Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Image Manipulation: March on Washington, 1963

Picture available via Wikimedia Commons at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1963_march_on_washington.jpg

The picture that I chose to manipulate was obtained through Creative Commons and involves placing myself into a group of protestors at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the demonstration where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. I felt like using this image would provide a number of interesting points of discussion. In addition to addressing the speech itself, the students would have an opportunity to reflect on what it would be like to participate in such a momentous event. Topics of discussion could involve what it would be like to be oppressed, what it would feel like to be at the rally, and how would someone have helped out in the fight for civil rights.

I find the idea of placing oneself into a historical image to be a very interesting activity that would address the standard that I chose, Historical Thinking. In the case of the March on Washington, students would need to relate it to the time and place in which the event occurred, and then place it an appropriate historical context: a growing consensus among the country that people deserve equal rights, a great leader at the peak of his influence, a political structure that sought to both marginalize and equalize, etc. This addresses a number of the main tenets of the standard, which include: “understanding the concept of historical causation; understanding competing narratives and interpretation; and constructing narratives and interpretation.”


  1. First of all, I am glad to see that you were able to use an image from Creative Commons! Do remember to give attribution for the image (note the name of the photographer and the URL). This is also a very nice connection to your standard. Placing the image of the student within the scene can help with historical empathy.

  2. Thanks for the kind comments. I have added attribution to the image.


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