Exploring U.S. History of Racial Inequality

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Using video clips from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, this collection of lesson plans addresses a wide range of themes of the African-American experience from 1500 to the present.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

Explore educational materials from the series Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise. Embark with professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history.

Civil Rights: Then and Now

This collection of videos, documents, and primary sources lends context to the events and leaders that defined the Civil Rights Movement’s first three decades (1954-1985). These resources also capture the issues and activists involved in the struggle today—those making headlines, stirring debate, and trending on social media.

Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement

Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement is a series of field trips occurring throughout the Civil Rights fiftieth anniversary years of 2013-2015 that focus on the role of citizenship in a democracy through the study of historical events.

Voices of Baltimore: Life Under Segregation

Engage in critical analysis of the film Voices of Baltimore: Life under Segregation that preserves oral histories of individuals who experienced life during the Jim Crow era in Maryland.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

Use these resources to explore the landmark four-part series The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, which explores segregation from the end of the Civil War to the dawn of the modern civil rights movement. It was a brutal and oppressive era in American history, but during this time, large numbers of African Americans and a corps of influential black leaders bravely fought against the status quo, amazingly acquiring for African Americans the opportunities of education, business, land ownership, and a true spirit of community.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Teachers may utilize these lesson plans drawn from the series Reconstruction: America After the Civil War to explore the ways that the Reconstruction shaped our country, the South and African Americans.

Birth of a Movement

INDEPENDENT LENS: "Birth of a Movement" tells the story of Boston-based African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith’s technically groundbreaking but notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly The Birth of a Nation, unleashing a fight that still rages today about race relations, media representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. This collection includes video segments, discussion questions, handouts, and teaching tips connected to the film.

Teaching Hard History: American Slavery

Find support for Teaching Hard History with frameworks, student texts, primary sources, videos and teaching tools for Grades K-5 and Grades 6-12. Each framework provides a truthful, age-appropriate guide to the historical significance of American slavery and the legacies that impact us today.

The 1619 Project Curriculum

Find reading guides, activities, and other resources to bring The 1619 Project into your classroom. This project, from the New York Times Magazine, challenges us to reframe U.S. history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as our nation's foundational date.


In the mid-19th century, the abolitionist movement in the United States sought the immediate emancipation of all enslaved people. These passionate antislavery activists—men and women, black and white, northerners and southerners, poor and wealthy—led the struggle that forever changed the nation. The media assets in this collection feature historical reenactments and expert interviews that tell the story of some of the people and events that shaped this movement.