Communicator Update: June 2002
From: The Dirksen Congressional Center
The Dirksen Congressional Center's "Communicator" is a web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to enhance civic education and improve the understanding of Congress -- http://www.webcommunicator.org.
News From The Dirksen Center
PBS's "TeacherSource" has recommended CongressLink; http://www.congresslink.org as a creative resource for teachers this month. PBS evaluates sites on the basis of answers to several questions:
- Does the site provide rich content and/or an innovative model of the way technology can be used to enhance the curriculum?
- Is the site primarily non-commercial? Would teachers and students have to disclose e-mail addressees or purchase something in order to fully experience the site?
- Is the author of the site a reliable source and is his/her connection with sponsoring organizations made clear?
- Is the site well maintained with few or no sections of missing content, broken links, or "under construction" signs?
- Is the site's audience clearly defined?
- Do good navigation and design contribute to the site's overall effectiveness?
View this CongressLink citation and other endorsements at: http://www.congresslink.org/
Studying Civil Rights And Segregation In The United States
Teachers and students frequently consult The Dirksen Center's Web suite (especially CongressLink) for information about civil rights. This month's COMMUNICATOR highlights our Web-based resources on the struggle by African Americans to realize the rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution. This struggle included not only legislative efforts within the walls of Congress but also social and political activism of impressive scope.
Students can learn about constitutional provisions related to citizen rights by taking the "Constitutional Freedoms" quiz found on Congress for Kids at: http://www.congressforkids.net/
Our About Government site - http://www.aboutgovernment.org - contains links to scores of Web-based resources about civil rights. For example, students can learn about how the U.S. Supreme Court held that "separate but equal" was legal under the Constitution, ruling against Homer Plessy in the "Plessy vs. Ferguson" trial of 1896 -- http://www.aboutgovernment.org/
judicialbranch.htm#supremecourt. Are your students interested in exploring Constitutional conflicts such as "separate but equal?" About Government's Historical Documents -- http://www.aboutgovernment.org/
historicaldocuments.htm#constitution - includes a guide that explains how the NAACP fought that doctrine by suing over access to education and provides the text of related court decisions from "Plessy vs. Ferguson" through the 1990s. In addition, the Afro-American Almanac -- http://www.toptags.com/aama -- contains a wealth of information about the movement, including a listing of key events and access to many historical documents.
On February 28, 1963, President John F. Kennedy announced his plan for civil rights legislation with a special message to Congress -- http://www.congresslink.org/civil/cr1.html. He dealt particularly with objections to his proposal to speed up enforcement of the right to vote for black Americans.
President Kennedy's message launched the most important legislative initiative on behalf of civil rights in the 20th century. The culmination was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Our CongressLink featured lesson plan -- How a Bill Becomes a Law: The Case of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- http://www.congresslink.org/
lessonplans/civrights.html -- will demonstrate to students the step-by-step procedure of a bill becoming a law using the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a case study. Students will understand how Congress makes laws and the role of congressional committees in this process by using the CongressLink online narrative of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- http://www.congresslink.org/civil/esscon.html -- and the related historical documents -- http://www.congresslink.org/civil.html. This will help them understand key concepts associated with the legislative process such as filibuster, cloture, bipartisan, petition, and lobbying. Additionally, they will also see how controversial social issues, such as civil rights, greatly affect the process.
The Dirksen Center site introduces new content - Dirksen Video Segments. Our featured project this month is "Everett Dirksen's Washington" VFI-68/1/22-2 - http://www.dirksencenter.org
/recordings/videoembed-2.htm. This video segment features Dirksen discussing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and its crafting in his office. QuickTime is required to view the video segment. If you do not have QuickTime installed, open the appropriate self-extracting installer file from the link provided -- http://www.dirksencenter.org
/recordings/EMDrecordings.htm -- and follow that program's instructions. Download time could take approximately 5-10 minutes for the video segment, depending on the speed of individual computers.
"Separate but Equal Doctrine" Diversion
In "Plessy v. Ferguson" (1896) the Supreme Court decided that this practice was legal in the United States as long as public facilities for blacks and whites were equal. This idea came to be known as "separate but equal." Homer Plessy challenged this practice, better known as...
- Legal Rights
- Dissenting Opinion
- "Equal Protection Under Law"
At first, the southern states used the _____ _____ to limit former slaves' ability to find work and freedom to move off the plantations.
- Block Grants
- Black Panther Party
- Black Codes
- Reverse Discrimination
Under the Jim Crow laws, separation was based on race. Because this separation based on race was backed by law, it was called...
- de facto segregation
- de jure segregation
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