensive historical overview detailing the expansion of civil rights to include more people. the series takes you through the development of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14th Amendments, civil rights legislation, court decisions as well as examining fearless civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr. From the past to the present, this eight part series takes the viewer through one of the most powerful forces in American History; the promise of civil rights for all.
  • Title ID 68-CRA
  • History, American History, Political Science, Constitutional History, U.S. Government, Social Studies, Minority Achievement
  • 8 Programs
  • 33 Supplemental Files
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Published by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Included Programs
Supplemental Files

Included Programs

1774 - 1833 Running time is 29 minutes

In Program 1 students will study how America's founding fathers created a government to protect the civil rights of the people, rights derived not from any government but from nature or God and shown in the country's most sacred documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Chapter List
1774 - Thomas Jefferson Writes A Summary View of the Rights of British America
thomas Jefferson author of the Declaration of Independence beginning the American Revolution ending Britain's rule of her North American Colonies, learned about the inalienable rights of man from European Enlightenment thinkers.
1776 - America's Declaration of Independence Sets the Stage for Civil Rights
the Declaration of Independence, which started the American Revolution and would become the foundation for the U.S. constitution while establishing the country's Independence Day, was written by thomas Jefferson, as a fundamental doctrine of civil rights and was signed on July 4th.
1791 -Bill of Rights Guarantees Civil Rights
the Bill of Rights, central to American democracy, was written by James Madison as a Declaration of Human Rights to protect, civil rights - the civil liberties of the people.
1828 - Jacksonian Democracy Creates Universal White Male Suffrage
Jacksonian Democracy, named after President Andrew Jackson, brought the common man into U.S. politics.
1833 - William Lloyd Garrison Founds the National Antislavery Society
the abolition of slavery in America was first founded during the Great Awakening by the preacher George Whitefield and later the Quakers, and found its fruition in the American Anti-Slavery Society founded by William Lloyd Garrison, editor of the Liberator, and was supported by other abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony,

1834 - 1868 Running time is 27 minutes

In Program 2 students will study how Americans launched the drive for universal education to make sure there is an enlightened citizenry that knows its civil rights, while at the same time, the country abolishes slavery and expands the idea that all men are created equal to include Blacks through the 13th and 14th Amendments.

Chapter List
1837 - Horace Mann Leads the Way for Universal Education
Horace Mann, Father of America's Public School System, saw that universal education was a way to educate all Americans to understand their civil rights, but universal education did have its problems such as integration of minorities into public school systems, which was finally made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education.
1863 - The Road to Lincoln\\'s Emancipation Proclamation
the Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery during the Civil War, was written by President Abraham Lincoln, to rally the support of abolitionists, but the long road to the proclamation began with the U.S. Constitution, which allowed slavery in spite of its principles of civil rights, and from 1820's Missouri Compromise to the Compromise of 1850, were needed to preserve the Constitution by allowing free and slave states to be admitted until the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision made Civil War
1865 - 13th Amendment Ends Slavery in America
After the Civil War the 13th, amendment to the Constitution ended slavery.
1868 - 14th Amendment Lays the Foundation for Civil Rights for All
the 14th Amendment, or second Bill of Rights, has become the great equalizer when it comes to education, racial and gender discrimination, and participation in the legal and political systems. through its far reaching 'equal protection clause.'

1869 - 1916 Running time is 29 minutes

In program 3 students will study how the nation extended civil rights to Blacks, Chinese-Americans, American Indians, and Jewish Americans.

Chapter List
1869 - 15th Amendment Extends the Right to Vote to Black Men
the 15th Amendment pushed through the Senate by Radical Republicans such as thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, gave the right to vote to former black slaves.
1879 - Standing Bear Becomes a Person
Standing Bear, an American Indian, was arrested by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, General Crook for leaving the Ponca reservation in Oklahoma, but was granted a writ of habeus corpus, thereby making him an American citizen entitled to civil rights.
1884 - Joseph and Mary Tape Successfully Challenge San Francisco Public Schools
Joseph and Mary Tape, worked to obtain civil rights and equal rights for their children's schooling, but the California Supreme Court ruled the children must attend a, separate but equal Chinese primary school.
1886 - Through Yick Wo Supreme Court Establishes Equal Protection for Non Citizens
Yick Wo, who owned a Chinese American laundry, sought equal rights and civil rights for Chinese American laundrymen in the Supreme Court Case Yick Wo v. Hopkins.
1909 - W.E.B. Du Bois Founds the NAACP
W.E.B. Du Bois founds the NAACP to fight Jim Crow laws and segregation and to promote Civil Rights.
1916 - Louis Brandeis is the Champion of the Common Man
Louis Brandeis, a lawyer for the common man was also a leader of the American Zionist movement and the first Jewish American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, opening the door for other Jewish Americans such as, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur J. Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

1917 - 1926 Running time is 28 minutes

In Program 4 students will study how civil rights were extended to the states through the 14th Amendment and how women, American Indians, Chinese Americans, solidified their claims to civil rights.

