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AFAM-HIST 3102-Lee (Special Collections): Assignment Description and Details

Performing the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia Assignment Overview

Create and perform a fictionalized reenactment of the civil rights movement in Georgia based on research in primary sources. What you produce is called historical fiction, which is an imagined story based on a set of documentable facts that make up the actual past. You will focus your work on one of the following subjects: white resistance to the desegregation of UGA; the organization of the Atlanta sit-in movement; or civil rights activism in Black Athens.

Re-enactment Objectives

  • Learn about key events, campaigns and leadership of the Georgia civil rights movement
  • Learn to recreate the past based mostly on primary research
  • Learn to identify and represent a perspective about an historical event or a person (also known as “ historical interpretation”)
  • Learn alternative, more creative ways of presenting the past


Your work will be done in three parts. You will be graded as a group, unless there are problem with individual contributions. Each task will be evaluated and based on the maximum point values indicated below.

  • Research (40 points): We will spend some time in the library reviewing oral history interview of participants in Georgia’s civil rights movement (see the list below). In addition you will be looking at old newspapers and a small number of film clips. You will also find it useful to look at non-UGA websites. You will take extensive notes on what you find and focus on reconstructing a nonfiction story based on your research. You will consult with your group members throughout this process.
  • Script writing (30 points): Based on the basic details of your research, you will produce a script that includes dialogue and narration/descriptions. Remember that your task is to imagine a particular scene or scenes that demonstrate your basic understanding of how the civil rights movement unfolded. However, I do not want you to merely give back the specific details that you uncover from your research. I want you to imagine alternative, factually based accounts. What should remain true are the basic outlines of the history. But you will make up your own named characters and specific developments. Some general facts that will remain true include the existence of Jim Crow, black and white resistance to segregation, opposition to desegregation; and time period. What you can create are specific encounters between the actors and particular outcomes of the movement.At end of the performances, you will submit your typewritten script. We will talk about the format in class when I will share examples of scripts. Some of you may even be aware of script writing software. You will submit one script per group.
  • Performance (30 points): Your performance should be 15-20 minutes in length. You have two options a) recording your performance and presenting it to the class as a video clip; or b) performing your work live before the class. You may choose to memorize your script. You may choose to read from your script. Or you may choose a combination of both that involves a little bit of improving in your dialogue.