Guides for Youth Programming Poster 19-B Elementary (Ages 6–12)
Name of Poster: Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965
Poster #: 19-B
Artist: James Karales
Medium: Photographic Print
Owner or Venue: James Karales Collection, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University
Use Visual Thinking Strategies to discuss the poster in depth.
Use the Whole Book Approach to share one or more of the programming books suggested below to connect library resources to the poster via subject, style, or artist.
Using one or two intriguing sentences per book, booktalk a number of books from the bibliography to whet the appetite of your audience for more reading. Give books to interested takers for later checkout.
Add crafts, music, activities, etc. as your style dictates.
School Age (6–12)
Despite a succession of federal court rulings designed to open the polls to African Americans in the 1960s, black Alabamians in huge numbers were not registered to vote due to the power of local voter registrars to erect obstacles. The problem was particularly acute in the Black Belt of the state, where whites feared losing political control when the black majority population gained the franchise. In the early 1960s and, in 1965, Selma, in the heart of the Black Belt, became a focus for black registration drives. This location was chosen by African American Civil Rights leaders as the site from which to launch a march on Montgomery, the state capital, to dramatize the plight of the disfranchised.
The march of a few hundred protesters began on March 7, 1965. Governor George Wallace ordered local and state law enforcement to block the march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge spanning the Alabama River on the way out of Selma. The resulting spectacle of uniformed law officers attacking peaceful demonstrators was witnessed by a horrified American public as “Bloody Sunday” on the nightly news. The “Selma to Montgomery March” was begun anew on March 21, with the marchers’ ranks swelled by supporters from across the nation, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had been involved in the Selma protests since January but had not been there on “Bloody Sunday.” Some 3,200 marchers left Selma on March 21 and as many as 25,000 took part in the final stretch up Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue to the state Capitol four days later.
Emotions aroused over the events in Selma galvanized the U.S. Congress to pass, and President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to supply federal overseers in the local voter registration process. For more on the poster, consult the Picturing America Teachers Resource Book, pp. 84–85.
Useful information about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement may be found at the following websites:
- Civil Rights Movement Timeline
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Encarta Martin Luther King, Jr. Quick Facts
- The King Center
Farris, Christine King. March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World. Scholastic, 2008.
Haskins, James. John Lewis in the Lead. Lee and Low, 2006.
Johnson, Angela. A Sweet Smell of Roses. Simon & Schuster, 2005.
Michelson, Richard. As Good As Anybody. Knopf, 2008.
Rapport, Doreen. Nobody Gonna Turn Me ’Round: Stories and Songs of the Civil Rights Movement. Candlewick Press, 2006.
The final title provides music and lyrics for those who would like to experience the period that way. The other titles lend themselves to discussing the role of the march as a form of non-violent protest in American history. These are a sampling of such marches.
- Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955)
- Albany Movement (1961)
- Birmingham campaign (1963)
- March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963)
- Selma to Montgomery marches (1965)
- Chicago Freedom Movement (1965–67)
- Memphis Sanitation Strike (1968)
- Poor People’s Campaign (1968)
- Solidarity Day March (1981)
- Million Man March (1995)
- Million Man March (2000)
- Anti-war demonstration on the National Mall (2003)
- Million Worker March (2004)
Have participants view or listen to King’s speech, How Long? Not Long! delivered after the Selma-to-Montgomery March. Discuss other famous speeches and events that provoked people to act. Gather reference sources and books and have participants working in small groups, engage in a scavenger hunt researching protest marches in American history. Provide small prizes, i.e. bookmarks for the teamwork. Pass out age-appropriate activity sheets to participants for further literacy enhancement and learning. teAchnology offers free Martin Luther King Jr. teacher worksheets.
Adler, David. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday House, 2001. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Bausum, Ann. Freedom Riders. National Geographic, 2006. (Elementary–Older Teen)
Darby, Jean. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lerner Publications, 2005. (Elementary)
Doering, Amanda. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Capstone Press, 2006. (Elementary)
Fandel, Jennifer. Martin Luther King, Jr.Genius. Creative Education, 2006. (Elementary)
Farris, Christine King. My Brother, Martin. Simon & Schuster, 2003. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Fleming, Alice. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Dream of Hope. Sterling Publishing, 2008. (Elementary)
George, Linda. The Civil Rights Movement Marches. Children’s Press, 1999. (Elementary)
Graves, Kerry. I Have a Dream. Chelsea House, 2004. (Elementary)
Hardy, Shelia Jackson. Extraordinary People of the Civil Rights Movement. Children’s Press, 2007. (Elementary)
Jeffrey, Laura. Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Enslow Publishers, 2006. (Elementary)
Kerley, Barbara. A Little Peace. National Geographic, 2007. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
King, Casey. Oh Freedom! Kids Talk About the Civil Rights Movement. Knopf, 1997. (Elementary, Teen)
Levine, Ellen. Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell their Own Stories. Putnam, 1993.
McWhorter, Diane. A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. Scholastic, 2004. (Elementary, Teen)
Miller, Jake. The March from Selma to Montgomery: African Americans Demand the Vote. Rosen Publishing, 2004. (Elementary, Teen)
Murphy, Patricia. Voting and Elections. Compass Point Books, 2002. (Elementary)
Pasten, Amy. Martin Luther King, Jr. D.K. Publishers, 2004. (Elementary, Teen)
Radunsky, Vladmir. What Does Peace Feel Like? Atheneum Books, 2004. (Elementary)
Rapport, Doreen. Martin’s Big Words. Scholastic, 2001. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Shore, Diane. This Is the Dream. Harper Collins, 2006. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Sirimarco, Elizabeth. The Civil Rights Movement. Benchmark Books, 2005. (Elementary, Teen)
Supples. Kevin. Speaking Out: The Civil Rights Movement, 1950–1964. National Geographic, 2006. (Elementary)
Turck, Mary. The Civil Rights Movement for Kids: A History with 21 Activities. Chicago Review, 2000. (Elementary)
Woog, Adam. The Fight Renewed: The Civil Rights Movement. Lucent Books, 2006. (Elementary, Teen)
Burg, Shana. A Thousand Never Evers. Delacorte Books, 2008. (Elementary)
Coleman, Evelyn. White Socks Only. A. Whitman, 1996. (Elementary)
Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham1963. Laurel Leaf, 2000. (Elementary)
Davis, Ossie. Just Like Martin. Simon & Schuster, 1992. (Elementary)
Moore, Yvette. Freedom Songs. Orchard, 1991. (Elementary)
Wiles, Deborah. Freedom Summer. Aladdin, 2001. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. Putnam, 2001. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Selma, Lord Selma. Dir. Charles Burnett. Disney, 2003. (Elementary)
Our Friend Martin. Dir. Vincenzo Trippetti. DIC Entertainment, 2004. (Elementary)
|Older Teen||Ages 16–18|