You are here

Civil Rights Inquiry

Visit the Online Exhibit

Compelling Question
How do individuals change society?

Setting the Stage
Overview of Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka (1954)
Segregated Schooling in South Carolina
Honoring Desegregation, And One of Its Architects, New York Times

Discusss segregation and inequality in education

Discuss the role of the individual in bringing about change

Summative Assessment
Write an essay or participate in a Socratic Seminar discussing the influence of individuals in the Hillburn Case. Use evidence from the documents to evaluate the impact individual citizens had on the decision of the Commissioner.

Extension Activity
Compare the desegregation case in Hillburn, New York to the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Supreme Court case.
Taking Informed Action
Is there currently inequality in education in New York State? How can you work to bring about equality in education?
Supporting Questions
What problem was identified by citizens of Hillburn, New York in 1943 and what action did they take?
How did the New York State Commissioner of Education respond to the citizens of Hillburn?
How did the people of New York State respond to the Commissioner's decision?
Formative Assessments
Identify the problem with the school in Hillburn, NY in 1943 using evidence from the documents.
Discuss the Commissioners decision and the impact the decision had on the children in Hillburn.
Create a chart of the different perspectives regarding the Commissioner's decision in the Hillburn Case.


Memorandum Brief for Petitioners: "In the Matter of Petition of Certain Parents and Taxpayers of Hillburn, N.Y."

New York State Archives, NYSA_B0496-05_04915_Memorandum_Brief_Petitioners_1

Memorandum: "In the Matter of Petition of Certain Parents and Taxpayers of Hillburn, N.Y.", 1943

New York State Archives, NYSA_B0496-05_04915_Memorandum_1943-10-07

Map showing locations of residences of white and "negro" pupils in Hillburn, NY

New York State Archives, NYSA_B0496-05_04915_Hillburn_Map

Newspaper clipping, "Hillburn Negroes Win Seats in White School", 1943

New York State Archives, NYSA_B0496-05_04915_Clipping_1943-10-12_p1

Newspaper clipping, "Negro School in Hillburn Closed by Order of State Education Head", 1943

New York State Archives, NYSA_B0496-05_04915_Clipping_1943-10-12