1965 Front Page News: Exploring Digitized Issues of The Buffalo Criterion
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Title: 1965 Front Page News: Exploring Digitized Issues of The Buffalo Criterion
Overview: The Buffalo Criterion Newspaper is the oldest, continuously published Black Newspaper in Western New York founded in 1925. The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library has made issues from 1952-1973 accessible via NYS Historic Newspapers. Many students are unaware of its existence, much less the legacy of the Black Press as a vehicle for promoting advocacy, social change and excellence in the Black community.
Goal: This lesson is intended to familiarize students with the digital collection of the Buffalo Criterion newspaper available via the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library as well as sharpen students information literacy and analytical skills.
Objectives: Students will be able to:
recount the history and significance of the Black Press
analyze the content found on The Buffalo Criterion front page
identify parts of the front page of The Buffalo Criterion front page
identify Black American achievements, concerns, and societal happenings in 1965
access and navigate the NYS Historic Newspapers site
Investigative (Compelling) Question: How did the Buffalo Criterion respond to the news, especially as it pertains to Black Americans in 1965?
Time Required - Two class periods
Recommended Grade Range - 11th Grade
Subject: Library and Social Studies
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
1.3 Knowledge Constructor
Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
1.3.b Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility, and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
1.3.c Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
1.3.d Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Grade 11 United States History and Government
11.10a After World War II, long-term demands for equality by African Americans led to the civil rights movement. The efforts of individuals, groups, and institutions helped to redefine African American civil rights, though numerous issues remain unresolved.
English Language Arts
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
Credits: Ayodele Ojumu
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords Worksheet
The Black Criterion Newspaper Analysis Worksheet
Reflection Sheet on The Black Press and Buffalo Criterion 1965 Front Pages
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo8Pvr7TyP4
Glossary of Newspaper Terms https://nieonline.com/coloradonie/downloads/journalism/GlossaryOfNewspaperTerms.pdf
NYS Historic Newspapers - The Buffalo Criterion https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn91066599/
Day 1: Analyze the News
Students will view the Black Press video as a class. Students will answer questions using The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords Worksheet while watching the video.
Stop the video at 1:42. Students should answer question 1.
Stop at 4:47. Students should answer question 2.
Stop at 6:09. Students should answer question 3.
Start at 43:07. Stop at 44:45. Students should answer question 4.
Start at 46:01. Stop at 52:22. Students should answer question 5.
The class will convene to discuss student responses to the The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords Worksheet.
Day 2: Front Page Content and Elements
Newspaper sections and terms will be reviewed and discussed as a class.
Librarian will teach students how to access and navigate the The Buffalo Criterion digital collection. Front pages for January - March of 1965 are linked here. April-December of 1965 are linked here.
Students will be split into groups. The thirty-two (32) issues of the 1965 Buffalo Criterion will be divided evenly amongst the groups. Students will collaboratively analyze the newspaper issues assigned to them. Groups will choose 4 front pages and complete The Buffalo Criterion Analysis Worksheet. Each student should record the group’s responses on their own paper or digital copy.
The class will convene to share out.
Students will independently answer the reflection question on The Black Press and Buffalo Criterion 1965 Front Pages Reflection Sheet.
In addition to the concluding reflection exit ticket on the essential question, student worksheets, group work, and class participation will be evaluated for understanding.