2017 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the a major landmark in ending school segregation in the U.S.A.: when nine courageous black students braved screaming mobs, police and troops to gain access to Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Both the National Parks Service Visitors' Center on the site, and the Dwight Eisenhower Memorial have excellent teaching tools on this topic.
Dwight Eisenhower was the President who decided to call in the Army to enforce school integration in Little Rock. His memorial website has an animated timeline of events leading to and during the crisis. Some of it is too detailed for language learners to need, but exploring it will help pupils become familiar with certain names and terms such as Governor Orval Faubus, Brown v. Board of Education, President Eisenhower etc.
They can then watch this 6-minute video, in the timeline. It provides a summary of the events of 1957, with an interview with former President Bill Clinton, who was an 11-year-old resident of Little Rock at the time. The website and video are usable from B1 upwards.
The National Parks Service site also provides the following video, which features the "Little Rock Nine" as adults remembering their experiences during the 1957-58 school year. It's 3'30 minutes long and well worthwhile playing to pupils, a fantastic example of living history. It's also nicely nuanced. The former students talk about abuse and difficulties but also some inspiring teachers who protected them and made it possible for them to stay in school.
Unfortunately it's not possible de remove the subtitles, though you could hide them as the speakers are all very clear. Having said that, the subtitles make it usable from B1 as reading comprehension, whereas listening comprehension requires B1+-B2 because of some unfamiliar vocabulary which is harder to pick up orally.
This video can also be downloaded for use offline.
> Happy Birthday, MLK!
> Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Victory for Civil Rights
> African American History on the Web
> Martin Luther King Day on the Web
> Civil Rights: The Montgomery Bus Boycott