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Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

January 2021

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
getting started

Nearly 160 years ago, immediately following the Civil War (1861–1865), the U.S. government was determined to protect the rights of African Americans. It did so by passing three amendments. The 13th Amendment (1865) abolished slavery. The 14th Amendment (1868) recognized formerly enslaved people as citizens of the United States and granted them “equal protection under the law.” The 15th Amendment (1870) granted African American men the right to vote. Congress took that action—the decision to amend the U.S. Constitution—because it wanted to make sure that the rights of formerly enslaved people became the permanent law of the land. But in the years that followed the passage of those amendments, southern states wrote and enforced their own laws. Those state laws prevented Black Americans from being treated as equal citizens of the…

3 min.
pivotal moments

Many of the articles in this issue refer to specific events or organizations that impacted the course of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Here’s a quick overview of the major events or groups, when they took place or were founded, and brief descriptions of their significance. Plessyv. Ferguson(1896) was the U.S. Supreme Court case (involving train cars) that stated that separate facilities for Black people and white people were legal as long as they were “equal.” In reality, the facilities for African Americans were almost always inferior. The case set a precedent for the next 50 years that made it legal to keep Black citizens and white citizens segregated. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (1909) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.…

3 min.
a. philip randolph

A. Philip Randolph was considered the elder statesman of the civil rights movement. For more than 50 years, he never lost sight of his goal: to help African Americans gain equal opportunity in the workplace and in American society. Randolph grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, but he moved to New York as a young man. There, he developed an interest in politics and social justice. In 1917, he and a friend, Chandler Owen, founded a weekly magazine, The Messenger. The Messenger became the boldest African American magazine and was a voice for Black equality. It challenged American capitalism and called for workers’ rights. The magazine urged African American workers to form unions so that they could fight as a group for their rights. Among those who agreed with Randolph’s message about Black…

1 min.
charles kenzie “c.k.” steele

When white supremacists left a cross burning in the front yard of the Rev. Charles Kenzie “C.K.” Steele, he refused to be intimidated. He had moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to become the pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in 1952. And he was determined to achieve racial equality through nonviolent means. Steele was serving as president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) when he was asked to lead the Inter-Civic Council (ICC) in May 1956. The ICC was formed to organize and support a bus boycott in Tallahassee. Students at Florida’s A&M University had initiated the protest. It was based on the example set by the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955–56. After seven months, bus segregation was declared illegal, but the law was…

2 min.
bayard rustin

Bayard Rustin was an activist who just made things happen. His charisma and organizational skills were almost unmatched. He devoted much of his life to working for the causes of civil rights, human rights, and other social issues. He participated in some of the most famous civil rights events during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, but his role often involved working behind the scenes. Rustin’s Quaker grandmother taught him to treat everyone with respect and to stand up for justice without using violence. Rustin attended several colleges but never graduated. He moved to New York City, where he met labor organizer A. Philip Randolph. He also became active in the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) in the early 1940s. Rustin worked with FOR to encourage racial understanding, especially among young people. In his…

2 min.
james farmer

I was meant to die that night,” James Farmer once said of the night in 1963 when Louisiana state troopers hunted him from door to door. “They were kicking open doors, beating up Blacks in the street, interrogating them with electric cattle prods.” Farmer escaped only after a funeral director hid him in a hearse and drove him out of town. Farmer risked his life more than once by taking part in demonstrations and protests. Yet, he firmly believed in and encouraged the principles of nonviolence. In 1942, he and several other pacifists founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). From the start, CORE consisted of both Black and white young people. CORE members organized sit-ins and pickets in the decades before the modern civil rights movement began with the Montgomery…