Civil Rights Era

10 most important events

Jackie Robinson's MLB career

Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play Major League Baseball with white men. Robinson integrated the sport by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in 1947.

Armed forces integrated

In July 1948, the United States Armed Forces became desegregated between black and white soldiers. Though there was tension at first, this was a sign that all the U.S. soldiers could become united as one body to protect their country, serving as an inspiration to the rest of the black population.

Sweatt vs. Painter

Sweatt vs. Painter was a supreme court case in 1950 which ruled that having separate colleges for blacks was not an equal constitutional opportunity. This began when African-American student Heman Sweatt was denied acceptance to the University of Texas because he was black. He sued Theophilius Painter, the University's president.

Brown vs. Board of Education

In 1954, African American Oliver Brown sued the board of Topeka, Kansas education because of education segregation. The supreme court ruled that segregation in public schools was unequal and unconstitutional, reversing the result of Plessy vs. Ferguson.

Rosa Parks denies Bus Seat

In 1955, 42-year-old African American seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white woman on a public bus. The commotion caused by this action not only got Parks arrested, but also caused the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Little Rock Nine

The Little Rock Nine were a brave group of nine African American students who were denied from enrolling in Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas by the Governor Orval Faubus in 1957. President Eisenhower sent troops to escort them to class, for this was law.


The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed in 1960 by southern black students who demanded equal rights as students in integrated schools, such as being able to purchase food from the cafeteria.

By Christina Burke