Designed for immediate use in junior and high school classrooms, these lesson plans and curricular materials -- which adhere to national learning standards -- contain video segments from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., comprehensive instructions for classroom implementation, printable student handouts, links to online resources, and suggestions for extension activities to enhance your students' reading, viewing, and appreciation of African-American history.

Additional lesson plans will be posted following the national broadcast of each episode of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.

  • Episode 6_Fighting the Power

    African-American Histories Since the Civil Rights Movement ~ Lesson Plan

    Students learn about the diverse and divergent social and cultural paths taken by African Americans in their pursuit of equality and inclusion. Continue reading

  • Ruby Bridges

    It Takes Courage to be Weak ~ Lesson Plan

    Students learn about the philosophy of nonviolence and about the role of nonviolent protest in the Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading

  • Episode_4_Life After the Emancipation Proclamation_Output

    Life After the Emancipation Proclamation ~ Lesson Plan

    Students explore the realities of life after the Emancipation Proclamation and learn about courageous individuals who fought against the inequalities African Americans experienced. Continue reading

  • Streetcar

    Civil Disobedience and Social Change ~ Lesson Plan

    Students will explore civil disobedience as a tool for social change, focusing specifically on Homer Plessy’s 1892 refusal to leave a “whites only” train car in New Orleans, which led to the landmark Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson. Continue reading

  • Frederick Douglass

    Causes and Effects of Abolition ~ Lesson Plan

    In this lesson, students explore the concept of “cause and effect” as it relates to the abolition of slavery in the United States in the 1800s. Continue reading

  • Illustration from The Black Atlantic episode

    Resistance to Slavery ~ Lesson Plan

    Review the geography of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and identify colonies held by different European powers around the year 1750. Learn about resistance to slavery and slave rebellions, from South Carolina and Florida to Haiti. Continue reading

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Inkwell Films, in assocation with Ark Media.