Honoring Our History through Artwork: Martin Luther King, Jr. in Library of Congress Primary Sources

Are there statues in your community created to honor those who have made a difference? Have buildings in your town been named or renamed for important people in history? Martin Luther King, Jr. is one such person. Ask your students to analyze a mural documenting the life of Dr. King, as seen in a photograph from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at the Library of Congress.

Voting Rights – The Full Enfranchisement of African Americans

The original Constitution of the United States was nearly mute on voting rights, ceding them to the states to determine. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution confers voting rights on African Americans, declaring that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

Booker T. Washington and the Atlanta Compromise

Many contributed to the debates on how best to secure and advance the rights of African Americans, but one of the major contributors was the educator Booker T. Washington. Washington, the leader of Tuskegee Institute, stated his views in a speech at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, in September 1895.