Comparing Black Lives Matter to Civil Rights Movement

Thursday, January 19, 2017

BLM activists participate in a march.

Story Description

There are parallels between the race struggles of Martin Luther King half a century ago and the Black Lives Matter movement of today. This story tells of how attention is being brought to the disparities between races in the United States, and how the message has changed from an aspirational tone to a commitment to truth-telling. Protesters in both struggles were working to transform America and focus on respect. Listen to hear more about civil rights activism in this interview recorded on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Listening Comprehension Questions

  1. What are the similarities between the Civil Rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement? 
  2. Why are differences in the audience of these two movements important? 
  3. What role does nonviolence have in the history of this racial disparity? 
  4. Why did Martin Luther King, Jr. want us to learn from the Civil Rights movement?

Classroom Discussion Themes

  • What do you think it will take to have everyone in the United States achieve the full recognition of the dignity of black people?
  •  In your opinion, how are these protest movements similar and different?



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