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Assignment #4

This assignment contains questions from some chapters from two books, The Children, written by David Halberstam (chpts. 27, 31), and Son of the Rough South, by Karl Fleming (chpt. 9). These are available on course reserves from the library online – see the tab on Bb.Please make sure your answers are thorough and well supported with information from the readings.

The following link about Hank Aaron is optional reading.It is interesting to note that he broke Babe Ruth’s homerun record in 1974, 10 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed.However, as this article illustrates, many of the attitudes and behaviors that prevailed 100 years prior still remained firmly entrenched in our society.ESPN Classic – Hammerin’ back at racism


Since we will be discussing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other anti-discrimination legislation that affect the workplace, it is important that you have some historical background of the climate in the country at that time.Although it may be difficult to read chapters taken out of a book without having read the beginning, I think you will find them interesting once you start reading. Please be aware that the information in these chapters may be unsettling as the descriptions of some of the events are violent.

The Children is about the experiences of the freedom riders, most of them college students, who participated in an effort to desegregate the busses that operated between cities in the South (i.e. the greyhound bus lines).This took place in 1961 and 1962, after the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954, but prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Son of the Rough South is written by Karl Fleming, Newsweek’s chief civil rights reporter.The assigned chapter describes the events that occurred when James Meredith attempted to register as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in 1962.

Please answer the following questions for your homework.

  1. Identify at least 3 factors that contributed to the success of the freedom riders, and explain your answer.
  1. Please describe the information from both books that made an impression.
  1. Are laws necessary to prevent discrimination?Are they sufficient? Please explain.
  1. Based on your experiences, what actions do you recommend HR directors pursue to ensure their corporate cultures are free of discriminatory practices?

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