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Racism, Discrimination, and the Law, by Marcella Monk Flake


Guide Entry to 94.01.02:

As a teacher in the Talented and Gifted Program in New Haven, I have the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of students. As part of my prejudice reduction curriculum, I have written a unit that explores the legality of racism and nationalism as it existed in America. My unit presents portions of the U.S. Constitution, for whom it was written, and addresses its exclusionary clauses. It discusses equal protection, civil rights and liberties. It also presents Section 1 of Amendment 13, (Abolition of Slavery) 1865; Amendment 14, (Civil Rights) 1868; and Amendment 15, (Negro Suffrage) 1870. In my unit, I have presented the set up of our country’s dual judicial system. I discuss the hierarchy that exists therein, and the power of the federal system to overturn lower court or state decisions and laws.

Through the use of landmark cases, students learn that although the U.S. has not always been a champion of civil rights, there have always been champions, both Black and White, fighting together for what was right. My unit seeks to promote a sense of “brotherhood and sisterhood” that is so easily lost through continued segregation and ignorance.

(Recommended for Social Studies, grades 9-12)

Key Words

Debate Skills Mock Trials School Desegregation Supreme Court Cases Race Relations

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