The Civil Rights Movement

By Shelbee Huffman Period. 4

Our Equal and Just Society

Before the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's and '60's, the colored people of the U.S were treated like the "lesser man" than to the whites. There was no equality between them. On the buses, the colored had to sit in the back, or had to move from their seat for a white man. Everything was segregated from the blacks and whites. The schools, restaurants, and even the drinking fountains were separate. Finally, they had enough with all the segregation. They marched, did sit-ins, and anything they could so that the colored nation could be heard. It was hard, and took quite awhile, but they finally did it.

The Civil Rights Movement impacted today's society drastically. There is no more segregation between the whites and black communities, they can vote, and even be part of the U.S Government. Everything is equal between the two races.
While there may still be racism from some, it is not as bad as it was back then.

Strategies and Tactics

The African Americans, and even some white, of the Civil Rights Movement went with a non-violent way of fighting for their rights. They took advantage of the media, did boycotts, demonstrations, and sit-ins. Even though these were non-violent, the people who participated still got arrested.

A strategic action the African American people took was a bus boycott. This was made because Rosa Parks, an African American women, was arrested after she refused to give up her seat for a white man. Together, the whole communites refused to take the bus, or any public transportation, as long as they were not equal to both races. So, instead of riding the bus, the African American people walked, carpooled, and even had white housewives to drive them to work. The bus transportation companies faced financial problems because most of their riders were African Americans, so they had to either desegregate, or lose a lot of their money.

Another action were the sit-ins. A sit-in is when African Americans go, and sit in a white's only lunch counter, and ask for service. If they were refused service, they would just sit there, and waited for service. They were threatened, and even had food thrown at them, but they didn't move until they were served or got arrested. If a white person decided to take a physical way to handle it, the African American would curl up in a ball, and take the beating. When those students were arrested, another group would replace them. This first started out when a group of North Carolina university students read about the non-violent actions. As it got more, and more popular, a lot of media footage was captured which showed the students getting beat, threatened, and arrested. It took awhile, but slowly, but surly, more restaurant owners ended segregation in their restaurant.

Civil Rights Photographs

Unsung Heros

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin was born September 5, 1939, in Montgomery, Alabama. Nine months before Rosa Parks, she stood up against segregation by not giving up her seat. March 2, 1955, Claudette was with a group of friends riding the bus. A white women told them to move, so she could sit down. Her three friends moved without hesitation, but Claudette stayed where she was saying it was her constitutional right to keep her seat. Two police officers came onto the bus, and arrested her. She was charged with violating segregation law, and assault and battery on a policeman which she then defended herself by saying it was the policeman who assaulted her. In the end, her minister paid her bail, and she went home. In 1956, the NAACP asked Claudette to join a lawsuit with three other women to fight against Alabama's bus segregation law, which was called Browder vs. Gayle, and was ruled in their favor.

Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height born on March 24, 1912, in Richmond, Virginia. In high school, Height showed talent as an orator, and became active in social and political activities like anti-lynching campaigns. She even went to a national oratory competition, won the event, and she was awarded a college scholarship. She went to New York University, where she got a bachelor's degree in education (1930), and a master's degree in psychology (1932). In 1937, Dorothy joined the Harlem YWCA. She also became president for the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in 1957. In 1963, she was one of the organizers of the March on Washington, where she worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. Later on, after the Civil Rights Movement, Dorothy helped found the National Women's Political Caucus in 1971.

Civil Rights Groups


Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was founded in 1957 when 60 African American ministers, and civil rights leaders met in Atlanta, Georgia. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was chosen as the first president of the group. Their plan was to end segregation in a non-violent way. In 1991, SCLC failed their first direct campaign which was a series of marches because of poor planning. The group had its first victory in 1963 after a four month campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. After Martin Luther King's death, the group continued to engage in protests in the south, and his daughter, Bernice King, was chosen to be the head of SCLC.


Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in 1942 on the University of Chicago campus. CORE became one of the leading organizations in the Civil Rights Movement. The group was first recognized in the 1960s when they started doing sit-ins at local whites only lunch counters. They were also the first to organize a Freedom Ride to desegregate the buses. They also organized many marches, including the 1963 March on Washington, and the Freedom Summer voter registration project.