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  1. At the beginning of the 20th century, African Americans in North Carolina and throughout the United States faced many challenges. Jim Crow laws and expectations were rampant and African Americans in cities such as Wilmington, NC, were the victim of white supremacy campaigns and violence. Yet, in the midst of such racial injustice and intolerance, a black business district began to flourish in Durham, NC in the late 1890s. In these lesson plans, students will explore how various black entrepreneurs thrived in Durham’s downtown, so much so that Durham’s Parrish Street was soon known as “Black Wall Street.” Through the exploration of Main Street, Carolina’s digital history project on Parrish Street, as well as through readings, class discussion, primary source examination, partner activities, and group activities, students will gain a sense of the challenges overcome and successes experienced by the various black entrepreneurs and businesses on Black Wall Street. In a creative culminating project, students will apply what they have learned to create their own revitalization plan for Parrish Street today. Click on the title of the curriculum to access the link to three lesson plans. Teachers who have limited class time can also pick and choose particular activities to implement. For additional information on these lesson plans, or for additional curriculum ideas, contact Christie Hinson Norris at or visit the Civic Education Consortium's database of lesson plans, available at
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