Institute for Arts and Media

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The Struggle to Desegregate Los Angeles Schools, 1940-1970

How valid or fair is it to ask why "white" people have historically been so resistant and opposed to having their children go to school with African-American children?

What factors other than race have made desegregated schools so difficult to achieve in Los Angeles?

The lesson suggests a thought-provoking warm-up for students, and provides historical background information on and photographs of African American students and segregated schools before and after World War II.

The lesson features map activities enabling students to locate still existing schools in various regions of Los Angeles, using historical, aerial, and modern maps.

The lesson also features a look at efforts to desegregate schools in the 1970s and 1980s, oral and written recollections of those efforts, and a collection of compelling quotes on efforts to integrate schools.


Click here to view the full lesson plan (.pdf)


Guide for Viewing and Analyzing Photographs The Big Questions Potential Contribution of Participants Classroom Assignments