Lesson Plan

African Americans and Life in a Secret City

Imagine the lure of being offered a job at a secret site, working on a secret project, and earning higher wages! Such was the approach used to recruit African Americans to Hanford, Washington, one of several sites used to develop components of the Manhattan Project. Young historians learn about the contributions of Black laborers, technicians, and scientists to the development of the city, the reactors, and the production of plutonium. They also learn about the challenges African Americans faced in this segregated city.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have groups investigate the status of the clean-up operation at the Hanford, Washington site and the on-going controversies surrounding it
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires copies of the discussion questions
Pros
  • Provides an answer key for the discussion questions
Cons
  • None