Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

DePriest Tea Incident
Robert Brosseau
Time Frame:
One hour
Civil Rights

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Individual research to find contrasting evidence for change based on the 1929 DePriest Tea Incident

  • To practice analyzing Primary Sources
  • To practice looking for change(s) in American History themes

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

  • Missouri SS 3, 1.6 & 1.9 – Analyze political developments in US; evolution of American democratic institutions including Civil Rights
  • Missouri SS1.10 – Analyze the roles & influence of political parties and interest groups.
  • Missouri SS 3, 1.6 & 1.10 – Describe the changing character of American society and culture
  • AP – Analyze and evaluate historical patterns of continuity and change over time.
  • AP – Connect patterns of continuity and change over time to larger historical processes or themes. 

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Initial Lesson source: (description and two memoirs from President Hoover and White House butler Irwin Hoover:  http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha_classroom/classroom_documents-1929.html
  • Hoover Library:  http://www.hoover.archives.gov/
  • White House Historical Assoc : http://www.whitehousehistory.org/presentations/depriest-tea-incident/index.html

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Students have individual computers to conduct research, log on to White House history website to read the summary of the DePriest Tea Incident.  (estimated time 10 minutes)
  • Students research for documents supporting contrasting views of the Incident.  (estimated time 30 minutes)
  • Students write two separate answers to the questions about how the Incident represents either change or continuity in American History. 

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • 0-2 points for directly stating what characteristic or feature of race, politics, or gender roles is staying the same (continuity) and/or what feature is showing differences (changing).
  • 0-2 points for directly stating how the chosen document leads to that continuity and/or change.