Building strong analysis skills is an essential part of a high school student's education. In this activity, students will play the part of a historian by analyzing primary source documents (photographs, pamphlets, articles, and letters) from the Gilded Age and about African-American concerns.
Most textbooks only discuss issues about western settlers, Native Americans, workers and the labor movement, however African Americans had a big part to play during the gilded age. Analyzing the struggles of African Americans at this time can help set the stage for advancements that they made in the years to follow during the Civil Rights Movement.
Students analyze the following documents:
- A Sharecropping Contract from 1882
- Two Photographs of African American Sharecroppers
- Louisiana Black Codes
- 1868 Newspaper Article "Negros to Ride in City Railway Passenger Cars"
- Excerpt from a pamphlet by Ida B. Wells written in 1899
- Graphs that detail number of lynchings by race in individual states, as well as
- Pamphlet from Philadelphia "What a Colored Man Should do to Vote"
Use the primary documents and the analysis questions to help guide students to a better understanding of how the rights of African Americans were curtailed during the Gilded Age.