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Assignments on Hometown Research of the Civil Rights Movement
- Thursday, Nov. 10 – Research the civil rights movement in your hometown. Search for your hometown in historical newspapers and look for stories about civil rights activity or integration (of a particular school or school district, or a restaurant, etc.). You will need to find at least five different articles. Turn in a brief summary of each news story. (50 points)
- Tuesday, Nov. 15 – no more than 500 words – Find a reference to Martin Luther King Jr. in recent news coverage (search the New York Times and/or a similar news source) – ideally one where the author is making a claim about what King would, or would not, have supported/done. Evaluate the author’s claim based on today’s reading and King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. (50 points)
- Thursday, Nov. 17 – no more than 750 words – Based on the research you did last week, write a narrative of the civil rights activity/integration action you found. In doing so, pay attention to the way the newspapers are covering the issue, and to the different perspectives offered by different newspapers. Your last paragraph should note what is lacking in the coverage, and what additional information you would like to have. (75 points)
- Tuesday, Nov. 22 – no more than 1250 words - Place your research on your hometown to the broader context of the civil rights movement that we have discussed this quarter. (125 points)
Historical News Sources
America's Historical Newspapers
America's Historical Newspapers allow you to search and browse American newspapers published across three centuries. It includes thousands of titles from all 50 states and chronicles the evolution of American culture and daily life from 1690 to the recent past.
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection, which includes papers from more than 35 states, features many rare and historically significant 19th-century titles.
Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980
A compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection features hundreds of Hispanic American newspapers, including many long scattered and forgotten titles published in the 19th century.
Ethnic American Newspapers, 1799-1971
Ethnic American Newspapers offers extensive coverage of many of the most influential ethnic groups in U.S. history. It enables the study of often-overlooked aspects of the nation's history, politics and culture, covering immigrant contributions to U.S. business, music, science, wars and more.
These four databases above in particular can be useful for finding newspaper articles from your hometown during the Civil Rights Era. Use a combination of the "Dates and Eras" and "Places of Publication" filters to zero in on your target. If you don't see your hometown listed as a place of publication, try using nearby towns.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Provides full-text PDF articles from several major U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times (1851-2013), Wall Street Journal (1889-2000), Washington Post (1877-2000), Los Angeles Times (1881-2012), Chicago Tribune (1849-2011), Chicago Defender (1909-2010), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Boston Globe (1872-1985), and many others.
Readers' Guide Retrospective 1890-1982
Indexes articles published in the most important popular magazines published in the United States from 1890 until 1982.Provides some links to full text. A key resource for identifying what was published in the popular press during this era.
Ethnic NewsWatch indexes newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic and minority press, offering both national and regional coverage. Ethnic NewsWatch presents multi-ethnic and multi-cultural publications in one resource covering 1959-present. Individual publication coverage varies by title.
African-American News Sources
For even more news sources, both contemporary and historical, be sure to check out the News page on the African American Studies Guide created by Kathleen Bethel.