How did segregation manifest itself in daily life in the South?
How did segregation manifest itself in daily life in the South? Reflections should incorporate the
knowledge and vocabulary about race you have gained from this class, as well as
details from the film. That is, you should take the perspective of a sociologist and use
sociological terms from the text in your reflection. Use the prompts on the following
pages to guide your reflection.
Episode 1 – Awakenings 1954-1956: Individual acts of courage inspire black
Southerners to fight for their rights: Mose Wright testifies against the white men who
murdered young Emmett Till, and Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white
man in Montgomery, Alabama.
How did segregation differ between the North and the South?
Segregation, a social system based on a long history of prejudices and
discrimination, was deeply entrenched in people’s minds as well as in the culture.
? How did
Does segregation disenfranchises black Americans? How does this still affect issues of
racial equality today?
What is segregation and how was it used in American society?
• Why do you think the lynching of Emmett Till became a catalyst in the national
movement for civil rights? Do you see any parallels to today’s fight for civil rights?
In what ways?
• Till’s uncle, Mose Wright, would not go to the police. In a democracy, what
institutions are responsible for protecting the vulnerable? What options do
individuals and groups have when these institutions cannot be trusted?
• Why do you think Rosa Parks became a symbol of the civil rights movement?
Why did so many people identify with her cause? How did that identification build
support for the emerging movement?
• What ideology do White Supremacists espouse? Who were/are they?
What is the difference between desegregation and integration?
Episode 2 – Fighting Back 1957-1962: States’ rights loyalists and federal authorities
collide in the 1957 battle to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School, and again in
James Meredith’s 1962 challenge to segregation at the University of Mississippi. Both
times, a Southern governor squares off with a U.S. president, violence erupts — and
integration is carried out.
• What is the difference between desegregation and integration? What is required
• What role did the federal government play in desegregation? How did this conflict
with state level laws & values?
• How do you explain the mob’s reaction to the Little Rock Nine’s arrival at school?
What do you think white protestors were trying to accomplish?
• Some people argue it is better to forget difficult episodes in our nation’s history.
How would you respond to this suggestion?
• Who benefits from preaching hate and fear? Who is harmed by it?