Civics and Social Justice Curriculum

Whose Constitutional Rights?

Grade Level: Grade Level: 9-12

Overview: This activity guide focuses on the Reconstruction Amendments and acts enacted after the Civil War to extend rights to blacks, and examines how these advances were undermined. Students will critically analyze the Thirteenth Amendment and learn how a key loophole within it was exploited for the use of forced labor after the Civil War. Students will also be able to examine the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and consider how subsequent decisions by the Supreme Court were in direct conflict.

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Law and Order

Grade Level: Grade Level: 9-12

Overview: This activity guide focuses on the laws and statutes - including the Black Codes, vagrancy statutes, pig laws and Jim Crow - enforced by Southern states after the Civil War to assert control over the freedom, mobility and labor of the newly freed blacks. Through activities presented in this guide, students have the opportunity to examine Black Codes and Jim Crow laws and analyze their impact on blacks in the decades after the Civil War. Students will make connections between these types of oppressive laws and the rise of forced labor and will have the opportunity to analyze a labor contract. Finally, students will make contemporary connections between state statutes and legislation that impact civil rights.

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Goodwater Slideshow

This clip tracks the arrival of John Davis, a 23-year-old who traveled to Goodwater, Alabama where he was subsequently forced into labor.

Taking a Stand

Grade Level: Grade Level: 9-12

Overview: This activity focuses on the different faces of civic engagement by highlighting the many voices of protest against forced labor. Students will read and analyze primary source documents that argued against forced labor. They will also consider what is necessary to spark legislative change. Lastly, students are introduced to forms of modern day slavery and given the chance to develop public awareness campaigns.

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Convict Life Slideshow

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