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United States Civil Rights Movement

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The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a long, primarily nonviolent struggle to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans. The movement has had a lasting impact on United States society, in its tactics, the increased social and legal acceptance of civil rights, and in its exposure of the prevalence and cost of racism.

The American Civil Rights movement has been made up of many movements. The term usually refers to the political struggles and reform movements between 1945 and 1970 to end discrimination against African Americans and other disadvantaged groups and to end legal racial segregation, especially in the U.S. South.


The African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968) refers to the movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring Suffrage in Southern states. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South. By 1966, the emergence of the Black Power Movement, which lasted roughly from 1966 to 1975, enlarged the aims of the Civil Rights Movement to include racial dignity, economic and political self-sufficiency, and freedom from oppression by white Americans.

Many of those who were active in the Civil Rights Movement, with organizations such as NAACP, SNCC, CORE and SCLC, prefer the term "Southern Freedom Movement" because the struggle was about far more than just civil rights under law; it was also about fundamental issues of freedom, respect, dignity, and economic and social equality.

During the period 1955–1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations between activists and government authorities. Federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and communities often had to respond immediately to crisis situations which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–1956) in Alabama; "sit-ins" such as the influential Greensboro sit-in (1960) in North Carolina; marches, such as the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama; and a wide range of other nonviolent activities.

About this Project

Let's add all of those who played a role in the movement


  • Ralph Abernathy
  • Victoria Gray Adams
  • Ella Baker
  • James Baldwin
  • Marion Barry
  • Daisy Bates
  • James Bevel
  • Claude Black
  • Unita Blackwell
  • Julian Bond
  • Anne Braden
  • Mary Fair Burks
  • Stokely Carmichael
  • Septima Clark
  • Claudette Colvin
  • Jonathan Daniels
  • Annie Devine
  • Doris Derby
  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Medgar Evers
  • Myrlie Evers-Williams
  • James L. Farmer, Jr.
  • Karl Fleming
  • James Forman
  • Frankie Muse Freeman
  • Dick Gregory
  • Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Lorraine Hansberry
  • Aaron Henry
  • Myles Horton
  • T.R.M. Howard
  • Winson Hudson
  • Jesse Jackson
  • Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • Esau Jenkins
  • Gloria Johnson-Powell
  • Clyde Kennard
  • Coretta Scott King
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Bernard Lafayette
  • W. W. Law
  • James Lawson
  • John Lewis
  • Viola Liuzzo
  • Joseph Lowery
  • Autherine Lucy
  • Clara Luper
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • James Meredith
  • Loren Miller
  • Jack Minnis
  • Anne Moody
  • Harry T. Moore
  • Robert Parris Moses
  • Diane Nash
  • Denise Nicholas
  • E. D. Nixon
  • David Nolan
  • James Orange
  • Nan Grogan Orrock
  • Rosa Parks
  • Rutledge Pearson
  • James Reeb
  • Gloria Richardson
  • Amelia Boynton Robinson
  • Jo Ann Robinson
  • Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Cleveland Sellers
  • Fred Shuttlesworth
  • Modjeska Monteith Simkins
  • Rev. Charles Kenzie Steele
  • C.T. Vivian
  • Wyatt Tee Walker
  • Hosea Williams
  • Malcolm X
  • Andrew Young
  • Maya Angelou
  • Joan Baez
  • James Baldwin
  • Harry Belafonte
  • Ralph Bunche
  • Guy Carawan
  • Robert Carter
  • William Sloane Coffin
  • Ossie Davis
  • Ruby Dee
  • James Dombrowski
  • W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Virginia Durr
  • Bob Dylan
  • John Hope Franklin
  • Jack Greenberg
  • Anna Arnold Hedgeman
  • Dorothy Height
  • Clarence Jordan
  • Stetson Kennedy
  • Arthur Kinoy
  • William Kunstler
  • Staughton Lynd
  • Constance Baker Motley
  • Nichelle Nichols
  • Phil Ochs
  • Odetta
  • Sidney Poitier
  • A. Philip Randolph
  • Paul Robeson
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Pete Seeger
  • Nina Simone
  • Norman Thomas
  • Roy Wilkins
  • Whitney Young
  • Howard Zinn
  • Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century.

External Links

  • Civil Rights Reading List The idea is fiction or non-fiction that addresses the Civil Rights movement and/or the plight of minorities in the US.