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Listed under:  American history
Video

Attaining equality

Explore the idea of pride in your forebears as famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson reflects on being both African American and a citizen of the USA. In this 1960 'Spotlight' panel discussion, Robeson points out the difficulty and importance of gaining equality in a society that is based on conquest ...

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US race riots, 1968

Imagine a country arming its police force with tanks, heavy weapons and chemicals to combat its own people. This extract shows the escalation of violence and the results of racism in the USA in 1968. Army, police and fire units are shown practising new riot control activities in preparation for expected violent demonstrations ...

Video

Forms of protest

Imagine the internal conflict for an African American policeman in 1968 New York. Against a background of race riots stimulated by racial inequality, African American policeman Chief-Inspector Frederick Waithe must convince African Americans to act within the law. At the same time he sympathises with their grievances.

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'Migrant mother', 1936

This is one of the most famous photographs of the Great Depression in the USA. It shows Florence Owens Thompson aged 32 huddled together with three of her seven children (the baby is obscured). The family as a whole are described in the Library of Congress catalogue as 'migrant' (ie itinerant) pea pickers in California ...

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Lend-lease food for the USSR, 1943

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the ingredients used in canned pork supplied to the USSR by the USA under the lend-lease program during World War II. The photograph is in the collection of the US Library of Congress and its caption reads: 'Cincinnati, Ohio. Preparing canned pork (Russian: "svinaia tushonka") ...

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Sketch of a slave cabin in Virginia, 1864

This is a black-and-white sketch showing a slave cabin with a small girl standing in front. The handwritten caption reads 'Slave Cabin near the Long Bridge, Chicahominy River, Va [Virginia], June 13th 1864'. The artist was Edwin Forbes and elsewhere on the drawing he noted, 'Sketched while on the march from Long Bridge ...

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'Washington, DC Government charwoman', 1942

This is a famous black-and-white anti-discrimination photograph, also widely known as 'American Gothic, Washington, DC'. It shows Mrs Ella Watson, an African American cleaner at the Treasury in Washington, USA. She is standing stiffly in front of the US flag, with a broom on one side and a mop on the other. The photograph ...

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'Old Negro (former slave) with horn with which slaves were called', 1939

This is a black-and-white photograph showing an old African American man sitting in a doorway and holding a horn once used to summon slaves to work at sunrise. The photograph was taken near Marshall in Texas, USA, by photographer Russell Lee.

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Slave decks of the bark Wildfire, 1860

This a black-and white engraving showing emaciated Africans on the slave decks of the ship Wildfire. Women are seen in the background on an upper deck, and in the foreground men and boys are crowded together. The engraving was published in Harper's Weekly on 2 June 1860. It was entitled 'The Africans of the slave bark "Wildfire." ...

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Slaves using a cotton gin, 1869

This is a black-and-white illustration captioned 'The first cotton gin'. It shows how the US artist William L Sheppard imagined the scene of the first gin in operation, some 80 years after the actual event. Sheppard depicts two male slaves operating the machine with two white men examining the ginned cotton while female ...

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Lend-lease petroleum in use in Australia, 1940s

This is a black-and-white photograph showing petroleum, probably aviation fuel, being pumped into a tanker truck and two trailers during World War II. The full drums are stored on what appear to be rail freight wagons. The empty ones are stacked alongside. The photograph forms part of the collection of the US Library of ...

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'Landing negroes at Jamestown from Dutch man-of-war, 1619'

This is a black-and-white illustration showing how the well-known American artist Howard Pyle (1853-1911) imagined the landing of the first Africans at Jamestown in the colony of Virginia nearly 300 years after the historical event. Pyle depicts 20 emaciated captives kneeling or sitting on the ground, guarded by men with ...

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Second atomic bombing of Japan at Nagasaki, 1945

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the mushroom cloud rising from the explosion of an atomic bomb with an estimated force of 20,000 tonnes of TNT, 560 m above Nagasaki, Japan, on 9 August 1945. Part of the wing of the camera plane that accompanied the bomb-carrying plane can be seen at bottom right. The image ...

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'Jitterbugging in Negro juke joint', 1939

This is a black-and-white photograph showing African Americans at a roadside dance hall outside Clarksdale in Mississippi, USA, one Saturday evening in November 1939. Couples are jitterbugging to music from a jukebox while other people, mostly men, are standing around. The photograph was taken by Marion Post Wolcott.

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Building the Boomerang interceptor fighter using lend-lease components, c1943

This is a black-and-white photograph showing five men building two Boomerang fighters at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation's factory at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne. The photograph is in the collection of the US Library of Congress and its caption reads in part: 'High production rate of Australian interceptor aircraft ...

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'United States slave trade, 1830'

This is a black-and-white print showing the trading of slaves in the USA. Two white men, one on horseback and both carrying whips, appear to be negotiating the sale of five slaves seen on the left in shackles. A woman and two children, also in chains, appear on the right. In the background are slaves working in the fields, ...

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Tulum, an ancient Mayan city

Discover the remains of Tulum, a city that was once a busy port for a civilisation that thrived in Mexico for centuries. In this clip from an ABC Foreign Correspondent program, reporter Jane Cowan scales the heights of the Coba pyramid and recounts some of the history of the Mayan people who built it.

Online

Moments in time: Teaching resource

Explore suggestions for using the interactive resource Moments in time to develop your students' understanding of important historical periods, movements, events and contexts. Along the way, encourage students to question the reliability and usefulness of available sources.

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Race riots after the death of Martin Luther King

Discover what the USA was trying to come to terms with in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Destruction and killing in more than 100 cities is what followed the event. This Weekend Magazine special report features African American civil rights activist Floyd McKissick commenting on the riots and calling ...

Online

US Civil rights movement

The 1960s witnessed a revolution in the struggle for the rights of African Americans in cities and towns throughout the USA. Investigate the mood of African Americans in Harlem in 1968 following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Witness lawyers, activists and a police inspector discussing their responses ...