Timothy Kinsella
Political Science
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Affirmative Action
  • De Facto Segregation
  • De Jure Segregation
  • Equal Protection of the Law
  • Intermediate Scrutiny Test
  • Rational or Reasonable Basis Test
  • Strict Scrutiny Test
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Civil Rights: Course Map & Recommended Resources


    Civil Rights

    The resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:

    1. Define and identify key moments in the history of civil rights in the U.S. (e.g. the Brown v. Board decision, Voting Rights Act, Obergefell v. Hodges, etc.) and why they are important.
    2. Understand race as a defining factor of the U.S. political party system.
    3. Compare and contrast various forms of racism, including both individual attitudes and systemic racism.
    4. Discuss the evolution of views on gender and sexuality.
    5. Examine how various groups have used political action (legal action and/or grassroots politics) to move towards legal equality.
    6. Examine current issues and how racism and sexism affect public opinion and electoral politics

    Other Materials

    Discussion and Key Concepts

    Discussion Questions

    1. Traditional disadvantaged groups who have sought and gained civil rights have included African Americans, women, Latinos(as), and Native Americans. Are there still disadvantaged groups in the US who are lacking in the area of civil rights? Identify and explain at least one group and what rights you believe them to be lacking.  

    2. Describe the major provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    3. Describe the major provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    4. Discuss how effective the courts (especially the Supreme Court) have been in addressing issues of discrimination. In your opinion, are the courts or are legislatures in a better position to address issues of discrimination? Explain.

    5. Discuss the gender pay gap.

    Key Terms or Concepts (Define):

    1. Equal protection of the law

    2. Strict scrutiny test

    3. Intermediate scrutiny test

    4. Rational or reasonable basis test

    5. de jure segregation

    6. de facto segregation

    7. Affirmative action

    Supreme Court Cases

    1. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

    2. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

    3. Loving v. Virginia (1967)

    4. Korematsu v. United States (1944)

    5. Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Board of Education (1971)

    6. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)