Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Civil Rights Movement

I apologize for not blogging yesterday. I have a paper due on Friday and I spent all my time trying to start it off and try to get it finished. But yesterday my teacher took our class to the John Rockefeller Library to look at some primary sources from the 1940s and 1950s. We looked through endless amounts of Life magazines with numerous advertisements, articles and photographs. We spent about 40 minutes looking through these magazines and for 20 minutes talking about what we found. I found a couple of ads, but in the end I made a snapshot decision and chose this ad that my friend showed me.

When we got back to class, our teacher started her lecture about the Civil Rights Movement. She discussed the symbols of segregation, such as the "white" and "colored" signs on water fountains, bathrooms, restaurants, hospitals, and many other buildings. She then discussed the origin of the movement in correspondence with the Double V campaign, the March on Washington, and the Highland School. She described the case Brown v. B. of Ed. and told us about the "Doll Test" and how it really helped the NAACP win the case. We talked about how the racism in America made America look bad to the world, since America was based upon the principles of democracy and freedom. We then watched about 20 minutes of Pleasantville and were dismissed for class.

I thought I knew a lot about the Civil Rights Movement from what I had learned from my family and in class. But in reality I didn't know anything about the Double V campaign or the Highland School. I didn't know all the details about Little Rock 9 until I read some chapters of Melba Beals memoir and when we discussed it in class.

This class seems to be teaching me a lot of things that I didn't learn back home. Some of the students talked about how they did certain exercises similar to the "Doll Test." I have never even heard of the "Doll Test", or even performed an exercise trying to imitate it. Overall, I am glad I am taking this course because it is teaching me a lot about an era in our history that is very important. When I return back home and to school, I will ask some of history teachers, mainly US, if they will talk about the things that I didn't learn. Hopefully they will and many more students will have an idea of what else happened in American History.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


You’re young and you’ve yet to see the world through eyes that have been around for awhile. Of course there are things that you don’t know about—yet. That’s why we send you to school and why we encourage you to read and continue your education even when out of class.

Even what you’re learning in this class is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to civil rights. I’m betting that your eyes are being opened to the point where your brain is like a sponge and now wants to soak in everything you can learn about the subject.

Such should be the case for everyone but because you’re a minority and this has everything to do with the history of your people and your own future, of course you’re going to be more interested in learning more. Good for you.

There was a time (before Ice Road Truckers and Ax Men) that The History Channel was a great source for learning more about things like the Civil Rights Movement. They would tell you just enough in the 48 minutes of air time to pique your curiosity to the point where you would spend the rest of the night searching the Internet to learn more. Just because The History Channel has gone downhill, though, it doesn’t mean that you can’t seek out more information on your own.

I don’t know if they showed you the actual video clip “A Girl Like Me” which was patterned on the doll test except in modern times but you might want to check it out at : .

Under my own blog posting I’ve posted a few products from the very recent past that demonstrates how things really haven’t changed much in the advertising world.