Economic Justice


  • Bayard Rustin

    In this interview transcript, civil rights leader Bayard Rustin recalls his role in the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, the 1963 March on Washington, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). Rustin and his support of Gandhian nonviolence had a major influence on the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., other civil rights leaders, and the demonstrations of the Civil Rights movement.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Bayard Rustin: A Freedom Budget, Part 1

    In a speech delivered on November 17, 1967 at Harvard University, civil rights leader Bayard Rustin outlined a plan for a Freedom Budget for All Americans. In this audio excerpt, he describes how the plan responds to decades of discrimination in education and employment that limited the economic prospects of African Americans.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Bayard Rustin: A Freedom Budget, Part 2

    In a speech delivered on November 17, 1967 at Harvard University, civil rights leader Bayard Rustin outlined the "Freedom Budget for All Americans." In this audio recording, Rustin proposes an increase in federal spending for education, job training, and health care, and a guaranteed income plan. The Freedom Budget was designed to end poverty in America by 1975.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Campaigns for Economic Freedom

    This lesson explores how racial discrimination affected the economic outlook for African Americans in the twentieth century. It examines segregated conditions in stores and businesses, common discriminatory hiring practices, and some of the grassroots campaigns developed in response to discrimination.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Decision in the Streets

    In the early 1960s, students from the University of California, Berkeley, and other civil rights activists formed the Ad Hoc Committee to End Racial Discrimination and took to the streets of San Francisco to protest racial inequality and unfair hiring practices. This video segment recalls their demonstrations of 1963-64.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Excerpts from the March on Washington, Part 1

    The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech dominates popular history of the August 1963 March on Washington, but the day was full of speakers and performers. This audio compilation captures the voices of A. Philip Randolph, Ralph Abernathy, Roy Wilkins, Walter Reuther, Ralph Bunche, and Daisy Bates.

    Grades: 6-12
  • NOVA: Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius | Getting an Education

    Learn about the education of chemist Percy Julian. Julian's early educational years paralleled an educational movement that prepared African Americans for industrial jobs, the growing white supremacist movement, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Julian would eventually move north, and finally to Europe to earn his Ph.D. Explore more about this topic, from the NOVA program Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • March on Washington Flyers

    In August of 1963, more than 200,000 activists from all over the country gathered for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The day was filled with speeches, musical performances, and the declaration of political platforms, whose common theme was racial equality in America. The largest demonstration in American history to that date, it marked the apex of the Civil Rights Movement. These flyers document the speakers and issues that pressured President John F. Kennedy to draft legislation guaranteeing equal rights for African Americans.

    Grades: 3-12
  • William Julius Wilson

    Who would have guessed that in the 30 years following the Civil Rights Act, the once close-knit African American community would become divided along class lines? In this 1998 interview from FRONTLINE's "The Two Nations of Black America," Harvard sociologist Dr. William Julius Wilson examines the economic disparities among African Americans and explains why, despite an overall increase in the standard of living, a segment of the population is falling farther and farther behind.

    Grades: 6-12

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