Social Studies

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Reconstruction and Black Education

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Before the Civil War, most southern states made it illegal to educate slaves, but many enslaved people did learn to read and write. During the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, the number of schools and the literacy rate for African Americans increased dramatically. This mini-documentary, produced for the American Experience: "Reconstruction" Web site, follows the development of schools for African Americans as well as the resistance it sparked.

Sheyann Webb

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Eight-year-old Sheyann Webb was among the youngest activists to demonstrate during the Civil Rights movement. In this interview, Webb recalls her decision to participate in the 1965 voting-rights march from Selma, Alabama, the resistance she encountered from her parents, and the violent force used by local officials to stop the march.

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