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Between Remembrance and RepairCommemorating Racial Violence in Philadelphia, Mississippi$
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Claire Whitlinger

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469656335

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469656335.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Legislating Civil and Human Rights Education

Legislating Civil and Human Rights Education

(p.80) 4 Legislating Civil and Human Rights Education
Between Remembrance and Repair

Claire Whitlinger

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter investigates the causal connection between the 2004 commemoration and another racially significant transformation: Mississippi Senate Bill 2718, an education bill mandating civil rights and human rights education in Mississippi schools. Providing historical perspective on the legislation—the first of its kind in the country—the chapter traces its origins to the fortieth anniversary commemoration in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 2004. After providing a brief history of school desegregation in Mississippi and previous efforts to mandate Holocaust education in the state, the chapter demonstrates how the 2004 commemoration and subsequent civil rights trial mobilized a new generation of local memory activists. When joined with institutional resources at the state-level, these developments generated the commemorative capacity for local organizers to institutionalize civil rights memory through curricular change. Thus, in contrast to other multicultural or human rights education mandates, which have typically been outgrowths of large-scale progressive social movements or the diffusion of global norms, Mississippi’s civil and human rights education bill emerged out of local commemorative efforts.

Keywords:   civil rights, commemoration, commemorative capacity, curriculum, desegregation, global norms, Holocaust education, human rights, Philadelphia, Mississippi, social movements

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