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History Students Attend Conference on Civil Rights Movement

A Level history students heard talks by university lecturers to further their understanding of the civil rights movement.

The group attended a conference in Camden Town where talks were given by Dr Dawn-Marie Gibson and Dr Bruce Baker, from Royal Holloway, University of London.

The lecturers spoke about the ways in which opposition to the civil rights movement manifested itself. Despite changes in law that came about following the 1957 case of Brown v. the Board of Education, segregation continued. Examples given by Dr Baker included the economic pressure of organisations such as the White Citizens' Council.

History teacher James Leigh said: "In regular history lessons you read about historians' ideas but you don't get much chance to study historiography - the history of history and how different people have thought different things about the same event. The historians we heard explained that quite well.

"It gave students the chance to listen to the ideas of two eminent historians which they can include in their coursework, alongside what they have read."

The students have a 4000-word piece of coursework to write about one aspect of the civil rights movement, such as the role of women and the law.

Mr Leigh said: "The students came out with a much stronger opinion on the grass-roots campaign and they learnt about the relationship between Malcolm X and the civil rights movement."