A Personal Account of Efforts to End School Segregation in a Southern School System
The Brown Decision, whose 50th Anniversary was observed in 2004, was a landmark case that ended the doctrine of separate but equal. During the observation of the anniversary, many pundits reflected on the political, social, and historical significance of Brown. This article takes a different approach in reflecting on the importance of Brown. A historical context is provided that reveals the conditions that existed in the south prior to and after the Brown Decision. The author tells the poignant
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A Word of Warning: A Former Slave Urges Constitutional Caution
The South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1895 completed the process of disenfranchising African-Americans (and many poor whites). The state's restrictive policies began with the election law of 1882 that used an intricate system of eight ballot boxes to discourage illiterate white and black residents from voting. The 1895 convention added a poll tax and literacy test, thereby ensuring that a coalition of remaining black voters and disaffected whites could not unite to challenge Democratic
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A Thorn in the Side: A Socialist Takes Aim at Gompers
During the 1890s, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) was faced with both the rising popularity of the People's Party in rural areas and attempts by the Populist movement to create a farmer-labor alliance. At the same time, socialist trade unionists lobbied for greater political involvement and adoption of several key socialist positions by the AFL. One of those socialist trade unionists was J. Mahlon Barnes, a Philadelphia cigar maker, member of the Cigarmakers' International Union, and memb
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A Show of Support: Farmers Feed Homestead Strikers
In 1892 the possibility of a Labor-Populist alliance circulated. Populist orators like Mary Lease sought to build ties between the Farmer's Alliance and the labor movement by mobilizing farmers to send wheat and corn to striking workers at Carnegie's Homestead steel mill outside Pittsburgh. Despite the support for such an alliance among many in the labor movement, American Federation of Labor leader Samuel Gompers opposed such political action. Gompers insured that the A.F.L maintained, in his w
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"A Modern School": Abraham Flexner Outlines Progressive Education
In the early 20th century, an impressive array of intellectuals, social critics, and grassroots activists came together to launch a progressive education movement that sought broad-based change in American educational practice. At the heart of the progressive program lay a pedagogy that emphasized flexibility and critical thinking. This was coupled with the belief that schools should establish organic relationships with their communities, that curricula should confront broad social issues, and t
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"A Little Standing Army in Himself": N. A. Jennings Tells of the Texas Rangers, 1875
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 brought an enormous chunk of Mexico to the United States. This added to the territory obtained by the annexation of Texas in 1845, but more than just territory was added. More than 75,000 Spanish-speaking residents became U.S. citizens, but the struggle to achieve that citizenship was long and often unsuccessful. Mexican-Americans lost political power and civil liberties quickly in Texas. Justice was hard to secure and the ranching country of South Texas b
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"A Foreigner in My Own Land": Juan Nepomuceno Seguin Flees Texas, 1842
Few Anglos lived in San Antonio after the Texas Revolution of 1835-36 and Tejanos (Texas-Mexicans) continued their rule. Juan Nepomuceno Seguin was born into a prominent tejano family and had close ties with Stephen Austin, leader of the first American settlers in Texas. He became mayor or alcade at an early age and fought on the Anglo side with the coming of Texas' revolt against Mexico. However, his political situation increasingly became fragile because of the changing balance of power and An
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17.100J Political Economy I: Theories of the State and the Economy (MIT)
Political Economy I explores the major social science paradigms for analyzing relations among state, economy, and society. Through readings, lectures and discussion of original texts in political liberalism and individualism, neo-classical economics, Marxism, sociological and cultural theories, and neo-institutionalism, the seminar examines the fundamental assumptions on which our understanding of the social world and our research are based. All participants in the seminar are required to do the
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Content within individual OCW courses is (c) by the individual authors unless otherwise noted. MIT OpenCourseWare materials are licensed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under a Creative C

"A Heritage of Scorn": Harper Urges A Color-Blind Cause
The struggle for woman suffrage lasted almost a century, beginning with the 1848 Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York, and including the 1890 union of two competing suffrage organizations to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). NAWSA and other organizations campaigned diligently for the vote in a variety of ways, but did not achieve success until the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. This prolonged struggle entangl
