Now Online: Civil Rights. Lesson 15 of The Black Experience in America: The Course


After gathering feedback on Lesson 1, The Souls of Black Folk, I’ve posted the next immersive installment of The Black Experience in America, The Course. The focus is not on dates and places, but on ideas.

I posted the first online lesson two weeks ago, and I at first thought I would make the next lessons available in the order in which I designed them into The Course: Othello, then The Bluest Eye. But as I eyed the calendar, January and February loomed large. We would have Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and then Black History Month. I felt compelled to prepare Lesson 15 next, which presents King’s ideas in his own words, and illustrates how challenging the period was for King and contemporaries.

Civil Rights starts with a look at the threads that came together to catalyze what we think of as the Civil Rights Movement, including the lynching of a boy named Emmett Till. It then presents the movement through the lens of two towering figures of the era — King and Malcolm X — whom modern events cast in a new light.

As always, you can download the free PDF that outlines every lesson of The Course by visiting That document contains links to much of the material in the immersive lessons. For an enhanced experience in which I walk you through the concepts in a tailored, video-enhanced format, go to As of 12/7/2020 there are two lessons prepared, with more on the way.