During World War II, a black male named James Thompson wrote a letter to the Pittsburgh Courier expressing his thoughts about the war and African Americans. This letter would spark a movement across America in which African Americans bonded together to demand not just a "V for Victory" like FDR championed, but also a second V for Victory on the home front for equal rights. Students read this letter and a follow up narration providing context and historical effects. After each paragraph they pause to write a 1-sentence summary of the information they are absorbing.
Then students read a short bio about the legendary A. Philip Randolph, focusing on his attempt to march on DC during WWII to demand equal hiring and better jobs for African Americans. Again, students provide a brief 1-sentence summary of each of the 4 paragraphs.
After learning of these 2 events which are sometimes cited as the birth of the organized Civil Rights Movement, students complete a Venn diagram comparing them and answer discussion questions about race and the impact and legacy of these events.