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History: USA Civil Rights



Martin Luther King Jnr.

The final part of Martin Luther King's last speech. He delivered it on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day, King was assassinated.



Documenting the American South

Date range: 18th-20th Centuries. Maps from 17th-20th Centuries
Geographical focus: US
Comprises a number of collections documenting life in the Southern states of America. Includes slave narratives, oral histories and maps, as well as material relating to culture, education and war in these states. Supported by the University of North Carolina.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade: Migration

Date range: 15th-20th Centuries
Geographical focus: US
Online documents relating to the slave trade- includes both primary and secondary sources.

America’s journey through slavery

Date range: 15th-19th Centuries
Geographical focus: US
Created by PBS, this site includes a narrative and resource guide.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record

Date range: 17th-19th Centuries
Geographical focus: US, Africa
Images relating to the slave trade in the Americas.

Black Abolitionist Archive

Date range: c. 1820-1865
Geographical focus: US
"The Black Abolitionist Digital Archive is a collection of over 800 speeches by antebellum blacks and approximately 1,000 editorials from the period. These important documents provide a portrait of black involvement in the anti-slavery movement; scans of these documents are provided as images and PDF files."

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition

Date range: 17th-21st Centuries
Geographical focus: US
Sources relating to slavery and race in America, including advertisements and cartoons, legal documents, letters and speeches.

African Activist Archive Project in America

Date range: 1940s-present
Geographical focus: North America
"The African Activist Archive Project is building an online archive of primary materials - documents, photographs, artifacts, and written and oral memories - of 50 years of activist organizing in the United States in solidarity with African struggles against colonialism, apartheid, and injustice."



Better Day Coming: Civil Rights in America in the 20th Century

from BBC History. Professor Adam Fairclough focuses on the period from World War Two to the present day, to discuss the struggle of African-Americans to achieve civil rights and equality of status in the country of their birth.


World History Project

Compare and Contrast

Racist America 1959-1960

Racism in America lead to riots and social segregation. This video includes speeches from major public speakers of the era including Martin Luther King

Racism, School Desegregation Laws and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States

The Death of Martin Luther King

This excerpt from the PBS documentary "1968: The Year that Shaped a Generation" recounts the last days of Martin Luther King and documents the fall-out from his assassination. "1968: The Year that Shaped a Generation" was produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting for PBS.

Shirley Chisholm

Malcolm X

The Other Rosa Parks: Now 73, Claudette Colvin Was First to Refuse Giving Up Seat on Montgomery Bus


The following video may be access through Clickview

The Freedom Riders - Australian and American Civil Rights


Black in America

Ku Klux Klan

The rise and fall of Jim Crow

Collected commentary on the Ku Klux Klan, 1919-1929 PDF

Political cartoons on the Ku Klux Klan, 1921-1928 (16) PDF

- Cartoon analysis chart PDF

Klan parade in Washington, DC, silent newsreel, 1925

"Timely Topics," recording by Will Rogers, 1923

Political cartoons on the Ku Klux Klan

Ku Klux Klan Collection, Michigan State University Libraries (29 titles, most from the 1920s, in pdf)

Native Americans