Chapter List
1920 - Women Gain the Right to Vote
the 19th Amendment allowed women to gain the right to vote, a right fought for by suffragettes first led by Susan B. Anthony in the 19th century.
1924 - Gertrude Simmons Bonnin Begins the Revival of American Indian Rights
Gertrude Simmons Bonnin was an American Indian leader for American Indian Heritage and Civil rights.
1925 -U.S. Supreme Court Begins Extending the Bill of Rights to the States
the 14th Amendment was used in the case of Gitlow v New York, a case involving anarchist Benjamin Gitlow, by Chief Justice William Howard Taft to incorporate, or extend, the Bill of Rights to the states during there Roaring Twenties.
1926 - You Chung Hong Leads the Fight for Chinese American Civil Rights
You Chung Hong, was a Chinese American lawyer who fought for civil rights, such as in Yick Wo. V. Hopkins, and to end the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

1927 - 1961 Running time is 29 minutes

In Program 5 students will study how a major shift in American consciousness under President Truman concerning the civil rights of Blacks led to the greatest civil rights movement the nation has ever seen, including the end of the doctrine 'separate but equal,' the courage of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in ending segregation and How the U.S. Supreme Court extended the 4th Amendment's protections to the states.

Chapter List
1935 - Mary McLeod Bethune: American Woman of the 20th Century
Mary McLeod Bethune, a member of FDR's Black Cabinet, founded Bethune Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women, which allied with the NAACP to promote Civil Rights.
1943 - Magnuson Act Repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
the Magnuson Act, over turned Chinese Exclusion, in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882,and was later followed by the McCarran Walter Act and the Hart Celler Act.
1948 - Harry S. Truman Initiates a Sea Change in American Civil Rights
President Truman created a sea change in the civil rights movements for Blacks and other minorities by desegregating the American Military with the help of Black General Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr., in writing Executive Order # 9981, which would lead to total integration of the American military by the Vietnam War.
1954 - Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education, reestablished civil rights lost in Plessey V. Ferguson, which allowed Jim Crow laws, but black lawyer thurgood Marshal led the fight for desegregation which was upheld by the Earl Warren court.
1955 - Rosa Parks is Arrested
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and set the stage for the end of segregation and the beginning of full Civil Rights for Blacks.
1961 - U.S. Supreme Court Extends Fourth Amendment to the States
In 1964 the Supreme Court enforced the 4th Amendment's protection against an illegal search without a proper search warrant.

1962 - 1965 Running time is 27 minutes

In Program 6 students will study how the promise of the Declaration of Independence was finally extended to Blacks through four monumental pieces of legislation, ending discrimination in the workplace, the voting booth and in representation in Congress , while at the same time, the Supreme Court strengthened the rights of the accused through its landmark Miranda ruling.

Chapter List
1963 - Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech
Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech would be the culmination of non-violent protests and Freedom Rides to end segregation and bring on Black Civil Rights.
1964 -Warren Court Strengthens 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty' through Miranda
the Miranda ruling by the Supreme Court expanded the legal rights of the accused.
1964 -Civil Rights Act Outlaws Discrimination Against Blacks and Women
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, begun by President Kennedy and completed by President Johnson, was one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation during the civil rights movement, and helped to end discrimination and racism in the workplace and advance equal employment opportunity.
1964 - 24th Amendment Prohibits Poll Taxes in Federal Elections
the 24th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extended Civil rights of blacks.
1964 - One Man, One Vote
Gerrymandering, named after Massachusetts' Governor Elbridge Gerry, is a circumvention of the 'one man one vote' rule, an important part of America's election process, though the Electoral College in the election of Presidents does not follow the rule.
1965 - Voting Rights Act is Passed
the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation, giving the Federal Government the power and means to supervise polling places in state and federal elections and end the disenfranchisement of Black voters through such arcane tests as literacy tests.

1965 - 1993 Running time is 28 minutes

In Program 7 students will study how in this the era of the great civil rights leaders for Hispanics, Blacks, American Indians, and Jewish Americans helped usher in a time of great change in the civil rights of all Americans for the betterment of all Americans, while the 26th Amendment gave 18 year olds the right to vote.

