Civil Rights and Identity Politics


Garrow, “A Leader for His Time”

How does Garrow’s view and portrayal of the CR movement differ?

Why was Rosa Parks the perfect test case?

Why did King become the leader of the Montgomery movement?


Skrentny, “The Minority Rights Revolution: Top Down and Bottom Up

What is surprising to many about who helped usher in the minority rights revolution of the late 60s and early 70s?

Why was WWII important to the revolution?

Why did WWII not advance gender rights as much as race rights?
How did the black civil rights movement specifically contribute to this rights revolution?

What key factors helps explain the speed and success of certain minority groups compare to others?

Why did white ethnics fail to achieve similar minority rights status?
How did the Cold War affect the minority rights revolution?

How did immigration reform in the 60s reflect the larger minority rights revolution?


After the Fact: Ch. 15: Sit Ins

Why did the 4 young men decide to sit-in?

What about race relations in Greensboro helped make the 4 young men’s decision to protest by sitting-in easier?

What is the author’s point about continuity and discontinuity in historical study?

What according to some makes the Greensboro Sit-ins an example of discontinuity? What kind of proof would they cite to support this?

What evidence is there for arguing that this actual example of continuity?

How do the authors explain why Greensboro and why at that time? (don’t worry about the details regarding these models).

What might explain SNCC’s early success and impact?


“An Abstract Thing Called Freedom”

What was usual view of Black Power groups compared to King and SCLC?

What were early views or opinions about the Black Panthers?

What made the Oakland Black Panther Party special or unique compared to similar groups at that time?

What explains their rapid notoriety or public image?

How did the Black Panthers interact with other places and nations outside US?


Brown v. Board Decision

What constitutional principle or idea did the Court use in its decision?

Why was the 14th amend debated so fiercely?

How did the Court make its decision, despite evidence and arguments of tangible factors that suggested equal facilities?

Amicus Brief on Brown
For whom is the author of this document speaking or representing?

What is the impact of discrimination according the author?  Why is the gov’t interested in this issue?

What is the connection between this case and issue of discrimination with the larger Cold War?


Carmichael, “Black Power”

How did civil rights movement actually encourage violence and militancy among blacks?

Why is the idea of black power more effective according to Carmichael?

Why is integration not the answer according to Carmichael?


Mexican Americans Form “La Raza Unida”

What evidence of the larger Civil Rights movement does this document contain?

What factors and events does the document list as contributing to the emergence of this party?