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Mar 4, 2015
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Civil Rights at the Century's End

As the old century gave way to the new, it was hard to say whether African-Americans as a group were in a better or a worse situation than they had been a half-century earlier.

The civil rights movement had won integrated schools and transportation, voting rights, better job opportunities, and real political power. Consider the following benchmark statistic: When Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, fewer than 100 African-Americans held elective office in the United States; by 1990 there were more than 7,000.

On the other hand, despite these gains, there was a steadily enlarging sense of crisis and alienation in the urban areas where many African-Americans lived, a crisis that carried with it the kind of shocking statistics that reflected over a century of inequity in America's cities.

  • In 1995, an incredible 70.4 percent of African-American babies were born out of wedlock; 35 years earlier, the figure had been 30 percent.
  • As of this writing, it is reliably estimated that 33 percent of all African-American males over the age of 20 are in prison or possess criminal records.
  • African-American infants are roughly twice as likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome as other infants.
  • African-Americans are ludicrously over-represented in the ranks of the American homeless.
  • The suicide rate for African-American teens is not only rising, but rising significantly faster than the rate for white teens.

Given these alarming social signals, it is not surprising that there is still a sense that much remains undone in the African-American community.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to African-American History © 2003 by Melba J. Duncan. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

Highlights

Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon
Join the Galactic Hot Dogs Reading Marathon! Read each episode as it's re-released with newly revealed facts, behind-the-scenes illustrations, and the inside scoop. Make it official by pledging on the blog to read each chapter with Cosmoe. Your students will love following the exploits of these space travelers, and you'll love the educational elements that can easily be paired to the stories.

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Kids are especially susceptible to contracting and spreading viruses during the winter months. Prevention starts with proper handwashing. Show students how to keep germs away.

March Calendar of Events
March is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: National School Breakfast Week (3/2-6), World Orphan Week (3/4-11), Boston Massacre (3/5/1770), Daylight Saving Time Begins (3/8), International Women's Day (3/8), Teen Tech Week (3/8-14), Pi Day (3/14), St. Patrick's Day (3/17), Spring Begins (3/20), Make Your Own Holiday Day (3/26), and World Theatre Day (3/27). Plus, celebrate Deaf History Month (3/15-4/15), Music In Our Schools Month, Women's History Month, and Youth Art Month!

Poptropica Teaching Guides
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Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. Talk to your students about the accomplishments women have made—as well as the adversity they have faced.

Teaching with Comics
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guide to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series, as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stores.


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