Detailing a collaboration between middle school students and undergraduate students to create a local civil rights public art/public history project, this essay explores the promises and pitfalls of public historians working in their communities. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Civil Rights curriculum unit was part of the more extensive People’s History of Geneva K–12 Curriculum Project, designed to bring the voices and experiences of underrepresented groups into the city’s history and its classrooms. This essay details the curriculum unit’s creation and implementation, paying particular attention to three contexts that served to center whiteness in the project’s development and implementation.

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