The Civil Rights Movement: Grassroots Perspectives, 1940-1980





July 6-23, 2021 Length: 3 Weeks


Summer Program

Summer Program Type

Summer Program Audience


Wesley Hogan



It is hard to imagine any movement more important for understanding the meaning of freedom and equal rights in the U.S. than the civil rights struggle in post-World War II era. Yet, as Julian Bond has succinctly argued, in most textbooks and the media, the popular understanding of that movement is reduced to: “Rosa sat down, Martin stood up, and the white kids came down and saved the day.” That interpretation is consistent with the way much of our history is learned: Charismatic presidents and heroic leaders make history happen. Textbooks often illustrate the Civil Rights Movement with a photo of President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 or  Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the March on Washington. Left in the shadows are the decades of organizing by young people, women, and community members that made these milestone events possible. This institute is designed by a collaborative team of scholars, veterans, and educators from Duke University, the SNCC Legacy Project (collaborators on the SNCC Digital Gateway), and Teaching for Change. Participants will learn the bottom-up history of the Civil Rights Movement and receive resources and strategies to bring it home to their students, so that they can see themselves in this history. Teachers will have the unique opportunity to learn from people who were key organizers in the Civil Rights Movement, and from leading scholars of that era.

Project Director(s)

Wesley Hogan; Judy Richardson

Lecturers and Visiting Faculty

Judy Richardson; Wesley Hogan; Daphne Chamberlain; Charles Cobb, Jr.; Emilye Crosby; Ashley D. Farmer; John Gartrell; Hasan Kwame Jeffries; Robert Korstad; Adriane Lentz-Smith; Charles Payne; Jeanne Theoharis; Jenice L. View; Courtland Cox; Jennifer Lawson; Deborah Menkart; Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

Grantee Institution

Duke University

Funded through the Division of Education Programs