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U.S. Southern History from 1890 to 1970 [DRAFT FOR REVIEW]

Before class preparation/set up

The first aspect of the project was to define primary sources for the students. Primary source materials provide “immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic, from people who had a direct connection with it.” That includes news reports generated during the era you are investigating; interviews with people who provide eyewitness accounts, pop culture artifacts like musical performances (live or recorded), works of fiction like TV shows, films, or novels. (https://umb.libguides.com/PrimarySources/secondary)

Next, I identified the digital primary sources from the Library of Congress they were to analyze:

  • Booker T. Washington, “An Address Delivered at the Cotton States Exposition,” Atlanta, GA, September 18, 1895.
    • Full citation: Booker T. Washington, Cotton States Exposition, Daniel Murray Pamphlet Collection, and Susan B. Anthony Collection, Address of Booker T. Washington, principal of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama: delivered at the opening of the Cotton States and International Exposition, at Atlanta, GA; with a letter of congratulation from the President of the United States (Atlanta, GA: s.n, 1895), pdf, https://www.loc.gov/item/90898322/.
  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett, “Lynch Law in Georgia,” 1899.
    • Full citation: Wells-Barnett, Ida B, Louis P Le Vin, Daniel Murray Pamphlet Collection, and Harry Houdini Collection, “Lynch Law in Georgia: A Six-weeks' Record in the Center of Southern Civilization, As Faithfully Chronicled By The "Atlanta Journal" And The "Atlanta Constitution": Also The Full Report Of Louis P. Le Vin, The Chicago Detective Sent To Investigate The Burning Of Samuel Hose, The Torture And Hanging Of Elijah Strickland, The Colored Preacher, And The Lynching Of Nine Men For Alleged Arson” (Chicago: This pamphlet is circulated by Chicago colored citizens, 1899]), pdf, https://www.loc.gov/item/91898209/.
  • Students chose an interview from the Library of Congress Civil Rights History Project (144 videos available). The interview must relate to the civil rights movement in the U.S. South. The interview subject may identify as a member of any race or gender. https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-rights-history-project/?fa=online-format%3Avideo%7Csubject%3Ainterviews&st=gallery&c=160

Course materials that provided historical context (besides lectures) included:

  • Grace Elizabeth Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 (New York: Vintage Books, 1998).
  • Danielle McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance: A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (New York: Vintage Books, 2011).
  • Eyes on the Prize: Ain’t Afraid of Your Jails, directed by Orlando Blackwell (PBS Home Video, 1987).
  • Eyes on the Prize: Fighting Back, directed by Orlando Blackwell (PBS Home Video, 1987).
  • George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire, directed by Daniel McCabe (PBS Home Video, 2000). 
     

Tools Needed

Activities

We spent approximately half an hour in class discussing documents on Booker T. Washington on February 22 and approximately half an hour in class on Ida B. Wells on March 15. Since this was a “live-online” course, I posted links to the sources in the Zoom chat and on D2L. Two assignments followed.

Assignment

Assignment 1

Part I: Initial Post

Write a discussion post of at least 300 words on D2L that analyzes how the documents from Booker T. Washington and Ida B. Wells-Barnett reveal about the "Nadir" era of U.S. southern history. The most successful posts will contain the following information:

  • Summary/overview: When and where did the documents originate? What topics does they cover? What are the authors' views?
  • Historical context: What was happening in this time and place that may influence the creation of this document? Draw on reading and lecture materials.
  • Analysis: What aspects of the primary sources reveal something especially significant about the "Nadir" era of southern history? Be creative in your approach! If you need some inspiration, consider comparing and contrasting a particular aspect of the documents, or using the documents to draw attention to similarities or differences between Wells-Barnett and Washington. While you may certainly share your emotional response to the primary sources, you should focus on what these documents tell us about the history of the U.S. South in that era.

Part II: Response Post

Did one of your classmates offer a particularly compelling analysis? Let them know what you learned from their post. Do you disagree with someone's analysis? Respectfully offer your different interpretation. Respond to at least two classmates' posts in approximately 50 words.

Assignment 2

Part I: Initial Post

Choose an interview from the Library of Congress Civil Rights History Project (144 videos available). The interview must relate to the civil rights movement in the U.S. South. The interview subject may identify as a member of any race or gender. Write a post of at least 300 words on D2L that contains the following information:

  • Summary: who is the subject (when were they born? where are they from? How were they (or someone in their family) involved in civil rights activism?
  • Historical Context: What was happening in this time and place that may influence the creation of this document? Incorporate information from readings and lectures.
  • Analysis: What information does this interview tell us about the civil rights movement? Highlight a new piece of historical knowledge you gained from the video, and state how that knowledge adds something significant to our understanding of the movement.

Part II: Response Post

Did one of your classmates offer a particularly compelling analysis? Let them know what you learned from their post. Do you disagree with someone's analysis? Respectfully offer your different interpretation. Respond to at least two classmates' posts in approximately 50 words each.

Assessment

Rubric

  Weak Contribution (15) Moderate Contribution (17) Strong Contribution (20)
Promptness and Initiative Does not initialize a post and/or does not respond to other postings; does not participate. Initializes a post, but responds to one post only; participates at the end of the posting period.  Initializes a post and responds to at least two posts; stays active in discussions throughout the posting period.
Contribution to the Learning Environment Does not make an effort to participate in the learning community as it develops; seems indifferent. Makes meaningful reflection on the group’s efforts but gives marginal effort to become involved with the group. Makes an effort to motivate the group discussion; presents creative approaches to topic and respectfully engages with other students.
Relevance Posts are off topic; does not relate to the content or are irrelevant. Posts are related to discussion content but do not prompt further consideration or exploration of topic. Posts are related to discussion content and advance the conversation.
Evidence Evidence is insufficient to support arguments; sources are not used or lack references. Evidence is appropriate to the arguments but from limited sources, or sources that lack credibility; sources are identified. Evidence is compelling with a clear link to arguments and conclusions; sources are properly cited.
Mechanics Errors in spelling and grammar evidenced in several posts; posts appear “hasty.”  Few grammatical or spelling errors are noted in posts. Consistently uses grammatically correct posts with rare misspellings.

Total Score: _______ (out of 100)        
A: 90-100%
B: 80-89%
C: 70-79%
D: 60-69%
E: 59% or lower