Social Developments of the Time

The Establishment of the Country of Ghana

Before March 1957 Ghana was called Gold Coast. The Portuguese who came to Ghana in the 15th Century found so much gold between the rivers of Ankobra and The Volka that they named the after the place Mina (meaning Mine). The Gold Coast was later adopted by the English colonisers. The French, equally impressed by the trinkets worn by the coastal people named the Ivory coast. After that in 1964 they declared a one-party states.

The Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama

On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested, the Montgomery bus boycott was a 13 month mass protest that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) coordinated the boycott, and its president, Martin Luther King Jr. became a prominent civil rights leader as international attention focused on Montgomery. The bus boycott demonstrated the potential for nonviolent mass protest to successfully challenge racial segregation and served as an example for other southern campaigns that followed.

The Early Years of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born as Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. The King and Williams families were rooted in Georgia. His grandfather, A.D. Williams, was a rural minister for years then moved to Alanta in 1893. He took over the small, struggling Ebenezer Baptist church with around 13 members and made it into a forceful congregation. He married Jennie Celeste Parks and they had one child that survived, Alberta. Michael King Sr. came from a sharecropper family in a poor farming community. He married Alberta in 1926 after an 8-year courtship. The newlyweds moved to A.D. Williams home in Alanta. Martin Luther King Jr. had an older sister, Willie Christine, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King. The. King children grew up in a secure and loving environment.


The Lynching of Emmett Till

Emmett Till was born on July 25, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois he died on August 28, 1955. Fourteen year-old Emmett Till was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, on August 24, 1955, when he reportedly flirted with a white cashier at a grocery store. Four days later, two white men kidnapped Till, beat him and shot in the head. The men were tried for murder, but an all-white male jury acquitted them. Till's murder and open casket funeral galvanized (meaning to arouse to awareness or action) the emerging Civil Rights Movement.


"Brown Vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas" (1954)

A group consisting of Oliver Brown and 12 other parents (20 children involved) wanted equal educational rights and do away with segregation among the school system. Each person was to look for enrollment dates at the "white" schools in their neighborhood and take their children to be admitted. The all white school refused to enroll them because of their race. The families then reported to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), who they have recruited to help in this legal matter. The Board of Education was in direct violation of the 14th Admendment of the Constitution, which "guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law", giving cause to file a class action suit.


Thurgood Marshall

Born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, Thurgood Marshall studied law at Howard University. As counsel to the NAACP, he utilized the judiciary to champion equality for African Americans. In 1954, he won the Brown vs. The Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools. Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967, and served for 24 years. He died in Maryland on January 24, 1993.