Classes & Workshops

Get Up! Stand Up! The Civil Rights Movement and Television

Grades 9–12

Class Description

In the years between 1954 and 1965, more legislation was passed, more court decisions were rendered, and more social change was effected in the name of civil rights than ever before. The rise of the Civil Rights Movement paralleled the growing use of television in the United States. In 1950 television was still in its infancy, but by 1960, televisions were present in 90 percent of American homes. Television provided the American public with a means to witness the struggle for civil rights nearly in real time and led a more informed society to enact social change.


As a group, provide definitions for the following words and concepts, which will be referenced during the class.

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: The use of nonviolent resistance to challenge laws considered unjust

CIVIL RIGHTS: The nonpolitical rights of a citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress

DISCRIMINATION: Unfair treatment of a person or group resulting from prejudice

JIM CROW: Laws that separated blacks and whites in the South after the Civil War

NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People): An organization formed in 1909 to protect the rights of blacks

PREJUDICE: Unfair opinions against a group formed without facts to support them

SEGREGATION: The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnicities in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination

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The Civil Rights Movement and Television

Enhance your Civil Rights curriculum with these significant clips from the Paley Center's collection.

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