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Two Controversial Cases in New Haven History: The Amistad Affair (1839) and the Black Panther Trials (1970), by Verdell M. Roberts

Guide Entry to 78.02.09:

The purpose of this study is to make a descriptive comparison of two dramatic revolts for freedom in New Haven, The earlier of these is the so-called Amistad Affair of 1839, which occurred when the Abolitionist Movement was in high gear, The other one, the Black Panther trials of 1970, coincided with the high tide of the Civil Rights movement, Each of these events seems to have resulted from a heightened awareness of injustice in America, The unit explores the justification for both revolts and American society’s reactions to each. The details of the two events are recreated in the narrative, including those facts about New Haven and Yale that would be of greatest interest to students. The unit stresses that both revolts led to positive steps toward fuller protection of rights and opportunities, One brief sample lesson plan follows a suggested format for the division of the unit over a six to eight week period, No formal reading list for students is included; duplicated excerpts from the Bibliography are strongly suggested.

(Recommended for middle school students (grades 5-8) with average to above-average reading skill)

Key Words

Amistad Affair Afro-American History Black Panther Trials American General New Haven Connecticut

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