Segments in this Video

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.

Sit-Ins (13:52)

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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Let Freedom Ring: Moments from the Civil Rights Movement, 1954–1965

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Despite the colossal and continuing legacy of America’s civil rights era, the movement is often best understood through the historical moments in which it took place. This NBC News program presents original coverage from frontline correspondents and camera teams at work during critical junctures in America’s battle for racial equality. Hosted by NBC anchor Lester Holt, the video examines the Greensboro sit-ins; the Freedom Rider phenomenon; the efforts by, in support of, and against black students entering southern schools and universities; the March on Washington; and other events and initiatives.

Length: 100 minutes

Item#: BVL40565

ISBN: 978-1-60825-994-6

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Recommended by Booklist—included in “Top 10 Black History Videos: 2010.”


Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.