Detail of "History of Medicine in California" at Coit Tower in San Francisco. Painted by Bernard Zakheim, 1938.
In 2021, California mandated a minimum of a one semester course on ethnic studies in each secondary school by 2025 and required the course for graduation by 2030. “In Your Own Backyard: Civil Liberties Then and Now” offers secondary teachers and their students the opportunity to explore the intersection of ethnic studies and civil liberties. The primary source-based lessons and the accompanying field trip options in Los Angeles allows students to discover that “history,” ethnic diversity, and the concomitant denial of civil liberties is not something that happens “over there” but something that happens “in your own backyard.” In the United States, both the Declaration of Independence and the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees equality and civil liberties for all. This program introduces historical ethnic groups highlighting the interaction between ethnic diversity and civil liberties: human dignity, immigrant inclusion, racial equity, smart justice, and indigenous rights. The modules and the accompanying website discuss ethnic groups identifying as persons of Asian ancestry, Hispanic ancestry, Native American ancestry, and African ancestry. Case studies describe the experiences of each population to enhance contemporary discussions of historical ethnic studies. Each of the five topics includes biographies and lesson plans, for classroom work and/or the accompanying field trip plan.
- Pictured from left to right.
- Aerial view of Tuna Canyon detention camp, from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Tuna_Canyon_Detention_Station
- Narcisa Higuera Rosemyre photographed here in 1905, was one of the last fluent Tongva speakers, from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tongva_woman.jpg
- Calle de los Negros, c. 1896, from California Historical Society Collection at USC Libraries, https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/calle-de-los-negros-l-a-s-forgotten-street
- Chinese Quarter in Los Angeles, from Wikimedia Commons, https<://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chinese_Quarter_in_Los_Angeles_California.jpg
- Man arrested during Zoot Suit riots modeling clothes, from Associated Press, https://timeline.com/zoot-suit-riots-of-1943-were-a-targeted-attack-on-mexican-youths-8e5b34775cff