Paired Texts > The Civil Rights Act of 1964
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The informational text "Martin Luther King, Jr." explores the life of King and his contributions to fighting inequality through nonviolent means.Pair “Martin Luther King, Jr.” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to discuss how King contributed to the passing of this influential law. In what other ways did King contribute to the Civil Rights Movement?
This informational text explores the 1957 incident in Little Rock, Arkansas where white segregationists and the governor illegally tried to block black students from integrating into white schools.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to discuss previous attempts to combat discrimination and segregation in the United States. How do both texts explore the relationship between the federal government and the states? How did Brown v. Board of Education pave the way for the progress of civil rights? What additional work was necessary to achieve equality following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling?
This landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the "separate but equal" doctrine and called for the desegregation of American public schools.Pair “The Supreme Court’s Ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to consider the effects of Chief Justice Warren’s decision. How did society’s view of the Civil Rights Movement change as a result of Brown vs. Board of Education? In the context of these texts, does change happen instantaneously? Ask students to explain how America was able to move from Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., outlines his nonviolence approach to addressing injustice while responding to criticism.Pair “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” with “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and ask students how the controversy surrounding the Civil Rights Act reflected some of the problems King describes in his 1963 letter. How did the Civil Rights Act seek to address the injustices African Americans experienced? Students can also explain the connections between the protests described in the text and the philosophy of nonviolence that King outlines in “Letter.”
In "Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech," King accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” with “Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech” to provide students with additional information about the bill discussed in King’s speech. Ask students to discuss why King doesn’t consider his work done despite the passing of the bill. How did racial injustice persist after the bill’s passing?
In "What Kwanzaa means for Black Americans," Frank Dobson discusses how Kwanzaa unites the Black community.Pair “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” with “What Kwanzaa means for Black Americans” and have students discuss the two events from the 1960s. In “What Kwanzaa means for Black Americans,” the author includes the quote, “‘For Black power activists, Kwanzaa was just as important as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.’” Based on the information about the Civil Rights Act in “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” why might this be true? Do you agree that the two events were equally important? Why or why not?
In "Constance Baker Motley Taught the Nation How to Win Justice," the author describes the often overlooked impact of Constance Baker Motley's legal contribution on the civil rights movement in Birmingham.Pair “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” with “Constance Baker Motley Taught the Nation How to Win Justice” and have students discuss the common themes in the articles. How does the information presented in “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” contribute to your understanding of the civil rights movement? Based on what you learned in “Constance Baker Motley Taught the Nation How to Win Justice” is it surprising that Motley’s name and her role in the movement are left out of “The Civil Rights Act of 1964”? Why or why not?