Long Road History students visited The Guardian newspaper in London to research, write and edit an A3-sized newspaper front page on race relations and the fight for civil rights in the USA during the 1950s and 1960s. They were given access to a range of primary and secondary sources including news reports from the paper’s archives, biographies of major characters, transcripts of key speeches and legislation, information files on important organisations, and photographs of relevant places, people and events.
Each front page contained three news stories and three pictures. The students chose three events, organisations, characters or themes to write about such as the Montgomery bus boycott; the crisis at Little Rock; the race riots of 1967; Martin Luther King; Thurgood Marshall; Governor Orville Faubus; the various Civil Rights Acts; desegregation of schools and universities; non-violent resistance; Black Power.
Working to a tight deadline, they also chose their own page layout, placed pictures of their choice on the page, edited their reports, wrote the headlines, designed a masthead, and printed their paper.
Suzanne Daley, History teacher, says: “This was an excellent opportunity for our students to enhance their understanding of the Civil Rights movement in the United States and to gain an insight into the work of a journalist. We are extremely grateful to Jan Trott at The Guardian for organising this day for us and look forward to taking part in further workshops offered by the newspaper’s education programme.”