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Legal Studies 101-6: Researching the Civil Rights Movement (Grisinger): Finding News Sources

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)

Your Librarian

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Michael Perry
Subjects: Legal Studies

Historical News Sources

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.

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.