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The 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education marks a watershed moment for the Civil Rights
Movement. For many, it destroyed the legal basis for Jim Crow; however, a series of laws had to be passed by
the following decade to protect the rights of all Americans. In this essay, your task is to analyze the real impact
of Brown v. Board of Education on the lives of African Americans by the decade of the 1960s. In other words,
did this case usher in significant social, political, and/or economic improvement for African Americans by the
1960s? Be explicit about the specific social, political, and/or economic changes (or lack thereof) which followed
the Supreme Court case. For example, if you will be discussing housing, education, and voting, you will need
to name these in your thesis and in the corresponding topic sentences.
Hint: To adequately answer this question, you need to consider change and continuity over time, key elements
analyzed by historians. The early sources listed below will provide you with context on the social, economic,
and political life of African Americans and other minorities prior to Brown v. Board of Education while the more
recent sources will inform you on how their lives may have changed (or not) by the following decade. Pay close
attention to the observations of Civil Rights activists–Tom Kahn, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. The sources
are listed in chronological order and your essay should reflect an understanding of this chronology.
Support your post with evidence using all of the sources below:
– http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6900
– http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6267
– http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6338
– https://www.crmvet.org/docs/kahn-economics-equality-pamphlet.pdf
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZMrti8QcPA
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xsbt3a7K-8
Additional guidelines:
Be sure to structure your essay with an introduction, body and conclusion.
The introductory paragraph should include the following three parts:
Context or background (2-3 sentences). You should provide context to the material you will be discussing. You
should “set the scene” by providing the what, the where, the when, or the who of the material. There should be
no argument here, just general historical data to set up your historical question and thesis statement.
Historical problem (1-2 sentences). This should be the essay prompt reintroduced as the historical problem you
will be addressing in the paper. Try to find a flow between the background information you provide and the
statement of the historical problem. Why should we care about the historical facts you just discussed in the
preceding background/context section of the introduction? What is their significance?
Thesis statement (1-2 sentences). The thesis statement should have 2 parts. The first states your position or
answer to the historical problem above, and the second provides a blueprint for the paper (or approximately
three elements that will support your position in the body of the paper). ***Note: Each element in the blueprint
should directly correlate to a topic sentence or main idea in a corresponding body paragraph.
Body paragraphs should have topic sentences describing the main idea of the corresponding paragraph. They
should echo one of your thesis elements.
Sources should provide your evidence. Body paragraphs should use primary and secondary sources to
support your argument. You may ONLY use the primary and secondary sources provided on CANVAS or
specified in the prompt(s) above. Absolutely no outside internet sources should be used for this assignment.
The specific number of sources required for each essay question is provided in the prompt(s) above.
Citations: Cite any quotations, paraphrased content, or original ideas from other sources using the Chicago
Manual of Style (CMS). Citations in CMS formatting should be written as footnotes. ***Note: Sources and
citations are two different things. Sources are the repositories of your information (the book, article, or historical
document). Citations are references to the sources, usually with specific page numbers or locations within the
source. The paper should use the minimum number of sources stated above, but it can and should have many
more footnote citations. The minimum number of footnotes will equal the number of sources required, but an
excellent paper will have many more specific footnote citations. ***Note: You do not need a bibliography. The
first time you mention a source in a footnote citation, you should provide the full reference of the source. You
should use “Ibid” (plus the page number, if applicable) for any series of footnotes that reference the same
source. See the Purdue Online Writing Lab
Grammar and Style. Use a concise, professional and academic style of writing, free of grammatical errors and
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colloquialisms.
Quotations: Limit quotations to 1 sentence per page or one longer quotation of 3 to 4 sentences for the whole
essay

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