Desegregation and Massive Resistance in Virginia


Books & Media:

Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Rosa Parks. New York: Holiday House, 1993.
Students will follow the life story of Rosa Parks and her role in the Civil Rights Movement by reading and looking at the pictures in this illustrated biography. Both secure readers and struggling readers can interact with this story. The readability of the text is slightly challenging for fourth graders. However, the pictures tell the story almost as well as the text.

Boyd, Candy Dawson et al. Virginia. Glenview, Illinois: Scott Foresman, 2003
Fourth grade textbook used by Alexandria City Public Schools.

Coles, Robert. The Story of Ruby Bridges. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1995.
Desegregation of public schools following Brown v. Board of Education will come alive for students in this illustrated biography about Ruby Bridges. Students will understand the complexities of the process of integrating schools from the perspective of an African American child.

Foner, Eric and John A. Garraty, eds. The Reader’s Companion to American History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991
This book includes an overview of major events in American History from its origins to the late 20th century.

Morrison, Toni. Remember: The Journey to School Integration. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
Toni Morrison’s book is a wonderful pictorial narrative that speaks directly to children as she tells the story of the difficult struggle toward integration.

Out of Obscurity: The Story of the 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-in.
This video is important so that students in Alexandria schools recognize the courage and persistence of individuals in their own city who fought for equal rights. The 40 minute video focuses specifically on the 1939 sit-in at the Alexandria Public Library which was led by Samuel Tucker. It includes testimonials from individuals present in Virginia during segregation.

Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2001.
This book is a children's story of racial tension in a rural town. Two young girls, one white and one black, live next door to each other; they are separated by a wooden fence. The story shows how the girls begin to interact and eventually become friends.


Websites: Virginia Studies learning games and activities
Library of Virginia: “Virginia’s Response to Brown v. Board of Education”
This website of Television News of the Civil Rights Era from 1950-1970 includes digital primary sources for grades K-12, background information for teachers, oral histories and films with summaries.
This website focuses on the Civil Rights Movement in Virginia. It includes many key photos with summaries. It also includes political cartoons, one particularly useful cartoon shows the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals striking down the Massive Resistance Laws designed to close schools that planned to integrate. "The decision plugs the barrel of the cannon of Massive Resistance."
This is a great web resource of images that chronicle massive resistance and desegregation in Virginia. Students will benefit from comparing and contrasting images of “separate but equal” African American schools with images of White schools from the same time period.
This website offers a vast array of information pertaining to Brown v. Board of Education. It also has several links, including one to the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

This website displays a collection of images of black public schools taken during the 1940s and 1950s. “John E. Phay conducted studies of both African American and white public schools in eleven counties in Mississippi. Photographed between 1949 and 1959, the collection contains over 3,800 images.”
The National Archives provides excellent worksheets to analyze primary sources that can be adapted by teachers for different grade levels.
This website includes general information about Jim Crow, including NPR transcripts and racists photographs of segregation.
This website offers a history of Jim Crow.
This website gives a synopsis of Steven Kasher’s book titled: The Civil Rights Movement – A Photographic History 1954-1968. In order to use the photos one must retain permission from the publisher.
This documentary provides background essays and a picture gallery of life under Jim Crow laws.