Events in the Civil Rights Era

By: Joyce Choe

Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka

On May 17, 1954, the Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka occurred. During this time, a young woman named Linda Brown was involved in a court case because it took her 21 blocks to go to school since she was not allowed to take any shortcuts due to the color of her skin. Because of these actions, Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren argued that it was unconstitutional and segregation began to slowly end allowing people to feel secure and happy.



Death of Emmett Till

Born on July 25, 1941, Emmett Till was just a normal 14 year old African- American boy who was murdered in Mississippi after flirting with a white woman. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Till was casually speaking to a 21 year old woman named Carolyn Bryant who was a married proprietor of a small grocery store. After a couple of days passed, Bryant's husband Roy and his half- brother J.W. Milam took Till to a barn, severely beat him up, gouged his eyes, and shot his head multiple times. After this incident, people found his body 3 days later in the Tallahatchie river with a cotton gin tied around his neck along with a barbed wire. That day was August 28, 1955.


Montgomery Bus Boycott- Rosa Parks

In December of 1955, after Rosa Park decided not to give up her personal seat for a white man, Martin Luther King Jr. said change needed to be made. Dr. Martin Luther King led a boycott of city buses. After a couple of months, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public transportation was unjust and illegal.

Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech

Martin Luther King Jr. was a young minister who organized the Montgomery bus boycotts and later the the southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was a very brave and strong-willed man who stood up for himself and his country. Attempting to make a change in the world he created a very famous speech named "I have a dream". In this dream he stated what he wanted in our future society and how the current conditions are. King just wanted to live in a nonsegregated and safe area.

Little Rock Central High

In 1957, an incident occurred where troops were sent to Little Rock Central High School to protect African Americans with de-segregation efforts. During this time, Governor Orval Faubus was in charge with the whole crisis and commanding others. While trying to fix this predicament, the school clearly stated not to speak about segregation when it comes within the range of federal services to the school.

Martin Luther King Jr,- Letters from Birmingham Jail

Letters from Birmingham Jail is a very long letter written by Martin Luther King Jr on April 16, 1963. King wrote this letter while waiting inside a city jail, in Birmingham, Alabama because he was arrested for a planned non-violent protest to stop racial segregation. Trying to clearly state his own personal opinions with his anger, King writes a large letter to clergymen to stop this unjust act.

Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

Created in 1960, four African American college students in North Carolina demanded services at a whites only lunch counter. Within a week, the number of students grew as well as the demand for services. Because of this act, an organization was created, which was named the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. It was emerged from multiple student meetings which were led by Ella Baker.

Sweatt vs. Painter

In 1950, Supreme Court case between Sweatt and Painter was challenged due to the "separate but equal" doctrine of racial segregation. This case involved a black man named Herman Marion Sweatt who refused the admission to the University of Texas because the president, Theophilus Painter prohibited integrated education. Because there were boundaries between the colored and the white, many challenges and opinions came about.


Start of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Started by Martin Luther King Jr., he advocated the practice of nonviolent protests. Due to these events, in 1957, and African American civil rights organization was created. This organization started because of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and other important racial segregation events.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Enacted in 1964, the Civil Rights Act was a piece of legislation that was created in the United States. It outlawed many forms of discrimination such as racial, ethical, national, religious miniorites, and even women. Because this act was created, it ended many unequal voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, facilities, and workplaces.