Civil Rights Movement

by Brielle Doman

The Civil Rights Movement: Looking at the Big Picture

We've all heard of MLK, the bus boycott, and other important factors of the Civil Rights Movement, but how much did they actually contribute to making today's society a more equal and just place? The truth is, they were just a drop in the ocean of equality. However, that doesn't make this movement any less important. Without it, we may have still be living in segregation of blacks and whites.
The movement can be credited for bringing equal rights to people of color and developing some of the most famous heroes of the 20th century. This Flier will explore the key points of the Civil Rights Movement and add background to what we know as the United States today. It will go over tactics, people, and events during the 1950s and 1960s.

Brains Behind the Operation

Many tactics and strategies were used to try and achieve equal rights for blacks during the movement. The most prevalent ones being nonviolent, as praised by MLK. Civil disobedience was practiced by many activists. Rosa Parks being arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white person is a prime example of this. It led Martin Luther King to organize the Montgomery bus boycott, which successfully integrated the city's busses after a little over a year.

Another tactic under the category of civil disobedience was addressing the president himself. The SCLC asked president Eisenhower to have a civil rights conference in 1957. When he refused, they led a prayer march on Lincoln memorial. This was one of many marches, sit-ins, and boycotts during the time.

Freedom Riders are credited for the integration of interstate travel in 1961. These brave people met in groups of blacks and whites and travelled to the South together to bring more attention to the issue. Along the way, they were brutally beaten by white mobs and arrested. Their resilience ultimately won out.

The basis of all of these tactics are the ideas of Gandhi, and spirituality. MLK developed his education as a priest from the teachings of Gandhi, and then passed them on to his followers. The ultimate thought was that the only way to defeat their enemies was to love and understand them. Many argue that that was the only reason the movement was so successful.

Unsung Heroes

The Saint Augustine Four

Audrey Edwards, JoeAnn Ulmer, Willie Singleton, and Samuel White were four teenagers who were jailed and put in reform school in St. Augustine. They tried to order hamburgers at a "whites only" lunch counter and refused arrest. When the NAACP tried to fight it, the judge told them that their case was beyond jurisdiction. They made national headlines and were granted freedom under a special action by the governor.

Stokely Carmichael

Carmichael joined the CORE, led the SNCC in the 1960s, He worked with MLK until he strayed from the idea of nonviolence, identifying with the Black Panthers. While working as a field organizer for the SNCC, he managed to register over 2,000 blacks to vote in Alabama. He later founded the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, whose logo inspired the Black Panthers.

Important Groups


The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was established in 1957 and led by Martin Luther King Jr. He brought a lot of support from black churches in the South. Along with churches, the SCLC was in touch with many organizations, giving it a very large amount of participants. This group coordinated protests and civil rights rallies, like the Montgomery bus boycott.


The Congress of Racial Equality was founded in 1942 in Chicago. It started in the North, working its way into the South. As was one of the major civil rights groups, they were largely responsible for freedom rides, the March on Washington, and the Freedom Summer. They started with a nonviolent approach, but later shifted into black nationalism and separatism.