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E-Learning Heroes Challenge 372: Child Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

I took a vacation this week, so I'm a bit later in posting my #ELHChallenge Storyline project than I'd have liked to been. Last week, I really thought I'd try and sneak tiny bits of humor into each of these entries, but I think this week called for a more solemn approach.

The challenge this week was to:

Create interactive elements using button sets.

My entry can be found below:

If you'd like to learn a little more about why I picked the topic, and don't mind a little rant, feel free to keep reading.

Right now, our son is doing school remotely with Edgenuity; recently he had a lesson about Rosa Parks. That three-minute video may be the single worst video I have ever watched... and I saw Kung Pow when it came out in theaters in 2002. In addition to the distracting and annoying music playing the background, the content of the video was awful.

Screenshot from an Edgenuity video showing an image of Claudette Colvin. The introduction to the video tells the reader to "Watch the video and read along with the story of Rosa Parks."

The most egregious content issues were problematic statements lacking vital context such as "At the time, most African-Americans didn't graduate high school, but Rosa Parks did." But there were also errors committed that demonstrated a lack of attention to detail by the creator. Twenty-five seconds into the video, while the narrator is discussing the childhood of Rosa Parks, a picture appears... but the picture is of Claudette Colvin, not Rosa Parks. I'd like to think any historian familiar with American History would recognize that face, it's literally on the cover of her biography "Twice Towards Justice", which won a Newbery. The only way I can think of this error being possible is googling "Rosa Parks kid" and just picking a picture from the image results.

I think what aggravates me the most about all of this is that Edgenuity missed a great opportunity to teach kids that they can make a difference. Claudette Colvin absolutely should've been included in that video. She did the exact same thing Rosa Parks did, before Rosa Parks did it, and stated:

"My head was just too full of Black history…the oppression that we went through. It felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down and Harriet Tubman was on the other side of me pushing me down. I couldn't get up."

My son learned about Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin that day (and that they are, in fact, two different people), but I'm betting most kids taking that same class didn't. They likely have no clue that they saw the face of a child hero and missed the opportunity to be inspired by her courage.

That missed opportunity is the reason I made this project, to showcase the bravery of three kids from the Civil Rights Movement: Claudette Colvin, Sheyann Webb, and Ruby Bridges.

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