Civil Rights Discussion

Civil Rights Discussion

Civil Rights Discussion Board


1. Compare and contrast “Letters From the Birmingham City Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. and the documentary I Am Not Your Negro featuring the words of James Baldwin.

2. What can they tell us about contemporary race relations in the United States?

3. As with all of our discussion boards, you are required to thoughtfully reply to at least two of your colleagues.

Recommended Length: 5-8 paragraphs

Note: I am using the language of the source material here (Negro, Black, etc.). If you care to, you may address this in your post.

To help you get started, here are a sample of possible topics:

  • The degree to which racial inequality has been ingrained in television, movies, music, etc. and the resulting effects.
  • The role of the White moderate who is apathetic and/or ignorant of racial inequality.
  • How or why Whites need racial injustice and how this ultimately affects both the Negro and Whites.
  • The tradeoff between freedom and oppression.
  • The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial injustice both in the 1950s and today.
  • Various tactics used in the struggle for civil rights.

Source Material:


Tips for Success:

  • I will be looking for direct references to assigned material
  • I recommend composing your content in an offline text editor and then copying and pasting in post. That way you will have an offline copy of all of your hard work.
  • You are required to reply to two of your peers in this forum; reply first to those students who have not had a lot of replies. In your replies, provide some thoughtful feedback on their ideas. Are you all basing your decisions on the same type of reasoning? Might you be able to point someone to some resources from the course that they would find helpful?
Grading Rubric:
Compare and Contrast “Letters From the Birmingham City Jail” and I Am Not Your Negro 12 points
Relevance to Contemporary Race Relations 4 points
Reply to Classmates 2 points
Writing Mechanics: 2 points
Total possible: 20 points