Archives du mot-clé anglais pour le bac

How have the media influenced protest movements ?

The Civil Rights Movement and Television  –  E-Notes  Website – 

During the 1950s the struggle for civil rights came to a head at the same time television began to appear in most Americans’ homes.  At the beginning of the decade, television was a novelty owned by very few people. By 1960 ninety percent of American homes had television. Television became a catalyst for change on a massive scale. People in the northern states could see what was happening in Selma, Birmingham, and Memphis and vice versa. In addition, television helped Southern blacks unify, for while local Southern media rarely covered news involving racial issues, they now had access to national newscasts that were witnessing and documenting this revolution.


Who Speaks for Birmingham, broadcast during the tumultuous rise in visibility of the civil rights movement in the media, reported on the racial divide between the white and black communities of Birmingham, Alabama. Residents testify to their conflicted feelings about how racial integration will affect their lives, with very differing portraits offered from both the white and black community. Although Howard K. Smith reports for this program, an uncredited Edward R. Murrow developed the topic and got it approved by CBS management. (1961; 55 minutes)

Mrs. George Bridges, a cultural leader in the highly segregated South, discusses her feelings about the role prejudice plays in the lives of the white Birmingham elite.

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, civil rights activist, describes the 1957 attempt on his life by a mob of Klansmen, which occurred when he and his wife attempted to enroll their children in a previously all-white public school in Birmingham.

How did the media influence the civil rights movement?  

Television gave a lot of coverage to the Civil Rights Movement. For example, the media covered events ranging from the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. When 15 year Emmitt Till was murdered there was also a lot of media coverage. All of these events were occurring while the number of American families that had television sets jumped from 56% to 92%. Television gave Americans a visual of what was occurring in our country.

Here are some other events that television covered:

1955-shots of numerous boycotted buses driving down deserted Alabama streets; 1957-angry white mobs of segregationists squaring-off against black students escorted by a phalanx of Federal Troops in front of Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi; 1965-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leads a mass of black protesters across a bridge in Selma, Alabama; 1963 attack on young civil rights protesters by the Birmingham, Alabama, police and their dogs, and the fire department’s decision to turn on fire hydrants to disperse the young black demonstrators, most of whom were children.

The media influenced the civil rights movement in key ways, and it is important to understand that the leaders of the movement understood this fact very clearly. First, the media tended to anoint leaders of the movement, particularly Martin Luther King. This had the effect of portraying King’s vision of the movement, which was non-violent and essentially political (the media for a time tended to efface his statements about economic equality) as if it represented a consensus.

The other influence the media had on the movement was to televise its key events to a nationwide, and even worldwide audience. The entire nation was shocked by the shocking scenes from places like Birmingham and Selma. Not only did this lead to popular support for civil rights legislation everywhere but the South, but in a Cold War context, it created a major propaganda opportunity for the Soviet Union to portray US rhetoric about freedom as hollow and meaningless.

The media played a vital role in being able to galvanize more Americans into witnessing for themselves the atrocious violations of individual rights that were taking place in the South. The media showing the horrendous conditions, or the pain that protesters had to endure from others helped to bring more people into the movement.  This galvanizing of emotion into action was facilitated by the media.  Individuals in the North who might not have been moved to action were done so through the media.  When Dr. King gives his « I have a dream » speech, the broadcasts of this moment helps to give voice to the movement.  It was the media that would have preempted its own programming to show the atrocities happening in America.  For example, interrupting its own broadcast of « Judgment at Nuremberg, » ABC News showed protesters being beaten in the South.

Without the media, the civil rights movement would not have been possible in my opinion.  The whole strategy of the movement was based on getting media coverage.

The movement was really trying to persuade whites outside the South to support the cause of civil rights.  These whites would not have been able to hear much about the movement without the media.

In addition, they would have been less likely to support blacks even if they had heard about it.  The media coverage made support more likely because it showed things like protestors getting attacked by police dogs.  This made the Southern whites look bad and got a lot of support for the movement.

On protest movements

There are many types of demonstrations, including a variety of elements. These may include:

  • Marches, in which a paradedemonstrate while moving along a set route.
  • Rallies, in which people gather to listen to speakers or musicians.
  • Picketing, in which people surround an area (normally an employer).
  • Sit-ins, in which demonstrators occupy an area, sometimes for a stated period but sometimes indefinitely, until they feel their issue has been addressed, or they are otherwise convinced or forced to leave.
  • Nudity, in which they protest naked – here the antagonist may give in before the demonstration happens to avoid embarrassment.

The protest movements, inspired by the so-called Arab Spring and the initial protests in Spain earlier in 2011, have spread globally. Many have been nicknamed as “Occupy” movements such as Occupy Wall Street, in reference to how Egyptians occupied the famous Tahrir Square during their uprising.


How have the media contributed to empower people ?

Would the Civil Rights movement have been possible without the media?

(see my previous post ¨Power and Counter Power¨ to find more documents to illustrate the role of the media in shaping public opinion ie: Greenpeace, Wikileaks, We are the 99 percent)




Spaces and Exchanges – Topic: Immigration to the US

Why is immigration to the USA relevant regarding the topic of spaces and exchanges?

