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Primary Sources: Civil Rights Movement and Primary Sources: Women's Suffrage Movement Review by April ElstromCarole Marsh
1 (800) 536-2438
P.O. Box 2779
Peachtree City, Georgia 30269
I wasn’t sure what to expect when our two Primary Sources packs arrived. I admit, I was fearing they would be pages of journal entries and printed documents that my kids were going to find boring to read. I was pleasantly surprised to open the first pack and discover that the majority of the primary sources were actually full-page photographs and illustrations printed on sturdy card stock.
I received the Primary Sources: Women’s Suffrage Movement set, as well as the Primary Sources: Civil Rights Movement set. Each of the sets contains twenty photographs, illustrations, and documents printed on 8.5 x 11 inch card stock. The card stock is loose-leaf, not bound together into a book, and not hole-punched. This allows flexibility in how the documents are used. The pages can be displayed around the room, used in individual reports, or passed around for more careful inspection.
Naturally, due to advances in photography, the Civil Rights Movement set has more photographs in it than the Women’s Suffrage Movement set. Although all of the photographs in our sets are black-and-white, that is primarily because photography of that era was mostly in black-and-white. The other illustrations are printed in color, if the original was in color.
Both sets of primary source materials are safe for all ages of children to view, though one picture in the civil rights set shows two men with some blood on their faces. Although the violence associated with these movements may be hinted at in the photographs, it isn’t blatantly depicted in these Primary Sources sets.
The Primary Sources: Women’s Suffrage Movement set contains the following items:
- 9 black-and-white photographs of Women’s Suffrage demonstrations, arrests, and banners
- 3 portraits of leaders - Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony
- excerpts from Stanton’s autobiography and Susan B. Anthony’s trial
- a copy of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote
- four anti-suffrage cartoons and magazine covers from British and American publications
- three positive promotional illustrations from the Women’s Suffrage movement
The Primary Sources: Civil Rights Movement set includes:
- two photographs depicting segregated areas in the southern states
- four photographs of school integration and the police escorts that were required, including the “Little Rock Nine”
- four photographs of peaceful civil rights marches and gatherings, including a photo of Robert F. Kennedy speaking to a group outside the Justice Department
- four photographs of politicians and civil rights leaders, including one at the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
- two photographs depict the after-math of the violence that was too common, including a bombed house
- the arrest report for Rosa Parks, who happens to be included in the photograph with the President at the signing of the Voting Rights Act
- a portion of a letter from Daisy Bates (publisher of the Arkansas State Press) reporting on the poor treatment that the “Little Rock Nine” were receiving at Little Rock Central High School
- a letter from Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower, asking him to demonstrate more support for the African Americans
- a letter from a child to President Kennedy regarding the violence surrounding the civil rights issues in Birmingham, Alabama
Each of these Primary Sources packages would enhance a unit study or history lesson in a homeschool setting, or a classroom setting. Although some of these items could be located on the internet, it is very helpful to have them collected for you and attractively printed on quality card stock.
In our home, we often seek out books with photographs of historical events, but those are smaller pictures and we aren’t able to display them as we could with the Primary Sources posters. We are usually crowded around one book trying to see the pictures, or crowded around my laptop. With the Primary Sources posters, we were able to study the pictures without crowding around so closely.
My children and I were very impressed with both of these Primary Sources sets! The items collected gave a broad view of the historical event and were from varied sources. They helped bring this moment in time to life, in a way that textbooks simply do not!
-Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016