Teachers' blog



(Contributed by Sylwia)
On February 5th, 2015, I saw the movie Selma, which is about Martin Luther King Jr and his march from Selma to Montgomery to ensure black voting rights in 1965. I thought that this was an interesting movie as it shows an important moment in the civil rights movement, rather than it just being a biopic on Martin Luther King Jr. While a biopic would also be interesting, this film would be useful to show in any history/politics/law class as it really documents a specific event that can later be analysed in class.
Ultimately, this would be a useful film to discuss in any class. Although the movie deals with the American civil rights movement, it can be applied to any Canadian history/politics/law course. As a politics major, I would be interested in showing this film in a Grade 12 Politics class where students can explore non-resistance, protest movements, voter rights, and more generally, large civil rights movements. This topic can also be explored in a law class and, of course, in a Grade 11 American History class.
Personally, from this movie, I learned about different facets of Martin Luther King Jr.’s position and beliefs and how he had to deal with different hostile parties, like the government and former President Lyndon B. Johnson. Aside from him being a central figure in the civil rights movement and his famous “I have a dream” speech, I hadn’t taken into consideration these aspects and difficulty and hostility he was met with. I think film’s representation of the hostile race relations at the time made the impact that Martin Luther King Jr. left all the more powerful. Compared with the other events, the film did not provide a lot in terms of pedagogical value, however, it is a great tool to use in the classroom to drive home the historical, political, and legal significance of the civil rights movement in many different classrooms.

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