Then and Now

Over sixty years after the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, there are still evidences of social unrest today. In this module, participants provide personal reflections regarding the relationship between past and present issues.

Tips for using this module in your classroom

Essential Question

As a society, can we make progress if we don’t reconcile what happened in history?


Documentary Clip

Discussion questions:
  • Why do you think Mr. Louis S. Diggs believes the Baltimore protests of 2015 could have happened in the 1930s?
  • Do you agree with Mr. Louis S. Diggs that students today "don’t really know their history"?
  • When Dr. Patricia Welch said, “I’m not going anywhere,” who do you think she was talking to? What do you think she meant by this statement?

Supplemental Enrichment Activites

Reflection 1
  • As a society, can we make progress if we don’t reconcile what happened in history?
  • Do you believe the United States has made “progress?” In your opinion, what ways has the U.S. demonstrated progress? In your opinion, what are areas that still need attention?
Reflection 2
In the Maryland Humanities’ podcast Humanities Connection on WYPR Baltimore Life Under Jim Crow , it is said one needs to know “where we are today, how we got here, where we need to go, and the possibilities moving forward.” What do you think this means?

Consider a personal narrative from Voices of Baltimore: Life under Segregation and relate it as an example to the four points in the statement above.
"And Still I Rise"
At the end of the documentary, Dr. Patricia Welch mentions Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” poem, which describes the importance of exhibiting resiliency in the presence of opposition.

Encourage students to review the poem and make connections to Dr. Welch’s comments.


  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 : Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (Grades 9/10)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C : Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions. (Grades 9/10)
  • D2.His.1.9-12 : Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by the unique circumstances of the time and place, as well as by broader historical contexts.
  • D2.His.4.9-12 : Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspective of people during different historical eras.