Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Butler: The African American Civil Rights Movement

This is a worth-seeing film. I loved the way they portray the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. 

Work in pairs:

1. What do you know about Martin Luther King and his fight against discrimination in the USA?

2. How were African Americans viewed in the 50's and 60's? How are they seen nowadays?

3. Read the text below and then share what your read with a partner, using your own words.

The African-American Civil Rights Movement was an ongoing fight for racial equality that took place for over 100 years after the Civil War. 

The Civil Rights Movement has its background in the abolitionist movement before the Civil War.  After the war, slavery was made illegal with the thirteenth amendment to the US Constitution. After the Civil War, many southern states continued to treat African-Americans as second class citizens. They implemented laws that kept black people separate from white people. They required separate schools, restaurants, restrooms, and transportation based on the color of a person's skin. Other laws prevented many black people from voting. 

The 1950's and early 1960's brought about several major events in the fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for over a year and brought Martin Luther King, Jr. to the forefront of the movement. King led a number of non-violent protests. 

The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. This act outlawed segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the south. It also outlawed discrimination based on race, national background, and gender. Although there were still many issues, this law gave the NAACP and other organizations a strong base on which to fight discrimination in the courts. 

II. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


1. Describe the scene.

2. According to the text above, when do you think this scene took place? Before the 2nd World War, in the 1950's or 1960's, in the 1980's, or nowadays?

3. How did the USA react to the assassination of Martin Luther King?

4. Do you think the African Americans situation nowadays is resolved? Explain it.

4. Did Brazil (your country) go over a similar movement as the Civil Rights Movement in the USA? Talk about it.


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