This unit, designed for a Constitutional Law elective, but applicable to U.S. History/Civics courses too, will introduce students to the basic framework of Critical Race Theory and the need to disrupt the perceived neutrality of the law, while also interrogating the notion of colorblindness. Students will study the history of housing and school segregation in the U.S. They will examine the role the federal government played in purposefully creating and perpetuating housing segregation throughout the first half of the 20th century. They will have the opportunity to explore interesting primary sources, such as original HOLC Residential Security maps, which helped to create the basis for redlining. Students will also draw connections between housing segregation and school segregation, analyzing their reciprocal nature. Additionally, they will investigate the history of desegregation and resegregation of American public schools. Throughout the unit, they will look at the role the Supreme Court played and evaluate the extent to which the court worked to dismantle versus uphold segregation. Lastly, students will brainstorm, research and discuss ways to address persistent segregation today. In addition to useful resources, the unit provides tools and guidance for dissecting Supreme Court cases, implementing a student-led seminar and more.
(Developed for Constitutional Law, grade 11; recommended for Constitutional Law, U.S. History, and Civic, grades 10-12)