This lesson, which focuses on the Detroit Uprising of 1967, equips students to “talk back” to official accounts of the riot by focusing on its root causes. The lesson provides students an opportunity to get a fuller sense of Rosa Parks’s life and politics and to learn about the Black freedom struggle outside of the South.
The lesson asks students to investigate four crucial sites of racial inequality — schools, housing, jobs, and policing — drawing upon excerpts from The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Young Readers Edition and several primary sources: tax records, redlining maps, oral histories, newspaper stories, and more. In conversation with each other, students will learn how inequality and segregation was created and maintained, shaped Black lives in the city, and how people — like Rosa Parks and the vibrant Black community in Detroit of which she was a part — responded to it.
This lesson accompanies the book The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Young Readers Edition and the 2022 documentary film The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.