Racism During WWII and the Civil War

Lesson Plan

Unidentified African American soldier in Union infantry sergeant's uniform and black mourning ribbon with bayonet in front of painted backdrop, 1863 or 1865
(Unidentified African American soldier in Union infantry sergeant's uniform, between 1863 and 1865)


Concept / Topic To Teach:

Racism and dealing with the issue that our country is quick to come to the aide of a foreign nation, but slow to come to a resolution with problems at home.
 

Grade Level:

8th grade
 

Standards Addressed:

b. 8.2 Describe and explain the social, economic and political effects of
 a. stereotyping and prejudice
 b. racism and discrimination
 c. institutionalized discrimination
 

Grade 8:

 OH.1. - Interpret relationships between events shown on multiple-tier time lines.
 1.A. - Interpret relationships between events shown on multiple-tier time lines.
 1.1. - Grade Level Indicator: Chronology: Select events and construct a multiple-tier time line to show relationships among events.
 OH.2. - Grade Level Indicator: Diffusion: Explain how the diverse peoples of the United States developed a common national identity.
 2.6. - Grade Level Indicator: Diffusion: Explain how the diverse peoples of the United States developed a common national identity.
 OH.3 - Explain reasons that people, products and ideas move from place to place and the effects of that movement on geographic patterns.
 3.D. - Explain reasons that people, products and ideas move from place to place and the effects of that movement on geographic patterns.
 OH.6. - Grade Level Indicator: Participation: Show the relationship between participating in civic and political life and the attainment of individual and public goals including: The Sons of Liberty and Committees of Correspondence/American independence; The Underground Railroad and the abolitionist Movement/Abolition of slavery.
6.1. - Grade Level Indicator: Participation: Show the relationship between participating in civic and political life and the attainment of individual and public goals including:
 The Sons of Liberty and Committees of Correspondence/American independence; The Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement/Abolition of slavery.
 

General Goal(s):

Students would be exposed to the Double V idea that was propagated in the states (esp. with the minority culture) during World War II. Students would then compare and contrast the role of racism in the United States during both wars.
 

Required Materials:

Primary Sources Used:

Political cartoon sample:
Political cartoon sample
 
 
 
Lincoln's House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858
 
Photos

Warm-up:

Find a video online about what it means to be an American.
This would allow the students to think about what it means to be an American and the role that being an American plays.
 
Use the fourth segment. Titled: Segregation in the Twentieth Century America – length 1:14
 

Step-By-Step Procedures:

Extensions (For Gifted Students):

Research and explore the racism and institutionalism that existed with any of the following issues:
 - The exclusion of African Americans in both the Civil War and World War II
 - The execution of Jews during the Holocaust
 - The deportation of American Japanese after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
 

Possible Connections To Other Subjects:

Language Arts connection with several different novels
 

Possible books to use:

Other sources: 

  • Image of front page of the Chicago Defender newspaper for July 31, 1948 with the lead story announcing that President Harry S. Truman had issued Executive Order 9981 ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces. The placement of the story shows the importance that the African-American community attached to Truman's action.
  • Truman Executive Order: Establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services ( EXECUTIVE-ORDER9981-Truman.pdf)
  • Desegregation of the Armed Forces Collection (Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum)
 
 
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