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A German Way of War? Atrocities and Military Dictatorship
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Calibrated Peer Review: Petroleum Geology of the Persian Gulf Region
In this assignment, students explore the origin and distribution of oil and gas in a region of global significance. Also included are the geologic history and the socio-political and environmental issues associated with hydrocarbon exploration and production. Students then walk through an online case study and write an essay addressing important points that they have learned. The Calibrated Peer Review interface is then used to give feedback on the essays. On this Starting Point page, users can
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Christopher Lydon compilation tape
Christopher Lydon interviews Bill Lee (pitcher, Montreal Expos) at Fenway Park. Lee discusses the possibility of a baseball strike. Lee talks about unions and his feelings about baseball. Lee says that he is no longer 'addicted' to baseball. This compilation tape has three essays by Robert J. Lurtsema about the coming of summer, the coming of fall and barnacles. Lydon reports on the upcoming preliminary elections for the Boston City Council. Lydon analyzes voting patterns in various districts an
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Christopher Lydon analyzes voting patterns in "Black Boston
Christopher Lydon reports on a renewal of political activity in black Boston, and notes that there is a high percentage of newly registered voters in the African American neighborhoods. The report includes interviews with Charles Stith (Union United Methodist Church) and Kay Gibbs (South End political activist). Stith and Gibbs talk about the candidacy of Mel King (candidate for mayor of Boston) as well as opposition to King's candidacy, led by Mel Miller (publisher, The Bay State Banner).
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Caring for Your Health
Dr. Emillio Carillo comments on healthcare in the Latino community. Program examines a number of health issues, with a focus on the needs of the Latino and Black community. Host Eduardo Diaz interviews Dr. Emilio Carrillo, cofounder of the Boricua Health Organization of Boston, to discuss problems related to healthcare delivery to Boston's Latino population. 'Encore' segments include 1974 interviews conducted by former Say Brother writer/researcher Dighton Spooner with Dr. Houston Kelly (on hype
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Borders
'Borders' begins with a short dramatic piece that introduces the issues of complicity, resistance, and boundaries. This work continues to investigate these themes in the style of a documentary. In the prologue, actor Steve Buscemi plays Ted, a young scientist who goes to work at a large scientific research facility. Here he develops ideas that, much to the dismay and rebuff of his jealous fellow researchers who gather around a vending machine, are embraced by his supervisors. The young scientist
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Bobby Seale interview
Excerpt from program dealing with the impact of Malcolm X on African American political and intellectual leadership in the United States. Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers, talks about the impact of the murder of Malcolm X on the Black Panther movement.
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Black Politics
Feelings of exclusion from the political process in the African American Community. Program analyzes why African American candidates were unable to win appointment to either Boston's School Committee or City Council in the 1975 elections. Guest host James Rowe of WILD Radio News speaks with Clarence Dilday (attorney and unsuccessful candidate for City Council), John O'Bryant (Director of the Dimock Community Health Center and unsuccessful candidate for School Committee), Richard Taylor (John O'B
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African American studies programs
Carmen Fields reports on differing opinions of the African American studies program at Harvard University. Fields interviews Harvard professors Harvey Mansfield and Orlando Patterson. Mansfield says that conservative scholars are excluded from the African American studies program at Harvard. Mansfield adds that the program is too political and not concerned enough with the study of the African American experience. Mansfield calls African American studies an 'advocacy major' which promotes a cert
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Africa: An Overview
Aggrery Mbere interview. Program focuses on the current political situation of Africa. Host Marita Rivero speaks separately with Aggrey Mbere (member of the South African National Congress and a current instructor at Roxbury Community College) and Mugelle Otieno about developing an organization by Africans for Africans to solve Africa's problems, revamping aid programs, Secretary of State Henry Kissenger's visit to Africa, MBere's participation in the United States Civil Rights struggle, whether
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Jazz Age and the Swing Era
Students will gain knowledge about major new developments in cultural and social life during the 1920s and 1930s and will learn how these developments were influenced by political, economic, and international events. Students will understand how jazz developed and spread throughout the country through regional bands, migration, interaction between black and white musicians, and the application of new technology. Students will learn how the evolution of jazz was influenced by Prohibition, the Gre
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