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New York Times Company v Sullivan: The Civil Rights Movement and Freedom of the Press

This middle school lesson plan focuses on the essential role of freedom of the press in a democracy, the importance of the press in the success of the Civil Rights Movement, and the contemporary challenges to freedom of the press and civil rights. Students will use the film and primary source resources including an excerpt from Governor George Wallace’s inaugural address promoting segregation, an excerpt of the Supreme Court decision in NY Times v Sullivan written by Justice William Brennan, and the “Heed Their Rising Voices” ad to analyze this important moment in First Amendment history.

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