Era in Pictures (00:59)
Television brought the struggles of African Americans to the forefront of the American consciousness.
Separate and Unequal (10:33)
In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was unconstitutional. This decision initiated educational and social reform throughout the United States and was a catalyst in launching the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Little Rock (11:11)
Following the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, some school districts, particularly those in the Deep South, actively avoided desegregation. One of the most famous cases involved Little Rock's Central High School, where Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus joined local whites in resisting integration by dispatching the Arkansas National Guard to block the nine black students from entering the school. President Dwight Eisenhower responded by sending federal troops to protect the students.
In 1960, a group of black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, refused to leave a whites-only lunch counter that denied them service. Their demonstration began the sit-in movement, a series of peaceful protests that brought renewed national attention to the injustices of the segregated South and eventually forced the federal government to actively protect the rights of African-Americans.
Freedom Riders (09:57)
In 1961, student activists launched the Freedom Rides to challenge segregation on interstate buses and bus terminals. Riding from Washington, D.C. to Montgomery, Alabama, the rides met violent opposition in the Deep South, garnering extensive media attention and eventually forcing federal intervention from the Kennedy administration.
University of Mississippi Campus (12:01)
in 1962, James Meredith's attempt to attend the all-white University of Mississippi forced President John F. Kennedy to use federal troops against the state of Mississippi’s forces to enforce Meredith's rights to become a student at the school.
March on Washington (11:01)
In 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Freedom Summer (13:35)
In 1964, a campaign was launched to register African American voters as possible in Mississippi. Days into the campaign James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were kidnapped and beaten to death by a group of segregationists.
Voting Rights Act (13:58)
In 1965, the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, forcing states to end discriminatory voting practices. This was the result of protest marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
Issues Remain (12:46)
How would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. feel about the issues that still plaque America today?
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