Civics and Government

Strange Fruit: A Song Born of Protest

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This video segment explores how the song Strange Fruit became one of the best known and most enduring songs of protest. In 1939, the legendary blues singer Billie Holiday performed the song as a daring criticism of the commonplace practice of the lynching of African-Americans. Civil rights groups such as the NAACP had made countless appeals, but it was Holiday’s haunting rendition that made it impossible for white Americans and lawmakers to ignore the widespread crime.

Andrew Jackson | 60-Second Presidents

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Andrew Jackson was one of the more colorful and active presidents. Learn how his attitudes and policies strengthened the President's power and left a lasting impact on U.S. politics.

Poppy Northcutt, NASA Pioneer | Chasing the Moon

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Learn how Poppy Northcutt overcame sexism and a “boys’ club” atmosphere to become the first female engineer in NASA’s mission control in the 1960s—a situation she describes as a “complete peculiarity” at the time—in this video adapted from Chasing the Moon: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Northcutt, a feminist, endured repeated interview questions that focused on her appearance rather than her qualifications. However, she used the platform to demonstrate that women could work outside of stereotypical jobs.

Early Democratic Principles | Native America: Nature to Nations

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Learn about the formation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a democracy established several decades before the Declaration of Independence. Students will learn about the importance of the Hiawatha wampum belt to the Haudenosaunee people and discover how 18th century Haudenosaunee leaders influenced the formation of the United States democracy.

How Can We Get More Young People to Vote? | Above the Noise

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Voting is a really important part of the democratic process. We all know this, but in reality, many people don’t vote. That is especially true for younger generations who historically have had very low voter turnout rates in the U.S. This is kind of a big deal because younger people have a lot at stake in most elections. So, why don’t young people vote as much as older people? Find out in the latest Above the Noise episode. Have your students join the discussion with other students across the country on KQED Learn. (Log in required.)

Who Killa Da Chief?

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The 1890 murder of New Orleans Chief of Police, David Hennesey would never be solved, but the resulting media frenzy would forever cement stereotypes of Italian Americans as criminals, and the ensuing mob “justice” would mark a dark chapter in U.S. civic history.

 

Clip 1 | The State of Arizona | Preview

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This topical documentary captures the explosive emotions and complex realities behind Arizona’s headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration. Tracking the year after Arizona passes SB1070, its controversial “papers please” law, the film tells the stories of Arizonans on all sides of this divisive issue and depicts a state and its people testing the edges of our democratic values.

Should We Have More Than 2 Major Political Parties? | America From Scratch

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We blame a lot of our political dysfunction and polarization on our two-party system. So why do we keep it around? How did we get here? And what would happen if we had a lot more major parties? Host Toussaint Morrison investigates as we continue our democratic thought experiment.

Causes (2) | 1980s Farm Crisis

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The 1980s farm crisis has a variety of causes, domestically and internationally. This segment is part of the documentary The Farm Crisis, which examines the tragic circumstances faced by farmers for most of the 1980s, when thousands were forced into bankruptcy, land values dropped by one-third nationally, and sky-high interest rates turned successes into failures seemingly overnight.

Gustavo's Story: Undocumented Status | The Graduates Film Module

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This film module spotlights Gustavo's story, and how he is working to overcome the barriers to education caused by his undocumented status. Students will see how undocumented immigrant status can create an obstacle to social and academic success.

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