The Civil Rights Era in U.S. history is commonly regarded as beginning with Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and ending with the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In this colloquium we expand the focus. Devoting due attention to the Brown ruling and to the landmark legislation of the mid-1960s, we begin by considering the origins of the civil-rights struggle in the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction periods, and we conclude with the controversies that emerged in the aftermath of the seeming triumphs of the Civil Rights era. Our discussions thus range from the Black Codes of the mid-1860s to the affirmative-action controversies of the present day. All the while, we consider questions concerning the possibility, desirability, and enabling political and social conditions of a “color-blind” or post-racial America.
What better way to learn about American history is there than by reading the primary sources, and discussing them with talented colleagues? What better place to learn about American history than in the places it was made? Participating teachers will read a set of primary source documents (150-200 pages), travel to a relevant historic site, and engage in conversation with up to 20 colleagues over the course of a weekend. In addition, participants will receive a stipend of $225 to defray the cost of travel to and from the program site.