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Reflecting on the 1960s 

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  • Due Sunday by 11:59pm
  • Points 20
  • Submitting a file upload

Make sure that you have assessed the sources in this week’s Reading Check. Additional primary sources in this assignment will explore the “changing” nature of the Civil Rights Movement after the President Johnson’s passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. While white liberals largely saw the Civil Rights Movement as a finished revolution with these pieces of legislation, we know that it was nowhere near successful completion. By the late 1960s, Americans (especially students and young people) were protesting the Vietnam War, wartime restrictions on free speech regarding the war, old and outdated party leadership, etc. None of these movements or protests happened in a vacuum, so we’ll explore in this assignment how these movements intersected.



Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Peace without Conquest” speech about his policy on Vietnam, April 1967:


Dr. Martin Luther King, “Why I am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”, April 1967 speech (Links to an external site.)

For reference: Vietnam War timeline (Links to an external site.) [secondary source]

(Links to an external site.)Black Panther Party’s platform/program, 1966 (Links to an external site.)

Video below: Martin Luther King Jr interview/speech from 1967, dubbed “Dream Turned into a Nightmare”


Using the sources linked above, answer the following question in a one- to two-page, double-spaced reflection essay (about 250-400 words). No formal citations required. You do not need to answer the entire prompt, but choose at least two or three of the questions that move you to reflect and write.

Prompt: To what extent was the movement of the 1950s and 1960s successful? Which strategies and methodologies worked? What factors hindered further success in achieving demands for civil liberties? How did the effectiveness of strategies like King’s televised marches compare to strategies used today? Consider doing a little research into today’s competing opinions on the effectiveness of the Black Lives Matter organization or Colin Kaepernick’s own kneeling act of civil disobedience? What effect did LBJ’s Great Society programs have on civil rights? What effect did the Vietnam War have on the civil rights movement?


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