Social Studies - 2017-18

USII.9a - Civil Rights Movement and Role of Women

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the key domestic and international issues during the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries by

a)  examining the Civil Rights Movement and the changing role of women.

Blooms Level: Analyze

Adopted: 2008


Big Themes/Concepts: Human Rights, Continuity vs. Change, Citizenship, Leadership, Culture, Values vs. Beliefs

African Americans’ long battle for equality matured into a determined civil rights movement, and inspired similar fights for rights by other oppressed groups.

The fight for equal rights continues today for many groups of Americans. 

Denying human rights leads to oppression. 

Individuals and groups can bring about change in society through social action. 

Societies react to change in a variety of ways. 

Changing the law does not always change peoples’ attitudes. 

The Civil Rights movement furthered the promises of equality for all citizens. 

The struggle for equality still goes on.


The Civil Rights Movement resulted in legislation that ensured constitutional rights to all citizens of the United States regardless of race.

Women activists were inspired by the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement and took action to gain equality for women, particularly in the workplace.

What were some effects of segregation on American society?

How did the African American struggle for equality become a mass movement?

How did the law support the struggle for equality for African Americans?

How were women disadvantaged in the workplace?

What actions were taken to improve conditions for women?

Why do some people stand up to prejudice and unfairness while others choose not to?

What factors are most important to consider when choosing whether or not to speak up in the face of injustice?

What were the origins of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s? 

Can separate be equal? 

What goals did the Civil Rights movement strive for? 

How did different groups achieve change in the Civil Rights movement? 

How did court cases affect the Civil Rights movement? 

What is the responsibility of those with rights toward those deprived of rights? 

What was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, impact on the Civil Rights movement? 

How do changes in laws change peoples’ attitudes? • What overall effect did the Civil Rights movement have? 

Why does racial prejudice still exist? 

How is the struggle for rights in America related to struggles for rights worldwide?


Some effects of segregation

·  Separate educational facilities and resources for white and African American students

·  Separate public facilities (e.g., restrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants)

·  Social isolation of races

Civil Rights Movement

·  Opposition to Plessy v. Ferguson: “Separate but equal”

·  Brown v. Board of Education: Desegregation of schools

·  Martin Luther King, Jr.: Passive resistance against segregated facilities; “I have a dream…” speech

·  Rosa Parks: Montgomery bus boycott

·  Organized protests, Freedom Riders, sit-ins, marches

·  Expansion of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

·  Civil Rights Act of 1964

·  Voting Rights Act of 1965

Changing role of women

·  Workplace disadvantages:

  Discrimination against women in hiring practices

  Lower wages for women than for men doing the same job

·  Improved conditions:

  National Organization for Women (NOW)

  Federal legislation to force colleges to give women equal athletic opportunities

The Equal Rights Amendment, despite its failure, and a focus on equal opportunity employment created a wider range of options and advancement for women in business and public service.


Plessy vs. Ferguson, separate but equal, Brown vs. Board of Education, desegregation, Martin Luther King Jr., passive resistance, Rosa Parks, Montgomery bus boycott, Freedom Riders, NAACP, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, National Organization of Women, Equal Rights Amendment

Updated: Jan 10, 2018