Logo: Civil Discourse, An American Legacy Toolkit
A photo from the March on Washington, D.C. during the American Civil Rights Movement.

Civil Rights

Since its founding, the Constitution has been used, challenged, and made more perfect. All of this has been done to secure civil rights for groups whose rights have not always been protected. Explore the history of civil rights in America from its founding to today. How did Reconstruction amendments, civil rights legislation, and court cases like Brown v. the Board of Education shape the evolution of American civil rights? What issues still remain today? Prepare to engage in discourse on our country’s history with civil rights and what that means today and in the future.

Podcasts & Videos

Civil Rights Challenges Today: Civil Rights, Part 5

  1. Watch and listen to the 60-Second Civics video below. If you'd like, you can also read along using the script that appears below the quiz. Or you can turn on the video's subtitles and read while watching the video.
  2. Take the Daily Civics Quiz. If you get the question wrong, watch the video again or read the script and try again.
Episode Description
Dr. Donna Phillips: Welcome to 60-Second Civics, the daily podcast of the Center for Civic Education. I'm Donna Phillips. Today we conclude our series on civil rights as part of the Civil Discourse: An American Legacy project. We are joined by special guest Dr. Lester Brooks, American history professor emeritus from Anne Arundel Community College. Welcome, Dr. Brooks.

Dr. Lester Brooks: Thank you for having me.

Dr. Donna Phillips: Sure. Our last question for this series is what is the most pressing challenge for civil rights today?

Dr. Lester Brooks: The U.S. Constitution says to make a more perfect union. And ever since that revolutionary period, there have been struggles to make a more perfect union. And civil rights is one of the focal points. We started with the emancipation, trying to abolish the institution of slavery. Then after the Civil War, it was segregation. So there's been this ongoing struggle to bring about a more perfect union.

Dr. Lester Brooks: So today we are facing similar obstacles. Certainly there have been achievements, but there's more room for growth. We're still on that path to make a more perfect union. Affirmative action has been a controversy. It will be a controversy in the future. The equality among citizens still an issue. We will continue to fight and struggle into the future.

Dr. Donna Phillips: Thank you. Dr. Brooks, it's been a real pleasure having you on the show.

Dr. Lester Brooks: Thank you.

Dr. Donna Phillips: Sure. That's all for today's podcast. 60-Second Civics, where civic education only takes a minute.

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