Previously, segregation in America was a specific policy but many would argue that it continues today through racial and class descrimination. Alabama's first African American female chief of police describes the obstacles she faces, even in her high powered position. Initially, she reached her position with the assistance of affirmative action. Affirmative action is a government programme that aims to give people from ethnic minorites access to employment and education. There is debate that the practice is itself discriminatory. Broadcast in February 2006 as part of the programme: Modern Studies: International Issues – The USA.
Use this clip to illustrate Affirmative Action and Positive Discrimination. Following the clip, ask students to describe what they understand by the term 'Affirmative Action'. Encourage students to consider the pros and cons of this form of action to deal with inequalities in the USA. Students could undertake research into employment and unemployment rates among African-Americans, drawing conclusions as to the reasons why Affirmative Action was considered a necessary step and if this form of action is still required.