Across the centuries, immigrants from all over the world came to the United States, seeking a better life, and each one of them bringing their own contribution to what defines the USA today. In addition, the idea of melting pot originated in the USA as a metaphor to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States So, both spaces and exchanges are deeply involved in the constitution of the country as we know it today.


immigrating_to_america_timeline – document on US immigration timeline (Pilgrim Fathers, slaves, Europeans, West Indies and Asia, Latin American countries)

A Virtual Voyage to Ellis Island

Mexican Police Find 500 Hiding During Immigration Bust

Irish immigration


  • What drives people to live their country?
  • Is the US dream still alive? (also can apply for Myths and Heroes – US dream as a myth)
  • What attracts immigrants to live in the USA?
  • How has immigration shaped US society?



Useful websites for your BAC revision

Here are a few websites that can help you revise for your BAC. Keep in mind that the best way to get ready is to inform yourself (watch the news, read press articles), and do not forget that other course materials (Philosophy, History, Geography, Economics)  will be ressourful for your English exams.


grammar revision

Grammar revision

Most common grammar mistakes


formal and informal letters






Tips for a better understanding of a document

How to read or listen to a document?

  • If there is a title, it will give you the topic of the document
  • Write a mind map with the following elements : WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW

Si tu peux répondre à toutes ces questions, tu auras compris l´essentiel du texte ou de l´enregistrement. Ces WH- questions t´aideront à retenir les éléments essentiels indispensables pour comprendre l´idée générale du document. Ils t´aideront aussi à organiser ta réponse .Tu pourras alors  résumer plus facilement, ou répondre aux questions de compréhension générale..

WHAT : identifie l´idée principale

WHO : qui parle ? Qui écrit ? Combien de personnes présentes ? Qui sont-elles ? que font-elles ? Pourquoi sont-elles présentes ?

WHEN : Pour un article de presse la date et la source sont des informations importantes. Quand l´histoire se passe-t-elle ? Repère les indicateurs de temps.

WHERE : Ou cela se passe t- il ? Indicateurs de lieux.

WHY : Pour un article de presse ou un document audio, pose toi toujours la question, quel est l´objectif du document ? Informer ? Convaincre ? Donner une opinion ?

HOW : Toujours pour un article de presse ou document audio, pose-toi la question : Comment le propos est-il organisé ? C´est l´ossature (how are the ideas organized?) if it raises a problem, it might give solutions, and often gives its causes and/or consequences. Another structure could be the pros and cons.

Les documents audio ou écrits en classe ou le jour de l´examen se réfèrent toujours à un sujet que tu as abordé en cours d´anglais. Mais pas seulement !!! Tu abordes forcement ces sujets dans les autres matières. Mon expérience m´a montré que les élèves  ont du mal à relier les matières entre elles. Et pourtant, en espagnol tu parles des mêmes notions ? Les cours d´économie, d´histoire, de géographie, littérature et philosophie te donnent de l´information que tu pourras transférer dans les cours d´anglais et ainsi enrichir ton argumentation.

REMEMBER!!  Always be positive and trust yourself! Don´t rush into the text, Take your time to look at it. Is there any illustration? What does the title tell you? Do you have any knowledge about the topic?


A press article and a video to illustrate the notion of Spaces and Exchanges

  1. Black Britons

2.  Multicultural Britain

Notion: Spaces and exchanges

Theme : Human exchanges

Key concept: Immigration to the UK – Multicultural Britain – Britishness

Questions :

What effect has immigration had on UK´s society?

How strong is the link that keeps the British together?

To what extent can Britain be considered as a multicultural country?

After having introduced the notion and the question you want to deal with, you need to present the documents that will illustrate your point.

If you choose to raise the question of Britain as a multicultural country, you should define multiculturalism first. (the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within unified society, as a state or nation).

Both documents help us understand how Britain has evolved towards a multicultural society since the post-war years. Doc 1 deals with the different  waves of Caribbean migrants to Britain while doc 2 focuses on 2 generations, father and son from Kenya.

If the first generation of migrants felt more black than British, it is clearly explained that there is no contradiction for the younger generation (born in the 70´s) between ethnicity and identity as can be seen in the title ¨black Britons¨.

As for doc 2, to the question ¨what’s the best thing about living here, Sunny?¨, the young man answers : ¨The food, the different cultures that come in and bring their spices, their experiences and even their rituals, so you get a taste of the world within this small community¨. 

After presenting the documents, make a personal conclusion by giving your opinion on the documents and if you can by opening up onto another notion or future prospects.

These two documents could also be linked to the idea of progress because the younger generation of black Britons live a better life than their fathers. They feel part of a community, they feel proud to be British but also proud of their origins and this can indeed be considered as great progress for society.

A third document to add to your presentation …….


 And two other quotes 

Tony Blair (UK Prime Minister 1997 – 2007- Labour Party)

¨A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in, and how many want out¨.

JFK : ¨Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of US life¨.