An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Historical Context

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When Spender wrote “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum,” the world was in the midst of major cultural and political change. In 1954, in the landmark case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in the schools was unconstitutional. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat at the front of a bus to a white passenger, inciting a bus boycott by the African American community that ultimately led to desegregation on buses in 1956. Beginning in 1960, student sit-ins and other nonviolent protests became a popular and effective way of desegregating lunch counters, parks, swimming pools, libraries, and the like. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The year Spender's poem was published, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of...

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This section contains 662 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum Study Guide
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