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The Modern Civil Rights Movement

Host institution :
Historic Bethel Baptist Church
Expert Speaker(s) :
Rev. Thomas L. Wilder, Jr. , Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church Dr. Martha Bouyer, Executive Director, Historic Bethel Baptist Church Community Restoration Fund
learning Objectives :

Goals of the “But for Birmingham” Virtual Field Study:

Students visiting Historic Bethel Baptist Church will develop a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a citizen of the United States and the importance of active participation in the life of the community by:
• Participating in a variety of educational activities that employ history, music, and poetry designed to connect them to this era
• Examining the role of the individual and institutions in history as we follow the course and accomplishments of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
• Exploring the role and influence of the African American Church in fostering change Understanding how events in Birmingham impacted the state of Alabama, the nation, and the world.

Objectives of the “But for Birmingham” Virtual Field Study:
• Examine the historical context of the era by peering into the life, influence, and social context of Historic Bethel Baptist Church and Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth and his family
• Shine light on the life of African Americans and whites living in the Deep South and other areas of the nation under Jim Crow
• Use the importance of place-based instruction and interpretation of this era of history to help others make sense of this time-period for themselves and how the efforts of a few changed life for many.

details :

“But for Birmingham, we would not behere today.”  This statement, made by President John F. Kennedy at a meeting at the White House with Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, the architect of the Birmingham Civil RightsMovement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other movement leaders emphasizes thesignificance of Birmingham and its pivotal role in the modern civil rights movement.  

Using primary and secondary source documents, Virtual and Augmented Reality, students will be transported toBirmingham, Alabama in the midst of a struggle for human and civil rights that will draw world attention and force the United States to finally deal with issues such as Jim Crow Laws, judicial inequities, oppressive economic practices, and social and cultural mores that treated 40% of its citizens as less than second class citizens in a nation that prided itself as providing “ .. . liberty and justice for all.”

grade level:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Subjects :
Social Studies, US History, English Language Arts, and Geography


Follow Revered Fred Shuttlesworth and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights’ efforts to achieve full legal equality.


• Expert-led video conference session with students/teachers (for a fee)

• AR/VR Xplore App

• Resource Packages for teacher and student resources and activities

• Historical overview

• Primary sources will include: city ordinances, photographs, local newspaper articles, census data, and the ACMHR Pledge

• Timeline of major events associated with the Modern Civil Rights Movement

• National Standards

• Instructional strategies and student activities

• Secondary sources: videoclips, the music of the era, and poetry



Duration :

40 to 60 minutes depending on the length of the class. If possible, teachers should take an “in-school field trip” so that the time can be extended and a debrief conducted.

Platform :

Zoom, Google Hangout, and Skype

Class size :

Up to 30 Students

Price :