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Civil Rights Movement


What is the Civil Rights Movement?

The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil War had officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against blacks—they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the South. By the mid-20th century, African Americans had had more than enough of prejudice and violence against them. They, along with many whites, mobilized and began an unprecedented fight for equality that spanned two decades. 

On December 1, 1955, a 42-year-old woman named Rosa Parks found a seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus after work. Segregation laws at the time stated Black passengers must sit in designated seats at the back of the bus, and Parks had complied.  Continue reading from the History Channel

Books and Videos about the Civil Rights Movement

In 1964 Congress passed Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241), popularly known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. The word "sex" was added at the last moment. According to the West Encyclopedia of American Law, Representative Howard W. Smith (D-VA) added the word. His critics argued that Smith, a conservative Southern opponent of Federal civil rights, did so to kill the entire bill (a so-called “poison pill” amendment). Smith, however, argued that he had amended the bill in keeping with his support of Alice Paul and the National Women's Party with whom he had been working. Martha W. Griffiths (D-MI) led the effort to keep the word "sex" in the bill. Continue reading from the National Archives

Link to Alabama v. King by Dan Abrams in the catalog
Link to Movement Made Us by David J. Dennis, Jr. in the catalog
Link to Birmingham Foot Soldiers by Nick Patterson in Hoopla
Link to The King Years by Branch in the catalog
Link to I am MLK Jr [DVD] in Hoopla
Link to Black Against Empire by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr. in Hoopla
Link to Civil Rights by Thomas Sowell in Hoopla
Link to Redemption by Rosenbloom in the catalog
Link to March book one by Lewis in the catalog
Link to Revolution in Black and White by Withers in the catalog
Link to While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry in Hoopla
Link to Spies of Mississippi [DVD] in Hoopla
Link to March book two by Lewis in the catalog
Link to March book three by Lewis in the catalog

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"We are not makers of history.  We are made by history" - Martin Luther King, Jr.