Teaching Memphis School History Project: Teaching the Memphis 13
The Civil Rights Movement is often taught in ways that center the experiences of adults that live outside of the communities in which children live and learn. Although children were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement (Theoharis, 2018), their stories and the stories of people they know and love are rarely discussed in elementary schools (Hess, 2005; Ladson-Billings, 2004). Studying local school desegregation offers a way for children to make sense of racism and to see themselves represented as agents of change (An, 2017, 2020; Santiago, 2017).
In the Teaching Memphis 13 project, collaborators from the University of Memphis Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership >, the Memphis 13 Foundation >, and the Memphis Shelby County School District > are working together to create and disseminate a curriculum for elementary school students to share the stories of the 13 first graders who integrated Memphis schools in 1961. This project is generously funded by the Library of Congress >.