- Explore the diversity of opinions within a larger community as well as subgroups within that community;
- Distinguish between conservative, moderate and liberal points of views;
- Differentiate between objectivity and subjectivity; and
- Analyze the ways the intersection of race, class, gender, and age shaped individual experiences with Jim Crow, as well as reactions to it.
- How did the Little Rock African-American community advocate for its rights before the Supreme Court’s 1954Brown Decision?
- What role did local African-American women play in the school integration movement led by Daisy Bates?
- What was the Little Rock white community’s response to school integration?
- How did the Little Rock black community respond to school integration?
- What role did segregationists, moderates and liberals play in shaping public opinion around the issue of school integration in Little Rock?
- What is the difference between objectivity and subjectivity, and how do we distinguish them in Daisy Bates’ account about Little Rock?
- Handout: Key People
- Handout: Reading Comprehension Questions
- Handout: Community in Crisis Graphic Organizer
- Desegregating Central High School, Oral History Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Retaliation for Activism, Oral History Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Part 1. Word Work
Before reading the oral history interviews, you will need to be familiar with the words and concepts that will help you better understand what you read.
- Prior to reading, define or review definitions for the following words: moderate, liberal, segregationists, massive resistance, objective, subjective and terrorism.
- Create a graphic organizer with three columns. In the heading of column 1, write “vocabulary word,” then in column 2, write “definition.” In column 3, write “synonym.”
- Either working together as a class or in pairs, define each word. Then, think of a synonym for the word and record it in the corresponding box.
Sample Graphic Organizer
A person who holds political views between the extremes.
In the middle
Part 2. Close and Critical Reading
- With a partner, review the handout so you become familiar with key people from the Little Rock crisis. (Note: As a class, make sure the key people are known.)
- When reading the oral history interviews, think about the following questions: What did Daisy Bates conclude was the cause of the events that unfolded in Little Rock? Did Bates place responsibility on individuals or the community? What role did Daisy Bates play in how integration was accepted or opposed in Little Rock?
- In pairs, one of you should read Desegregating Central High School while the other reads Retaliation for Activism. While reading, highlight passages where Daisy Bates identifies the diverse perspectives that existed about racial integration in Little Rock. When finished reading and highlighting, provide a short oral summary of the interview and what you discovered with each other.
- Use the excerpts from the interviews with Daisy Bates to answer the questions on the handout.
Part 3. Community Inquiry
- (Note: Set up the room as one large circle; students should remain sitting next to their partner.) As a class, discuss the portrait Daisy Bates paints of the Little Rock community. Is her account believable? Was Bates objective or subjective? How do we know? Support your oral statements with evidence from the primary source you read, preferably a passage you highlighted. (Note: Facilitate the discussion by first asking for volunteers to share their thoughts about Bates’ presentation, and then by calling on students from pairs whom the class has not heard speak.)
- Use the handout to organize the information Daisy Bates shares in her interview. First, identify if the individual or group supported, opposed or was moderate about integration. Last, record the evidence from the text that supports your answer. (Note: Model the graphic organizer so students have a clear understanding of the assignment’s requirements.)
Part 4. Write to the Source
Using supporting evidence from the Community in Crisis graphic organizer, write a letter to Daisy Bates about her description of Little Rock during the years following World War II. In your letter, ask questions or make observations. If you ask questions, clarify the reason behind your inquiry. If you make an observation, explain why the highlighted passage stood out to you. Explain to Bates the similarities and differences you between the era in which she lived and the current one, in which you live.
Part 5. Do Something
Create a classroom poll about school integration since the 1950s. Is there a difference between how adults and young people view school integration? Students may poll their peers, classmates or family members. Post results somewhere visible in the school (be sure you have permission).
Research the history of integration in your local community. How is your community diverse? How is it not diverse? Has the type of people in your community and school changed or stayed the same over time?
Common Core State Standards (English Language Arts Standards)
1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
10. Read and comprehend complex literacy and informational texts independently and proficiently.
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
3. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
3. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.