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The Civil Rights Movement in Alabama

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This podcast is part of the series: ArchiTreats: Food for Thought


Odessa Woolfolk


Alabama Department of Archives and History


ArchiTreats: Food for Thought celebrates the Year of Alabama History through a series of sequential lectures in Alabama history by leading experts in the field. Join us as Odessa Woolfolk presents The Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. This presentation was held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Alabama, the ‘Cradle of the Confederacy,’ was the setting for many of the most nationally significant battles of the Civil Rights Movement. The events of that era were initiated by ordinary people with uncommon courage. This presentation will highlight the mass activism which occurred in local communities around the state, and the importance of leaders and footsoldiers.

Odessa Woolfolk grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. She received a BA in history from Talladega College and a MA in Urban Studies from Occidental College in California and she was a National Urban Fellow at Yale University. Her professional career includes high school and college teaching, as well as public administration in New York and Washington, D.C. She served in various capacities at the University of Alabama for over 20 years. She is the Founding President and Chairman Emeritus of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information, call (334) 353-4712.

Length: 55:03

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
10. Analyze social and educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama.
Examples: social—implementation of the Plessey versus Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
educational—establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University)
  • Explaining the development and changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism
  • Explaining the Jim Crow laws
  • Identifying Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
    SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    14. Analyze the modern Civil Rights Movement to determine the social, political, and economic impact on Alabama.
  • Recognizing important persons of the modern Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr.; George C. Wallace; Rosa Parks; Fred Shuttlesworth; John Lewis; Malcolm X; Thurgood Marshall; Hugo Black; and Ralph David Abernathy
  • Describing events of the modern Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, the Freedom Riders bus bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March
  • Explaining benefits of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Brown versus Board of Education Supreme Court case of 1954
  • Using vocabulary associated with the modern Civil Rights Movement, including discrimination, prejudice, segregation, integration, suffrage, and rights


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