Celebrating Black History Month

Making a Change

Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement explores how the First Amendment shaped the civil rights movement.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Newseum offers various exhibits and educational resources. “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement” chronicles student leaders in the early 1960s who fought segregation by making their voices heard and exercising their First Amendment rights.

At the entrance of this exhibit, visitors will also explore “Voices of the Civil Rights Movement,” an interactive kiosk that features stories and interviews with leaders of the struggle for equal rights, created in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal.

To enhance our effort to bring civil rights history to life, included in this hands-on video experience are interviews with key figures of the civil rights movement, including more than 100 civil rights leaders.

Also featured in the exhibit are a section of the original F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where in 1960 four African-American college students launched the sit-in movement; and a bronze casting of the Birmingham, Ala., jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in 1963. We encourage educators and their students to utilize the exhibit’s corresponding Gallery Guide. Created by NewseumED, part of the Freedom Forum Institute, this guide explores the challenges civil rights activists faced.

NewseumED draws upon artifacts from the Newseum’s collection and provides free educational resources that learners of all ages can use to explore how advocates for — and against — change in the civil rights era leveraged the five freedoms of the First Amendment. The Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement EDCollection includes an interactive timeline featuring over 200 historical front pages, videos and photographs; a media map comparing coverage of milestone events in newspapers across the country; standards aligned lesson plans; and more.

In addition, NewseumED offers a class at the Newseum for school groups called Making a Change, which includes watching and discussing a Newseum-produced documentary about the role of the First Amendment freedoms in the civil rights movement and in protests today. The class is free with admission. Review the related gallery guide.

Check out a full list of NewseumED resources that can be used to celebrate Black History Month.

Note: To access some of these resources, you must be signed into NewseumED; registration is free.

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