The civil rights movement was a struggle by African Americans in the mid 1950's through the late 1960's to achieve civil rights equal to those of whites,including equal opportunity in employment, housing, and education, as well as the right to vote, the right of equal access to public facilities, and the right to be free of racial discrimination.


Before the American Civil War, almost 4 million blacks were enslaved in the South, only white men of property could vote, and the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U.S citizenship to whites only.