The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
Jim Crow Stories
A National Struggle
Interactive Maps
Tools and Activities
For Teachers

Introduction Lesson Plan Activities Resources

From grades 6 through 12, the following lesson plans cover a wide variety of themes for the classroom. Teachers can take advantage of any of the seven offerings below.

Lesson 1: The Economics of Jim Crow

Grade level: Grades 9-12
The economy of the Southern States during the era of Jim Crow was primarily based on agriculture. While the majority of Southern blacks worked in agriculture as sharecroppers and tenant farmers, others sought work in the cities of the South and North, including a small but influential black middle class. This unit looks at the economics of Jim Crow, how Jim Crow laws sustained black economic dependency, and why the rise of a black middle class challenged white supremacy. find out more

Lesson 2: Fighting Jim Crow in the Schools

Grade level: Grades 7-8
During the Jim Crow era, education was an important component of the aspirations of African Americans. Many prominent African American leaders were nationally recognized educators, and their theories of education often mirrored their strategies in dealing with Jim Crow. In addition, many of the key battles in the struggle to overturn Jim Crow centered on equal access to education. This lesson plan considers the role education played in the struggle against Jim Crow. find out more

Lesson 3: Black Pioneers: Building African American Communities during Jim Crow

Grade level: Grades 9-12
At the end of the Reconstruction era, federal protection was withdrawn for Southern African Americans’ civil and political liberties. In essence, this was handing over power to the same forces that had held African Americans in slavery prior to the Civil War. Post-Reconstruction African Americans were subjected to disenfranchisement, organized violence, and limited economic opportunities. Consequently, many African Americans felt that their best chances for achieving economic and personal security lay in separating themselves from the economic and social conditions of the post-Reconstruction South. Some, like Robert Charles, even considered emigrating to Liberia (although few actually did so). find out more

Lesson 4: The Jim Crow Years: People Who Made a Difference

Grade level: Grades 7-8
The four-episode series THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW tells much of the history of Jim Crow through the stories of several courageous individuals. In this lesson unit students will choose individuals highlighted in the series, investigate their backgrounds, and discuss their contributions to the struggle against Jim Crow. find out more

Lesson 5: "Read All About It": The African American Press During the Jim Crow Era

Grade level: Grades 6-8
Journalism was an avenue through which activists such as Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. DuBois reached hundreds of thousands of readers. Newspaper coverage could incite white supremacists to riot, could rally African Americans around a cause, could inform a nation, and could turn a local act of violence into a national event. This media unit considers the role of newspapers and journalists in the struggle for civil rights. find out more

Lesson 6: The Law and Politics of Jim Crow

Grade level: Grades 9-12
Jim Crow was not just a system of discrimination and segregation based on race; it was a legal system, backed by the United States Supreme Court in cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson and sustained by thousands of local states and ordinances. This unit examines the changing legal status of African Americans, the political violence that accompanied that change, and the legal challenge to Jim Crow undertaken by the NAACP and the individuals covered in the documentary series. find out more

Lesson 7: "Domestic Terror": Understanding Lynching During the Era of Jim Crow

Grade level: Grades 9-12
Terror and violence were used to sustain the Jim Crow system throughout its bloody history. Many of the stories and images contained in the series depict disturbing scenes of terror that need to be discussed in the classroom. This unit considers violence in the struggle for civil rights -- when and why violence was employed. find out more

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Intergenerational Discussion Guide
presents ideas and facts on the Jim Crow era.
  To download the Guide, you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat.  


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