Culture of the Movement

  • Freedom Riders: Freedom Riders Create Change

    In this video segment adapted from American Experience: "Freedom Riders," view newsreel footage, archival photos, and interviews to explore how the Freedom Rides of 1961 brought about the end of racial segregation in interstate transportation. The Freedom Riders, aware that their nonviolent protest would elicit violence from some Southerners attempting to enforce local segregation laws, were determined to continue their protest even in the face of possible arrest. A series of events involving the U.S. attorney general, a U.S. senator, the governor of Mississippi, and a federal agency put an end to discriminatory practices in public transportation. This initial, unambiguous victory for the Civil Rights Movement paved the way for further progress. This resource is part of the American Experience: Freedom Riders Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Freedom Riders: Fresh Troops

    In this video segment from the American Experience: "Freedom Riders" Web site, view newsreel footage, interviews, and archival photos to explore how students in Nashville, Tennessee, prepared for civil rights protests by training in the techniques of nonviolent direct action. This training prepared them for several initial efforts focused on the Nashville community and made them ideal reinforcements when attacks by white mobs decimated the ranks of the first Freedom Riders in 1961. This resource is part of the American Experience: Freedom Riders Collection.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Murder of Emmett Till

    Watch this video segment—adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: "The Murder of Emmett Till”—to learn the story of a 14-year-old black boy who was brutally murdered on a visit to Mississippi from Chicago in 1955. After Emmett whistled at a white woman, he was beaten and murdered by two white men; they were later found innocent by an all-white jury. Emmett’s tragic death and the subsequent publicity about the trial helped spark the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Sonia Sanchez: The Meaning of Malcolm X

    This gallery contains three video segments of poet Sonia Sanchez recorded for Eyes on the Prize. In The Meaning of Malcolm X, she describes what Malcolm X represented to African Americans in the 1960s. In Meeting Malcolm X, she recalls the pivotal moment when she first heard him speak. In "Malcolm", she recites her poem, a eulogy to the slain civil rights leader.

    Grades: 9-12