Over the past two years, students have increasingly taken to the streets to protest a range of issues, including Donald Trump as president, tolerance of gun violence, and now climate change inaction. This themed post on podcasts covering post-World War II student protest has been inspired by the Backstory podcast’s recent episode (#236) “Teen Activists: A History of Youth Politics and Protest.” Here we briefly outline a few podcast episodes and additional sources you can integrate into your US history classrooms on post-World War II student protesters in high school and college.
This episode tells the story of the Lavender Scare through the experience of a woman, Helen James, who was serving in the US military when she was dishonorably discharged for accusations that she was a lesbian. The episode situates her experiences within the broader Cold War-era Lavender Scare and concludes by discussing how veterans sharing this experience challenged this institutionalized homophobia.
The episode is a short overview of Carry Nation's leadership in the Temperance Movement in the late 1800s. You learn about how the hatchet became a symbol of her fiery political agenda in the Progressive era. Check out the variety of ways you can incorporate primary source analysis into your class along with this podcast.
The episode focuses on the trial of Celia, an enslaved woman, who murdered her rapist/slave owner. The podcast's conversational nature featuring a group of historians allows students to "sit in" on a historical discussion. Click for recommendations on how to assign this podcast with primary sources and even a theoretical discussion.