Introduction: Different Points of View

  1. If you have already taught Lesson 4:
    1. Remind your students that in 1964, approximately 1000 young Northerners, many of them Jews, went south as part of Freedom Summer, a community organizing project.
    2. Ask your students: What did these young people hope to accomplish and what kinds of projects did they take part in?
      (Possible responses might include: Freedom Schools, registering voters, organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, seeing for themselves what was really happening in the South, providing support to southern African Americans, etc.)
  2. OR if you haven't taught Lesson 4, you may want to review the essay for Unit 2 lessons 4 and 5, and/or review Unit 2 lesson 4, and share some of the highlights with your students at this time.
  3. Distribute copies of "Letter from a Parent" Document Study to your students (either the transcript or copies of the original letter). Explain that this is a letter between a young woman who was part of Freedom Summer and her father. You may want to provide some biographical background on Vivian Rothstein (found at the top of the letter). Have one of your students read the letter out loud. Stop him/her as necessary to explain terms or phrases with which your students might not be familiar.
  4. Discuss the questions from the "Letter from a Parent" Document Study.
  5. Explain that there was some conflict between generations about civil rights activism. Sometimes parents didn't understand their children's ideals. Other times, parents shared the same ideals (often having taught their children their own values), but feared for their children's safety. Some of those in the latter category also chose to get involved in the Civil Rights Movement and organized their own community projects. You may want to read the "Statement by Carolyn Goodman, June 1965" to illustrate the perspective of one parent whose son was murdered because of his civil rights activism but who continued to stand behind his decision to go south.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Introduction: Different Points of View." (Viewed on April 21, 2024) <>.