Our goal was to have students spend fifteen weeks reading primary and secondary sources on the history of "massive resistance" to segregation, conducting archival research and oral history interviews, and studying examples of documentary dramas. They would then collaboratively write and produce a play based on that research. The first month of the semester focused on familiarization with the history of desegregation, integration, and resegregation in Richmond. We began with viewing The Ground Beneath Our Feet: Massive Resistance, and reading Robert A. Pratt's The Color of Their Skin: Education and Race in Richmond Virginia 1954-89 to provide a basic history of Richmond's education system. After a month of collecting raw material from the archive, we proceeded with the interview process. We anticipated that community-based learning would bring our students out of their bubbles of privilege. We did not foresee that seeing their high school experiences acted out on stage would also change the perspectives of the Wythe alums.
Copyright © New Jersey City University. This article first appeared in Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 23:1 (2012), 15-35.
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Browder, Laura, and Patricia Herrera. "Civil Rights and Education in Richmond, VA: A Documentary Theater Project." Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 23, no. 1 (2012): 15-35.