Teaching with the SNCC Digital Gateway

The SNCC Digital Gateway is a new–soft-launched in December 2016 and still being completed–website about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Civil Rights Movement organization that grew out of the sit-in movement in Spring 1960.  The website is here: https://snccdigital.org/

The only national civil rights organization led by young people, SNCC activists became full-time organizers, working with community leaders to build grassroots organizations in the Deep South. SNCC focused on voter registration and on mounting a systemic challenge to the white supremacy entrenched in the country’s political, economic, and social structures. While there are a number of very good scholarly books on SNCC, their work and approach are still largely absent from textbooks and popular understanding of the movement. As one of the people on the editorial board for the SNCC Digital Gateway, I hope it will make teaching and learning about SNCC and the movement, especially the grassroots organizing parts of it, much more accessible to students and the public.

The website includes a wide range of historic materials (hosted in digital collections at repositories around the country); over 150 individual profiles;  more than 100 events pages; Inside SNCC pages that explore how the organization worked; an Our Voices section, which presents aspects of SNCC’s history from the eyes of the activists themselves; and a Map, which connects users to the people who worked–and the events that happened–in specific places. The site will also draw on an extensive collection of Civil Rights Movement speakers hosted by Geneseo over the years. While that aspect of the website is still in progress, the recordings are available here:   https://www.geneseo.edu/abs/civil-rights-movement-speakers

I propose a session aimed at developing lesson plans or strategies for using the website as a teaching tool, for history courses and others, including topics and fields such as social movements, leadership, gender, public history, music, culture, geography, and more. In addition to lesson plans for teaching, I am interested in develop materials aimed at a more general audience, including young activists, and would also be interested in brainstorming and developing resources that go beyond formal teaching.


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