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Activism: Then & Now

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Civics +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection focuses on using primary resources from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to help students examine how activism is viewed in our country. 

From the First Resource: Today, our nation honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a stoic leader during a tumultuous time in our nation's history who brought about significant positive change by pursuing civil rights for Americans of color. However, MLK's activism was not beloved by an entire nation during his lifetime. We can explore the sacrifices he made in his endless pursuit of civil rights, his mistreatment by the systems he spoke out against, and the patterns that have been applied to contemporary activists now.  


Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Portrait Gallery

Arrest of Dr. King

National Museum of American History

Arrest of Martin Luther King Jr., Montgomery, Alabama

National Museum of African American History and Culture

33c Martin Luther King Jr. single

National Postal Museum

Time Vol. 188 No. 13

National Museum of African American History and Culture