LESSON IDEA:
Court Cases and Other Events (Timeline) Related to Integration in Norfolk

--SOL Connection

--Historical Background

--Lesson

--Handout 1

--Exit Ticket

TITLE: Timeline and Events Related to Integration in Norfolk

TOPIC: Desegregation Issues in Norfolk

OBJECTIVES:

  • Use the timeline to draw conclusions about desegregation in Norfolk.
  • Discuss effects of Plessy v Ferguson.
  • Discuss effects of Brown v Board of Education.
  • Identify major issues related to desegregation in Norfolk.

SOL CONNECTION:

Elementary School Curriculum Frameworks Across Grade Levels

1.10

Good citizens show a variety of positive traits.

1.12

Communities in Virginia include people with different ethnic origins, customs, and traditions.

2.12

The United States is a land of people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions

VS9b

Massive Resistance Movement was designed to avoid desegregation in Virginia.

Middle School Curriculum - United States History: 1877 to the Present

USII.1a 

Analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents.

USII.1b

Make connections between past and present.

USII.7d

Demonstrate knowledge of African Americans’ aspirations for equal opportunities and Civil Rights legislation

USII.8a

Examine the Civil Rights Movement.

High School Curriculum

VUS.1a

Identify, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary source documents, records data, including artifacts, diaries, letters, photographs, journals, newspapers, historical accounts, and art to increase understanding of events and life in the United States.

VUS.1c 

Formulate historical questions and defend findings based on inquiry and interpretation.

VUS.14a

Identify the importance of Brown v. Board of Education decision (Supreme Court, Virginia case, Massive Resistance).

GOVT.1a

Analyze primary and secondary sources.

GOVT.8.d

Examine the ways individuals and groups exert influence on state and local governments.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

In the United States, desegregation of public schools occurred after the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  Many southern states resisted desegregation.  In Virginia, the Massive Resistance Movement arose in response to desegregation legislation.  The photograph of the Norfolk 17 depicts the African American students who attended Norfolk’s public schools in February 1959.  Prior to allowing the 17 students access to public schools, Norfolk closed its schools in the Fall of 1958 and did not reopen until February 1959.  This activity is designed to introduce students to key events that propelled 17 African American students into the middle of civil rights issues in Norfolk.

STEPS:

1.  Introduce students to the Civil Rights Movement and efforts to integrate public schools.
2.  Access http://www.lib.odu.edu/specialcollections/schooldesegregation/ and explore the brief overview.
3.  Access websites to gather information.
4.  Discuss findings. 

WEBSITE RESOURCES


LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Focus Activity – 10 minutes

  • Create a web diagram for three words segregation, integration, civil rights.
  • Students may work independently, in groups, with partners, or as an entire class.
  • Discuss each term and connect to Supreme Court cases and Massive Resistance.

Review Supreme Court Cases – 20 to 30 minutes

First, students access Plessy v Ferguson on the Internet.  Suggested website:
http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=52.
Read and obtain background information about segregation and desegregation.
Complete guided reading questions.

    1. When and where did the case occur?
    2. What were the issues?
    3. Why did the issues go before the Supreme Court?
    4. What decision resulted?
    5. What occurred in the United States after the Supreme Court decision?

Second, students access Brown v Board of Education on the Internet.  Suggested website:
http://www.littlejohnexplorers.com/jeff/brown/browncases.htm.

    1. When and where did the case occur?
    2. What were the issues?
    3. Why did the issues go before the Supreme Court?
    4. What decision resulted?
    5. What occurred in the United States after the Supreme Court decision?

Third, students share findings with the class and discuss the material. 

Timeline Analysis – 30 to 40  minutes

  • Students work in small groups to analyze the timeline handout and answer questions.
  • Each group creates conclusions about the events. 
  • Each group presents conclusions to the class.
  • An extension of this activity could include a Socratic seminar.

Closure Activity – 10 minutes

  • Whole group discussion about personal perspectives related to integration in Norfolk.
  • Then students complete an exit ticket to list the major issues from the timeline material.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS - NORFOLK 17 AND MASSIVE RESISTANCE

Court Cases

1896

Plessy vs. Ferguson

1954 

Brown vs. Board of Education 

Other Events

November, 1953

Blessed Sacrament School integration

March,1954

RADM Brittain requests that Norfolk integrate elementary schools on federal land

February, 1955

Women’s Council for Interracial Cooperation meets to educate Norfolk about desegregation

February, 1956

U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr., “Massive Resistance” to halt integration

March, 1956

101 southern politicians sign the “Southern Manifesto” to condemn the violation of states’ rights

September, 1956

VA General Assembly enacts legislation to close integrated public schools

August 18, 1958

Norfolk School Board rejects 151 applications from black students

August 25, 1958

Judge Hoffman refers 151 applications back to Norfolk School Board

August 29, 1958

Norfolk School Board agrees to admit 17 applicants to white schools

September, 1958

Public schools close

October, 1958

Committee for Public Schools formed by Norfolk citizens

Fall 1958
to January 1959

First Baptist Church on Bute Street trains the 17 students for their roles as agents of change

January, 1959

Norfolk City Council votes to remove funding for all black secondary schools

January 21, 1959

National attention on Norfolk with CBS broadcast of “The Lost Class of ‘59”

January 26, 1959

Business leaders urge reopening of schools

February 2, 1959

Six schools reopen and admit the 17 students. The 17 students endure unthinkable circumstances.

 


TIMELINE GUIDING QUESTIONS – NORFOLK 17 AND MASSIVE RESISTANCE     

DIRECTIONS

  • Consult the timeline and use your thinking skills to answer the questions.
  • Write your answers in the middle column.
  • Write your personal reactions and thoughts about the event in the right column.
  • Answer the concluding questions and prepare to share your responses.

 

QUESTIONS

ANSWERS

YOUR REACTION and THOUGHTS

1. How did federal cases influence events in Norfolk?

 

 

 

2. Which early events provided a foundation for integration?

 

 

 

3. What can you conclude about the political climate?

 

 

 

4. What evidence does the timeline provide to indicate that this issue affected   economics?

 

 

 

5. What role was taken by community groups and organizations?  Why?

 

 

 

6. How many black students applied to attend integrated public schools?

 

 

 

7. Why did the number of applicants drop to a mere 17?

 

 

 

8. What event may have caused the schools to reopen in February, 1959? Why?

 

 

 

Whose perspectives are missing from the timeline?  Explain.     

 

What can you conclude about Norfolk from 1954 to 1960?


 

Plaque: TIME LINE ANALYSIS EXIT TICKET      1.  Based on the time line analysis, list the major issues        that surrounded integration in Norfolk.                2.  Was any group’s perspective missing?  Explain.                3.  How did events from this time line affect local schools        and communities?      

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