Chapter List
1965 - Cesar Chavez Leads the Charge for Hispanic Civil Rights
Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers of America, a Farm Workers Association representing Hispanic workers, as Mexican Americans began to work for Chicano rights equal to the sacrifices they made for the United States.
1967 - Thurgood Marshall is the Champion for Black Rights
Lincoln University graduate and Black lawyer thurgood Marshall, who led the team fighting for Civil Rights in Brown v. Board of Education, is appointed as the first Black justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
1970 - John Echohawk Founds the Native American Rights Fund
Olympian Billy Mills endorsed Native American Rights Fund founder John Echohawk, as the American Indian leader pushing forward for Civil rights and American Indian rights.
1971 - 26th Amendment Gives 18 Year Olds the Right to Vote
the 26th Amendment gave the right to vote, to 18 year olds.
1993 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg is Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not only a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, she is a leader of women's civil rights just as thurgood Marshall was a leader for black civil rights.

1994 - 2010 Running time is 29 minutes

In Program 8 students will study the first great civil rights issues of the 21st century - illegal immigration, due process for non U.S. citizens, and gays in the U.S. military.

Chapter List
2007 - Hispanics March for Civil Rights
Illegal Immigration and Illegal immigrants from Mexico and Latin America, has topped 11 million, causing America to split into two camps, one asking for amnesty and the other demanding increased border patrols and deportation.
2008 - Boumediene v Bush Confirms Due Process for Non Citizens
After al Qaeda Islamic terrorists on 9/11 attacked the U.S., America invaded Afghanistan and captured enemy combatants who became Guantanamo detainees and were denied due process by the Bush Administration since they were non-U.S. citizens, until the Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v Bush, that non-U.S. citizens have civil rights such as due process, and therefore are entitled to the same inalienable rights as thomas Jefferson wrote about in the Declaration of Independence.
2008 - Barack Obama Wins the Presidency
By winning the presidency, democratic U.S. Senator, Barack Obama became the first black president and changed a 350 year old era of segregation, racism and Jim Crow laws, transcending race as an issue for blacks and whites.
2010 - 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repealed
the 'don't ask, don't tell' compromise of 1993 was repealed in 2010, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. Military and enjoy the civil right of freedom of expression found in the 1st Amendment.

Supplemental Files

Amendments to the Constitution
The Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Blackline Master Quizzes for A History of Civil Rights in America
Teacher handout quizzes for A History of Civil Rights in America
Boumediene v Bush
U.S. Supreme Court Case dealing with the rights on non American citizens
Brown v Board of Education
U.S. Supreme Court Case ending separate but equal policy of the 1896 ruling in Plessy v Ferguson
Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943 - Magnuson Act
Act repealing 1881 Chinese Exclusion Act
Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
Act Repealing Don't ask don't tell poilicy of U.S. Military
Dred Scott v. Sanford
1857 U.S. Supreme Court Ruling that slaves were property
Gitlow v New York
1925 U.S. Supreme Court Ruling that used 14th Amendment to apply Bill of Rights to the states
I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
1963 speech by Martin Luther King Jr. during Washington D.C. Freedom March
Mapp v. Ohio
1961 U.S. Supreme Court Ruling applying 4th amendment to the states
MARC Records for CRA
MARC records for the series A History of Civil Rights in America
Miranda v. Arizona
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling that provided Miranda warning to suspects
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
Act for safety and welfare for American workers
Plessy v. Ferguson
1896 U.S. supreme Court Ruling that instituted separate but equal policy
President Truman Eexcutive Order 9981 Desegregating the U.S. Military
President Truman's Executive Order to Desgregate the U.S. Military
Roe V. Wade
1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion
Teacher's Guide for A History of Civil Rights in America
Teacher's Guide for A History of Civil Rights in America
The Bill of Rights
The first ten Amndments to the U.S. Consitution
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964 ending discrimination against Blacks and women in the workplace
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence
The Emancipation Proclamation
1863 Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln freeing slaves in all the state rebelling against the union
The U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution
Thomas Jefferson - A Summary View of the Rights of British America
Essay by Thomas Jefferson written in 1774 outlining the rights of the American Colonists
Voting Rights Act of 1965
An Act establishing rules for polling places throughout the United States
Yick Wo v Hopkins
1886 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court awarding civil rights to non U.S. citizens
Transcription for 1774 - 1833
Transcription for 1834 - 1868
Transcription for 1869 - 1916
Transcription for 1917 - 1926
Transcription for 1927 - 1961
Transcription for 1962 - 1965
Transcription for 1965 - 1993
Transcription for 1994 - 2010