Grade 9-12

The Economics of Racial Discrimination | Lesson and Demonstration

Updated: February 5 2024,
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This video is a classroom demonstration of Lesson 35: The Economics of Racial Discrimination from CEE’s Understanding Economics in U.S. History publication.  The lesson is attached below.

The video starts with an introduction by two educators describing the lesson, followed by a demonstration of the lesson being taught to teachers in the classroom.

In this lesson the students examine Jim Crow segregation laws and discuss the costs of racial segregation.

They examine an economic mystery about segregation, using the Guide to Economic Reasoning.

Finally, they read and discuss an essay about Homer Plessy and Rosa Parks.

During the late 1800s and throughout the first half of the twentieth century, racial segregation was enforced throughout the South by legislation and by informal codes of culture. African Americans in the South resisted the legal and social codes that kept them poor and powerless, but they had relatively little success until the 1950s. Why do you think this happened?




This lesson was originally published in CEE’s Understanding Economics in U.S. History, which uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students through 39 lessons. Visit the CEE Store for more information about the publication and how to purchase it.