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POLSC432: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Unit 6: Civil Rights: The Struggle for Racial Equality   Race has been at the center of politics in the United States since the framing of the Constitution. The framers essentially had to table the issue of slavery in order to get the Constitution ratified. This planted the seeds that lead to the Civil War. Following the Civil War, the struggle for racial equality continued coming to a head in the 1960s and resulting in landmark legislation that changed African Americans’ struggle for civil rights. The struggle has continued in the court of public opinion as well as in the judicial courts. This unit includes material that will cover this historical struggle from multiple perspectives. The material focuses on the social movement, the legislation, and the prominent court cases.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 16 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 12 hours ☐    Subunit 6.2.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2.3: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2.5: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2.6: 2 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  - Discuss the historical context of the struggle for racial equality. - Explain the nature of the Bill of Rights as related to race. - Analyze the landmark court cases dealing with the racial equality. - Discuss the potential future of racial equality.

6.1 Historical Context   - Reading: America.gov: Michael J. Freedman’s “Free At Last” Link: America.gov: Michael J. Freedman’s “Free At Last” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please download the text using the “View PDF” link to the right of the cover and read it in its entirety. This reading provides background on the history of the struggle for racial equality, as well as the contemporary successes. Important court cases are covered as well. This reading is applicable to all the material covered in subunit 6.1. This reading should take approximately 4 hours to complete. 
 
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6.1.1 Slavery and the Framing   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.1.2 The Bill of Rights and Race   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.1.3 The Civil War   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.1.4 Emancipation   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.1.5 The Fourteenth Amendment   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.1.6 The Civil Rights Act of 1964   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.1.7 The Voting Rights Act of 1965   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 6.1.

6.2 Landmark Court Cases   6.2.1 Dred Scott v. Sanford   - Reading: Legal Information Institute: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Dred Scott v. Sanford Opinion” Link: Legal Information Institute: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Dred Scott v. Sanford Opinion” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case establishing that African Americans could not sue in federal court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
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  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Dred Scott v. Sanford (Dissent) (1857)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Dred Scott v. Sanford (Dissent) (1857)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the court dissent from the case establishing that African Americans could not sue in federal court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.2 Plessy v. Ferguson   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Plessy v. Ferguson Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Plessy v. Ferguson Opinion” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case that established the famous “separate but equal” clause when it came to services/accommodations for African Americans. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Plessy v. Ferguson (Dissent) (1896)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Plessy v. Ferguson (Dissent) (1896)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the court dissent from the case that established the famous “separate but equal” clause when it came to services/accommodations for African Americans. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.3 Brown v. Board of Education   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Brown v. Board of Education Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Brown v. Board of Education Opinion” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Brown v. Board of Education Opinion (1954)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Brown v. Board of Education Opinion (1954)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case establishing that states could not pass legislation that undermined Brown v. Board. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
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6.2.4 Cooper v. Aaron   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Cooper v. Aaron Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Cooper v. Aaron Opinion” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Cooper v. Aaron (1958)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Cooper v. Aaron (1958)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case establishing that states could not pass legislation that undermined Brown v. Board. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.5 University of California Regents v. Bakke   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “University of California Regents v. Bakke Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “University of California Regents v. Bakke Opinion” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978) ” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case establishing that universities could use racial quotas in admissions. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
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6.2.6 Grutter v. Bollinger; Gratz v. Bollinger   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Grutter v. Bollinger Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Grutter v. Bollinger Opinion” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Gratz v. Bollinger Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Gratz v. Bollinger Opinion” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Grutter v. Bollinger/Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Grutter v. Bollinger/Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)” (HTML)  
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case establishing that universities could use race as part of the criterion in admissions. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.