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The Civil Rights Era

The Two Phases:

Nonviolence & Violent


What is a CSI? Simple answer: it is a teacher-created DBQ (sort of) that walks the students through a very specific period or event in history; however, instead of asking the students to respond to a few questions per document, students are asked to pull relevant and important information from each document, and then make connections. In other words, it is much, much more than a simple and old-fashion DBQ. It requires critical thinking and group participation (can be completed indiv.). Most importantly, it is a Common Core-friendly activity. Great activity for those APPR's!!!



MLK and Malcolm X were the most effective and lasting voices of the Civil Rights Era. Despite similar goals, they each represented distinct wings of the movement they helped to lead.

The Two Phases of the

Civil Rights Era




  • Martin Luther King Jr. – who was he?
    • Son of a pastor, Atlanta, GA
    • 1954, King becomes a pastor (age 26)
    • 1954, King becomes president of the organization leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott – The Montgomery Improvement Association
      • A yearlong struggle often marred by white segregationist violence
      • Bus lines reopened on a nondiscriminatory basis

Malcolm X

  • Malcolm X – who was he?
    • Born Malcolm Little, Omaha, NE
    • Also a son of a preacher
    • Father was an organizer for Marcus Garvey
      • Stressed Black Pride and independence, separation from whites, and an internationalist Pan-African identity
  • Father murdered when Malcolm was 4
    • KKK connection to the murder

Activity Directions

  • Work Cooperatively
  • Read each document thoroughly
  • Use your Think Marks
  • Complete handout - “Detective Log”
  • Individually, complete a one-page summary
  • Have Fun!!!

Concept Wheel

  • Write topic/concept in the center of wheel
  • Add details between each spoke
  • Box on right is for additional information

Doc. 2


Ghetto Uprisings

  • Violence and uprisings widespread – 4 corners
  • Johnson appoints commission
  • Causes:
  • segregation and poverty
  • white racism
  • Black unemployment twice that of whites
  • Income half

You may be interested in my Civil Rights Unit Plan

  • Extensive Examination of the following:
    • Montgomery Bus Boycott
    • Freedom Rides
    • Little Rock Nine
    • Brown v. Board of Ed
    • And much, much more